Zoom app launches on 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube for 2-way Video Calling through USB webcam

Zoom has just launched its first Fire TV App for video calls through your TV. The app is currently only compatible with the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube. That’s because Amazon added USB webcam support last year to the current Fire TV Cube but has not yet extended that support to any other Fire TV models. The zoom app for Fire TV allows you to start meetings, join meetings, see screen sharing, and other Zoom capabilities that you’d expect. Read more ›

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Amazon reverts Fire TV home screen change by moving ‘Recently Watched’ row back to the top

Amazon has stepped back one of the most controversial changes brought on by the Fire TV’s new interface update. The “Next Up For You” row, which was introduced with the new interface update and promised to provide custom recommendations for what to watch next, has been moved from the top row on the new home screen to the fourth row. Replacing it as the new top row is the “Recently Watched” row, which used to sit at the top of the old interface but, to the annoyance of many, got pushed far down the home screen when the new interface arrived. Below that is still a sponsored row and the “Recently Used Apps” row, which was also moved up the home screen from its original position farther down when the new interface first debuted. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick 4K is on sale for $39.99 yet again

The Fire TV Stick 4K is on sale for $39.99, which is $10 off its regular price of $49.99. This should come as no surprise because, these days, it is on sale at this price more often than it is at its regular list price. The same can’t be said about other Fire TV models because the Fire TV Stick 4K’s frequent sales is likely due to pressure from Roku being aggressive with the pricing of its budget 4K streaming devices. During the last 3 months, the Fire TV Stick 4K has been on sale at this price or less for two-thirds of the time and at its regular price for the other third. Wait for a better deal if you can, since this “sale” price is essentially the absolute most you should pay.

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Alexa routines can now be launched with multiple phrases

Alexa routines have gained a small but useful new feature. When creating an Alexa routine that is launched by a custom phrase, it is now possible to add additional phrases that can launch the same routine. Prior to this change, each routine could only be launched by a single phrase. Now you can add up to 7 different phrases to each Alexa routine. This allows you to add variations of the main phrase, in case you or someone in your household is prone to forget the exact wording needed. It also lets you add some fun alternative phrases without losing the ability to use simpler phrases for launching Alexa routines.

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Verizon Fios TV app arrives on newer Fire TV devices but excludes older models

Verizon has launched its Fios TV app for Fire TVs and Firesticks. The app provides Verizon customers subscribed to Fios TV access to live channels, a program guide, on-demand content, DVR recordings, purchases, rentals, and more. This is the first time Verizon is making its app available on devices other than phones and tablets. Unfortunately, the app is only compatible with devices running Fire OS 6 and 7. That means customers with 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks, which make up the majority of Fire TV devices in the wild, do not have access to the app. Only Fire TV models released in or after 2017 and Fire TV Smart TVs released in or after 2018 are compatible.

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Fire TVs can now control Bluetooth Headphone/Speaker Volume using the remote buttons

Amazon is rolling out new software updates to Fire TVs and Firesticks that add a capability customers have been wanting for a very long time. It is finally possible to lower and raise the volume of Bluetooth audio devices, such as Bluetooth ear pods and Bluetooth soundbars, using the volume buttons on the Fire TV’s remote. Fire TV devices gained the ability to connect audio over Bluetooth in 2015, but the feature has been crippled by the inability to adjust the volume unless the Bluetooth device itself had built-in volume controls. That shortcoming is finally being addressed with the latest Fire TV software update. Read more ›

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Overview of new Sling TV interface now available on Fire TV devices

Sling TV, the streaming television service with plans that start at $35 month for 30+ channels, has launched an entirely new app interface that has come first to Fire TV devices. While Sling TV’s old app interface could be commended for taking a unique approach to streaming TV, it certainly took some getting used to. The new interface has greatly simplified things and is more aligned with what most people tend to expect in a streaming app. Here is an overview of the new interface. Read more ›

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RetroArch game emulator frontend is now officially available on Fire TV devices

RetroArch, the very popular front-end app for emulators, is now available in the Amazon Appstore for all Fire TV devices, including Firesticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Smart TVs, as spotted by Liliputing and XDA. RetroArch is not an emulator on its own, but it allows you to install numerous game engines, called cores, that can then emulate consoles such as NES, SNES, PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and much more. While there are many standalone emulators that can be sideloaded, the benefit of RetroArch is that it provides a unified interface for all emulators in order to simplify the process of setting up and using multiple emulators.

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Amazon and NBC Sports to launch new live sports hub on Fire TV for the Olympics

Amazon has announced a new hub for live sports coming to the Fire TV home screen. While it’s technically for “sports biggest stage,” this is clearly meant to be for the Olympics, since it goes live July 22, a day before the Summer Olympics start, and will be available for 17 days. The hub is intended to make it simpler to access live streaming sporting events as well as on-demand replays. Read more ›

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CNN to launch CNN Plus streaming service in Q1 2022

CNN has announced that it will be launching a new streaming service early next year in Q1 2022, called CNN+. The service will launch in the US only, but the company is looking to eventually make the service available worldwide. The service is expected to compliment the cable network, as opposed to replacing it, by providing new personality-driven programming that is not available through the existing CNN linear channels. It doesn’t seem like a CNN+ subscription on its own, without a traditional paid TV subscription, will provide access to the live news channel. Pricing for the new streaming service has not been announced, but there will not be an ad-supported version at launch.

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