A word about Unreleased Amazon Devices

Several people have been contacting me about recent news releated to unreleased Amazon devices. As I mentioned when I announced my return to AFTVnews, I cannot write about, or comment on, any unreleased Amazon devices due to the privelaged information I gained while working as a Fire TV product manager for Amazon. Regardless of how significant or insignificant a leak may be, you’ll have to wait for an official annoucement from Amazon before hearing what I have to say about it. I’m sorry, but I hope you understand. I was hesitant to even write this post, but discussions are starting to leak into unreleated articles, so please use the comment section of this post to to discuss whatever you’d like amongst yourselves.

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Amazon is expected to announce new devices on September 24th

The Amazon Devices & Services team has sent invites to myself and numerous other media outlets for a virtual event on Thursday, September 24, at 10 a.m. PT. The invitation does not specify what will be revealed at the event, other than “some news.” Amazon has held a big hardware reveal event every September for the past several years. New Alexa and Echo devices are usually the focus of these September events, but it’s not unheard of for a Fire TV device to slip in occasionally, such as the announcement of the Fire TV Recast during the 2018 September event. Either way, it should be an interesting day and I’ll be covering all the announcements. The event is by invitation only, so it likely will not be streamed to the public.

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NBCUniversal and Roku reach agreement to bring Peacock to Roku devices — Pressure on Amazon increases to do the same for Fire TV

Over 2 months from when Peacock launched nationwide on other streaming devices, the app is now available on Roku devices after NBCUniversal and Roku finally reached a mutually beneficial agreement over the service’s revenue share. This leaves Amazon Fire TVs as the only remaining major streaming media players to not carry the Peacock app. While there are unofficial ways to install Peacock on Fire TVs, they come with complications and compatibility issues for some people. With any luck, the added pressure on Amazon of now being the odd one out will speed up negotiations and result in the app officially being made available on Fire TV devices. Read more ›

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Amazon Music adds Podcasts and Original Shows

As expected, podcast integration has arrived for Amazon Music. Podcasts streaming is now available on Amazon Music in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. Integration is not yet available in the Amazon Music app for Fire TV devices, but you can find it on the mobile app, web app, and Alexa devices at no cost. Read more ›

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Amazon Alexa responses on Fire TVs now display new Compact Visuals

Amazon has updated the on-screen visuals that accompany Alexa responses on Fire TV devices to be more compact and unobtrusive. Prior to this update, all Alexa responses that displayed something on Fire TVs would take up the entire screen. These new visuals take up only the lower third of the screen and don’t take you away from what you’re currently watching. Only select Alexa responses will use the new visuals and they’re only available on some Fire TV models. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Cube, Soundbar, Recast, and Blaster have all gone on sale

Several Amazon Fire TV devices have just gone on sale this morning. First is the Amazon Fire TV Cube on sale for $99.99. This price is just $10 above the lowest price that Amazon’s flagship Fire TV has ever been. Next is the Nebula Fire TV Edition Soundbar on sale for $159.99. This is the new lowest price that this soundbar has ever been. Fire TV soundbars have the exact same capabilities as a Fire TV Stick 4K inside. The Fire TV Blaster is back at its lowest price ever of $29.99. It allows you to add most of the device control capabilities found on the Fire TV Cube to an existing Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Lastly, the Fire TV Recast OTA tuner and DVR and tuner is on sale for $149.99, which is $20 above its all-time lowest price. That’s for the 2-tuner/512GB model. The 4-tuner/1TB model is also on sale at $199.99.

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New home screen coming to Amazon Fire Tablets for Kids ages 8 and up

Along with today’s announcement of the rebranding of Amazon FreeTime into Amazon Kids, Amazon has revealed that a new home screen option will be coming to Fire tablets. The new home screen will be an alternative to the current kid-friendly FreeTime experience available for child profiles. The new interface is meant to be closer to a more traditional tablet for children ages 8 and up. Read more ›

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Amazon rebrands FreeTime to Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+

Amazon has announced that they are rebranding their kid-friendly service formerly known as Amazon FreeTime into Amazon Kids. The paid subscrition service formerly known as Amazon FreeTime Unlimited will now be adopting the “+” symbol that many streaming services are using and be known as Amazon Kids+. Read more ›

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AT&T customers can now make & receive calls with Alexa and Echo devices

Amazon and AT&T have teamed up to allow AT&T mobile customers the ability to make and receive phone calls through Alexa devices. AT&T calling with Alexa works by first linking your existing AT&T mobile number to your Alexa account, which is done in the Alexa app under Settings > Communications. Once linked, you’ll be able to say “Alexa, call [NAME]” to place calls, where [NAME] is someone from your contacts, and incoming calls will ring on your Alexa device where you can say “Alexa, answer” to pick up the call. Read more ›

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Sideclick Remote Attachment is compatible with the new 2020 Fire TV Edition remotes

Somebody asked me if the Sideclick Remote Attachment was compatible with the new 2020 Fire TV Edition remotes that are now included with Toshiba and Insignia Fire TV Edition televisions, as well as TCL and Nebula Fire TV Edition soundbars. Sure enough, the Sideclick fits perfectly. That was no surprise, since, unlike the old remote which is thicker, the newer Fire TV Edition remote is the exact same width, thickness, and shape as the Alexa Voice Remote which comes with Fire TV Sticks and Cubes. Read more ›

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