New Vision Accessibility feature adds large Text Banner to Fire TV interface

Amazon has added a new “text Banner” vision accessibility feature to Fire TV devices to help those with “vision impairments or a limited field of view” more easily navigate the device’s interface. The new feature places a highly customizable banner on the screen with a text description of what on-screen element is currently highlighted or selected. Read more ›

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Amazon Echo Show software update adds Web Browser, Smart Home Dashboard, NBC, Hulu, and more

The all-new Amazon Echo Show is being released today but owners of the 1st generation Echo Show are receiving a software update that adds many of the new model’s features to their existing devices. In addition to an overall system-wide refresh of the interface, the new update has added both the Amazon Silk and Firefox web browsers which, most notably, restores access to YouTube on the Echo Show. Also being added is a new smart home dashboard that gives quick touch access to smart lights and Alexa routines. Echo Shows can now also stream NBC and Hulu programming. Read more ›

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Alexa Hunches now alert you of smart home devices that you might have forgot about

Amazon has started rolling out a new optional Alexa feature, called Alexa Hunches, that allows the voice assistant to make suggestions about the current state of your smart home devices. For example, if you say “Good night” and you’ve forgotten to turn off a smart light that is usually off at night, Alexa will alert you and offer to turn the light off. If you say “Set alarm” on your way out and your backdoor smart lock is unlocked, Alexa will let you know. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Cube can now change inputs on more television models with newly added options

One of the standout features of the Amazon Fire TV Cube is its ability to act as a universal remote by letting you control your home theater equipment using your voice. Much of that relies on the Fire TV Cube’s ability to change your TV’s input. The new software update that is currently rolling out to Fire TV Cubes has expanded the device’s input changing capabilities to include TVs that cannot directly switch to a specific input, such as those that use an on-screen menu for input switching. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Cube can now enhance dialogue audio and equalize volume levels

The new software update rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV Cube has added a pair of new advanced audio options that allow customers to configure volume levels to their taste. A “Volume Leveler” option will keep volume levels consistent across content and apps, while a “Dialogue Enhancer” option will boost vocals to make it easier to understand dialogue. Read more ›

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Amazon’s Alexa can now give you information about your specific TV Provider

Amazon has added a new option to the Alexa app that allows you to select your specific TV provider. Doing so enables Alexa to answer questions about your TV service. Questions about TV shows or networks will include times and channels that are available on your specific TV provider. Read more ›

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Fire TV update adds new hidden Network Proxy settings

The biggest new feature brought on by the new software update, that rolled out to the Amazon Fire TV 3 earlier this month, is the highly requested ability to match the device’s refresh rate to the content’s frame rate. That’s not the only new feature because the update has also added the ability to configure the device to use a Network Proxy. The new options are located in the Fire TV’s hidden developer menu. Read more ›

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Alexa’s new ‘Answer Updates’ feature will notify you when it learns your answer

Amazon is rolling out a new Alexa feature called “Answer Update” that will notify you when the voice assistant learns the answer to a question you’ve asked which it was unable to answer at the time. The feature was first spotted by Voicebot and later confirmed by Amazon to TechCrunch. If you ask Alexa a question it can’t answer, there’s a chance it will ask if you’d like to turn on the new Answer Update feature. Alternatively, you can say “Alexa, turn on Answer Update” to turn the feature on immediately, assuming it has already rolled out to your devices. Alexa should respond by saying “Okay, if you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, but I find out later I’ll notify you.” You can turn off the feature at any point by saying “Alexa, turn off Answer Update.”

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Explanation of the new Frame Rate Matching feature on the Amazon Fire TV and how it works

Software update version to the Amazon Fire TV has added the ability to configure the media player so that it adjusts your TVs refresh rate to match the frame rate of the video content being played. This is a feature that home theater enthusiasts have been wanting for a long time because it eliminates video judder and results in a perfectly smooth one-to-one correlation between the frames of a video and the frames being shown on the TV. Read more ›

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Amazon Echo Show’s new ‘Tap to Alexa’ accessibility feature is handy enough for anyone to use

Amazon has added a new accessibility feature to the Echo Show called “Tap to Alexa.” It’s meant to give people who are unable to interact with Alexa by voice, such as people with a speech impairment, a way to access most of the Echo Show’s features by using the touchscreen. It works by displaying a grid of customizable icons that execute Alexa tasks when tapped. While it’s meant to be used by impaired individuals, it’s actually hand enough that anyone might find it useful. Read more ›

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