If you have a Fire TV devices running Fire OS 7, like the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and you sideload many apps, you’ve probably experienced the annoying bug where the icons of some sideloaded apps appear as grayed out missing icons. This bug has been present since at least early 2020 and is a result of the Fire TV home screen launcher not checking all possible locations for an app to store its icon image file. After over 2 years of Fire TV owners living with this bug, Amazon has finally addressed it in a recent update where all sideloaded app icons are now being correctly displayed. Read more ›
Amazon has announced its intention to buy iRobot for an all-cash price of $1.7 billion. The home robotics company is best known for its line of Roomba robot vacuums for the home, however, the company has been venturing into other home robot categories recently, such as gutter and pool cleaning robots, floor mopping robots, and robotic lawn mowers. Amazon recently launched its own home robot, Astro, so the future of Amazon home robots may soon start to accelerate once this acquisition is complete. At the very least, you can probably expect to see some pretty good deals on Roomba vacuums next Prime Day.
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Amazon and Samsung have announced that Amazon Luna cloud gaming is now available directly through the Samsung Gaming Hub on select Samsung Smart TVs. Luna joins other cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Utomik which are already available on Samsung TVs. Unfortunately, access to these cloud gaming services is only available on 2022 Samsung smart TVs and M-series smart monitors. This partnership with Samsung is the first time that Amazon Luna has been made available on a device other than a Fire TV, phone, tablet, or computer. Both the Luna Controller and standard Bluetooth controllers will work to play Luna games on Samsung Smart TVs.
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Amazon’s biggest problem with Alexa, since the very beginning, has been discoverability. When you have a device that primarily has no interface, it becomes extremely difficult to inform its users of all the new features the device has been receiving. Amazon’s solution has been to have Alexa make usage suggestions after it finishes responding to you by saying “by the way…” followed by a suggestion. These suggestions walk a very fine line between being useful and annoying, with many people considering them the latter. Amazon has now made it possible to stop “by the way” suggestions but there’s a catch. Read more ›
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Much like the current sale on Fire TV devices, several retailers that sell Amazon devices have put Echos, Echo Dots, and Echo Shows on sale at prices that equal Amazon’s recent Prime Day deals. You can find these deals at Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Kohls, and Staples. The Echo models on sale at each retailer differ, but prices you can expect to see include the Echo Dot for $19.99, Echo Dot w/ Smart Plug for $24.99, Echo Dot Kids for $24.99, Echo for $59.99, Echo Auto for $19.99, Echo Show 5 for $34.99, and Echo Show 5 Kids for $39.99. This sale, where retailers match Amazon’s Prime Day prices, occurs every year a few weeks after Prime Day and it’s a good way to get great deals on Amazon devices outside of Amazon’s own site.
Amazon has announced a new perk for Prime members in the form of free same-day delivery from select retail stores. Prime members in or around Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Seattle, and Washington D.C. can now shop from Diesel, GNC, PacSun, and SuperDry through Amazon.com or the Amazon app. Shopping from Sur La Table and 100% Pure will also be available in the coming months. Only some of the participating stores are shoppable in each region at this time. You can see which stores are shoppable in each region here. Same-day delivery is free for Prime members when ordering $25 or more. Otherwise, there is a $2.99 flat fee per delivery for Prime members or $9.99 for non-members. Orders must be placed by 5 pm to receive your items by 10 pm the same day. These orders are packed by and picked up from the retail store itself, not Amazon workers or warehouses. You also have the option to order through Amazon and pick up the items at the store yourself in some cases, which is similar to Amazon’s arrangement with Best Buy for Fire TV Smart TVs.
The 3rd-generation Fire TV Stick (latest version) is currently on sale for $16.99 at Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Kohls, and Staples. This price matches Amazon’s Prime Day price from last month and is the lowest price it has ever been. This is a coordinated sale that happens every year a few weeks after Prime Day where retailers that also sell Fire TV devices get to match Amazon’s Prime Day price. Also on sale is the 2nd-generation Fire TV Cube (latest version) for $59.99 at Best Buy, Target, and Staples. That also matches the Prime Day price and is the lowest it has ever been.
Amazon has revealed the four new games that will be playable by Prime members completely for free on its Luna cloud gaming service during the month of August. Most notable among them is Control: Ultimate Edition, which is a critically acclaimed triple-A game that is among the best in Luna’s entire catalog. The other free games for August are Myst, the classic adventure puzzle game, Steel Assault, a retro-style action platformer, and Garfield Kart, a racing game starring, you guessed it, Garfield the cat. These Luna games are playable on most Fire TV models, computers, phones, and tablets. They work best with the Luna Controler, thanks to its ability to connect directly to Luna’s game servers over wifi which reduces latency, but any Bluetooth, Xbox, or PlayStation control works as well. You can even use your phone as a virtual controller if you don’t have a physical control yet.
Amazon Fire TV devices never really turn off. Even when they go to sleep after not being used for a while, or when they are manually put to sleep, they actually just black out the display but remain powered on. This is so that they can instantly be ready to use and so they can perform software updates while idle. For Fire TV remotes with a power button, pressing it just turns the TV off and does nothing to the Fire TV itself. Anyone that wants to actually power down their Fire TV must pull the power cable. However, the one exception to all of this is the Fire TV Cube, which is the only Fire TV model that can truly be turned off without needing to unplug anything. Read more ›
Amazon has announced that it will be ending Amazon Drive, its cloud storage service. Amazon says the decision is being made so that it can “more fully focus our efforts on photos and video storage with Amazon Photos.” Photos and videos stored in Amazon Drive will remain accessible through Amazon Photos, but all other file types will no longer be accessible after of December 31, 2023. However, Amazon will begin to cripple the service much sooner when it stops accepting new uploads to Amazon Drive on January 31, 2023. Read more ›
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