There are many terms, such as Jailbreaking, Rooting, Sideloading, and Unlocking, that are used to describe the state of an Amazon Fire TV device and the changes made to it. While each term has a unique definition, they are often incorrectly interchanged and used to describe some type of software modification done to a Fire TV. Questions often arise regarding the legality of each term and each type of software modification. Since Jailbreaking arrests are in the news this week and a new bill may make illegal streaming a felony, it’s as good a time as ever to break down what these terms mean and, more importantly, how they’re used. Read more ›
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Amazon has just started a new promotion that allows select customers to buy the Fire TV Stick 4K for $29.99 when you enter promo code 4K21FTV during checkout. At $20 off of the regular price of $49.99, that matches this year’s Prime Day and Black Friday prices. This appears to be a targeted promotion that does not work for all Amazon accounts. For those of you keeping track, this seems to be the new upgrade promotion that replaces the old “4KFIRETV” promo code that, likely by mistake, allowed people to buy the Fire TV Stick 4K for just $4.99 for a few hours in October.
One of the most interesting and useful new features of the redesigned Fire TV interface is something being referred to as App Peeking. It allows you to browse the movies, shows, and channels available within an app right from the Fire TV’s Home screen, without needing to launch the app. As part of my series of deep-dives into the new interface, here is everything you need to know about this new feature and how it works. Read more ›
Amazon says that group calling is now available for audio calls through an Echo or video calls through an Echo Show. The feature supports up to 7 participants and is available in Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the US, and the UK. You can go into the Alexa app to create a group containing multiple contacts and then call that group at once by saying “Alexa, call [group name].” Read more ›
Comcast has finally released an official Xfinity Stream app for Amazon Fire TV devices. The app allows Xfinity TV subscribers access to live TV, on-demand videos, and their DVR programming. The Xfinity Stream app is currently listed in the Amazon Appstore as a beta app, but the name of the app may have just not been updated yet for today’s public release. The app is compatible with every Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Edition devices in the US, all the way back to the very first Fire TV from 2014.
About a year ago, Alexa gained the ability to play podcasts from Spotify in the US. That capability is now also being made available in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, Austria, and Ireland. Once you have Alexa linked to Spotify, you’ll be able to say “Alexa, play [podcast name] podcast on Spotify” to start listening. Easy as that. Once the podcast episode is playing, you should be able to use the usual podcast commands to control playback.
Amazon has announced that select Fire TV models can now automatically display picture-in-picture (PIP) feeds of video doorbells and security cameras when an action occurs. When a Ring Video Doorbell is pressed, the Fire TV will bring up a live feed of the doorbell’s camera in the upper right corner of the screen without taking you away from what you’re watching. If you’d like, you can then say “Alexa, talk to [Ring doorbell device name]” to begin a two-way conversation between the Fire TV and the doorbell. To go full screen with the video feed, you can say “Alexa, show [Ring doorbell device name]” as usual. Read more ›
Peacock TV is still not available on Amazon Fire TV devices, but a new
v1.1.3 updated version (SEE BELOW FOR UPDATE) has just been released. If you’re new to sideloading, you might not be aware that updating an already sideloaded app is as straight forward as installing the new version right over the existing one. If you followed my guide to sideload Peacock TV or are using my Downloader app, simply use the URL bit.ly/firepck (SEE BELOW FOR UPDATE) in the Downloader app to sideload the latest version of Peacock TV. You don’t need to uninstall the existing version or do anything special if the older version is already installed on the device. Just sideload the new version as you would any new app. After launching the app and signing in, if you get only audio when playing content or the video is frozen, force quitting the app or restarting your Fire TV should solve the issue. To force quit the app, go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications and select the app. To restart your device, go to Settings > My Fire TV > Restart. If you need more detailed instructions for sideloading, see this guide and use the URL mentioned above. Note that it seems like the 1st-gen Fire TV and 1st-gen Fire TV Stick are not compatible with the Peacock app. This could change in the future, so there is no harm in trying to install the latest version.
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The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick now support streaming music through Amazon Music HD at up to a 24 bit depth and a 192 kHz sample rate. Previously, the only Fire TV model that was capable of streaming the higher quality music was the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube. Read more ›
‘Tis the season for streaming services to make deals with streaming device manufacturers. Roku has announced that they’ve finally made an agreement with HBO to bring the HBO Max app to Roku devices. The app will arrive in the Roku Channel Store tomorrow, Dec 17. Similarly, Google has announced that an Apple TV app will be coming to the Chromecast with Google TV “early next year.” They also said that “more devices powered by Android TV” will be getting the app “in the future.” Now, if only Amazon would cut a deal with NBC to bring the Peacock TV app to Fire TV devices.