ABC News releases local Fire TV apps for L.A., N.Y., Chicago, and other major cities

ABC has just released eight new Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick apps for local news coverage in major cities across America. The included cities are Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. The Fire TV Appstore is filled with local news apps, but up until now, those have all been from smaller affiliate networks which are not directly owned by the major broadcast network they represent. Most local news productions in major cities are owned by the broadcast network themselves, which is why there hasn’t been local news apps for major cities released in the past. This new batch of local news apps are released by ABC themselves, which is why so many major cities are included.

The apps themselves are all identical and fairly mediocre. They include on-demand streaming videos of the most recent and largest news stories in each local city. There is unfortunately no live stream in any of these apps, which is the feature people tend to want most out of a local news app. The apps also include a 7-day weather forecast, along with clips of recent forecast videos. Hopefully someday ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX will release live streaming apps for all of their local news coverage, but for now, these new apps from ABC are a nice baby step towards that dream.

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CBS News releases new updated Amazon Fire TV app

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CBS has released an all-new CBS News app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The new app is not an update to the old app, but rather, a replacement. This means that, if you have the old app installed on your device, it may never be updated to the new app. You will need to manually install the new app. You can actually have both versions of the CBS News apps on the same device if you wish, but the old one has been removed from the Fire TV appstore, so once you uninstall the old app, you will not be able reinstall it. A completely free live 24/7 news stream is still present and the star feature of the app, but it has received a visual refresh and a few nice new features. Read more ›

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How to watch Live News Coverage for FREE on the Amazon Fire TV

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Here are all the ways to watch live news coverage for free on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Read more ›

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Dozens of local news apps have just arrived on the Amazon Fire TV

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Hearst Television, Inc. has just released 26 local news apps for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Most, if not all, of the apps offer live streams of local news broadcasts, as well as on-demand videos. They also include local weather forecasts and the latest broadcast from local meteorologists. The apps provide video snippets of news videos organized in the usual categories like local news, world news, politics, and sports. You can also search for clips and save videos for later viewing. If you don’t see your local channel on the list, it may arrive in the future if it’s one of the Hearst channels without an app yet. Read more ›

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CNNgo app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV with live streaming CNN news

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CNN has released their CNNgo app on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The app’s pending arrival was revealed last month when CNN updated their activation website to include an option for the Fire TV prior to there being a Fire TV app available. The app features a live stream of the cable news channels 24/7 coverage, as well as full length on-demand episodes for many of the network’s shows. You will need to activate the app with a participating cable or satellite subscription before viewing either the live stream or full length on-demand content. What you don’t need to activate the app to view are the numerous shorter clips available through the app. Expect to see the occasional pre-roll ad here and there when viewing on-demand clips. The CNNgo app is compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models, new or old, and works with either Fire OS 3 or 5.

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Cox Media Group releases suite of Fire TV apps with live local news streams

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Local live news is often a missing piece of the average cord cutter’s repertoire of streaming apps. Cox Media Group is hoping to fill that gap, at least in areas where they own stations, with their new live local news apps for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. These apps provide live streams of local news broadcasts, as well as on-demand videos and weather forecasts. The selection includes CBS 7 in Seattle WA, ABC 9 in Orlando FL, FOX 25 in Boston MA, FOX 13 in Memphis TN, NBC 11 in Pittsburgh PA, ABC 2 in Atlanta GA, and ABC 9 in Charlotte NC. Cox Media Group also owns stations in Jacksonville FL, Dayton OH, and Tulsa, OK which haven’t received apps, so perhaps those will be coming in the future.

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NPR delivers personalized stories, shows, and podcasts with new Fire TV app

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National Public Radio has brought their nationally syndicated programming to all Fire TV devices with their new NPR One app. It features storytelling and reporting from near and far with the inclusion of local stories from your local public radio stations. The app tailors itself to your taste in stories by learning which type of programming you skip. If you use the matching sister app for phones and tablets, it will sync your position and allow you to pick up listening seamlessly from your Fire TV to your mobile device, and vice versa.

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Al Jazeera America news app released for the Amazon Fire TV

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Al Jazeera America has just released a new app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The app is compatible with both 1st and 2nd-gen devices. Al Jazeera is among the largest news organizations with 80 bureaus around the world and, due to their origin as a once Arabic only news channel, is often the first news outlet to report on events in the Middle East. Be aware that Al Jazeera is partially funded by the Qatar government and has been criticized as being a propaganda outlet for their foreign policy, as well as having mainly Islamist perspectives. This new app provides on-demand streaming of both their short news clips and full-length episodes of their news shows.

Update

Some have had issue with the second to last sentence in this article. The statements about Qatar and Islamist perspectives were taken from the Al Jazeera wikipedia page and are not my opinion. Im sorry. I should have made that clearer.

I have no personal opinions on Qatar, Al Jazeera, or Islamist perspectives. And I certainly would never include such opinions on this website. I simply did a bit of research about Al Jazeera prior to writing this post and thought some may want to know the views expressed in this app may not be unbiased.

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FOX News app released for Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick

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A “new” FOX News app has just been released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. While it may seem like a dedicated app on the surface, it’s actually just the video hub app Hotlist with all but FOX News stripped out. This became apparent when the app crashed and revealed its guts. Speaking of crashes, the app is quite buggy. I had to force stop the app several times while trying it out, which is not fun because it strangely takes 15 seconds just to launch. You’re much better off with the CBS or BBC news apps for your Fire TV news needs.

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Amazon extends Christmas shipping deadlines

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Amazon has extended their holiday shopping deadline to receive packages in time for Christmas. Orders must be placed by December 19th 11:59pm EST if you select the free shipping option. Orders using Two-Day shipping, which is free for Prime members, must be placed no later than December 22nd. If you miss that deadline you’ll have to select One-Day shipping for orders placed on December 23rd. The absolute latest you can wait to order and still receive your package on Christmas day is December 24th 10:00am with the Same-Day shipping option. Remember, the Fire TV is still on sale for a great price at just $79, but no word how long that sale will last.

If you’ll be taking advantage of these extended deadlines to do some last minute gift shopping, please remember to use the “Shop Amazon” link in the navigation menu above. It’s a tiny gesture on your part but really does go a long way to help keep this website running and is the best way to show your appreciation for AFTVnews.

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Slingplayer App arrives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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Sling Media has just released their Slingplayer app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The app lets you to watch and control your home TV and DVR from anywhere using one of the companies 3 compatible Slingbox devices. It can be used to extend your cable experience to another TV in the house, or turn the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick into an even better travel companion by allowing you to take your living room experience with you when you’re away from home.

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AGK Fire App lets you transfer apps from an Android device to an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

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A handy new Android app called AGK Fire has been released that allows you to install/transfer any app currently on an Android device to an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. If you own an Android smartphone or tablet, this is a very convenient way to get apps from the Google Play store installed onto a Fire TV without rooting. AGK Fire can even be sideloaded onto a Fire TV and used to install Fire TV only apps onto a Fire TV Stick. You can download AGK Fire for free from the developer’s XDA thread. I’ll have guides on using AGK Fire up soon.

Update

My guide on using AGK fire is now up. See it here.

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Amazon Fire TV Hardware Root Demonstrated

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Earlier this week I posted about the Fire TV Stick being rooted via direct hardware manipulation. The GTVHacker guys have now demonstrated using the same method to root a Fire TV. This rooting method involves soldering leads to various points on the Fire TV’s circuit board in order to directly access the device’s 8GB eMMC storage. Therefore, it is unlikely many people will attempt this rooting method as it involves intricate soldering skills. Because this method directly interfaces with the Fire TV’s file system, it can be used to root any Fire TV, regardless of software version. Read more ›

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Amazon still shipping Rootable Fire TVs

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Those of you who took advantage of yesterday’s great Fire TV sale will be happy to know that Amazon is still shipping out rootable Fire TVs. The Fire TV I ordered yesterday just arrived a few minutes ago and it has software version 51.1.0.1_user_510055620, which is rootable. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all Fire TVs shipping around the country will also be rootable, but it does confirm that there is still a chance to get an older unit.

I am currently working on an all encompassing starters guide that will get new Fire TV owners through all the various guides, from start to finish, for rooting, installing ClockworkMod, updating with pre-rooted ROMs, and more. Look for that to be posted very soon. In the mean time, if you can’t wait for the starters guide, be sure to take precautions during the inital setup since my new Fire TV immediatly tried to download the latest unrootable software, which is currently 51.1.4.1_user_514013920.

If you ordered a new Fire TV yesterday, post a comment below, once it arrives, letting everyone know what software version it came with and roughly where you are located. To get things started, I’m in the Los Angeles, CA area.

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Amazon reportedly launching Free ad-supported Video Service

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The New York Post reports that Amazon is gearing up to launch a new free, ad-supported video service early next year. The service will be separate from from it’s $99 Prime Instant Video offering. Sources say the service is meant to entice customers to upgrade to Prime membership. Those of you without Prime who use your Fire TV primarily for apps like XBMC may soon have a reason to peruse the Fire TV’s home screen.

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Pre-Rooted Fire TV Software Update 51.1.4.1 Delayed

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The latest Fire TV software update, version 51.1.4.1_user_514013920, is currently rolling out to devices. Those of you with rooted Fire TVs are going to have to wait a bit longer than usually before a pre-rooted version of the update is made available. Rbox, the developer behind the pre-rooted software releases has hit a major snag. I captured the update URL and forwarded it over to rbox as I always do. He used it to create a pre-rooted version and loaded it onto his Fire TV. Everything seemed fine until he rebooted the device. After rebooting, the Fire TV was dead. Well, almost dead. It seems to be in some sort of Qualcomm recovery mode that is preventing the bootloader from loading.

No word on how long the delay will be or if the issue can even be resolved. I believe rbox has only one Fire TV, so if you haven’t done so yet, now would be a great time to donate to rbox and keep his motivation going. Let him know in the donation comment that AFTVnews sent you so he knows this community is thankful for his hard work. Without him, those with rooted Fire TVs would be faced with the difficult decision of either keeping root or updating every time a new Fire TV update is released.

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Say hello to my little friends

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Now that the Fire TV Stick has been released, the Amazon Appstore has become a bit more complex. Before, if you didn’t own a Game Controller, you just needed to check that an app supports the Fire TV remote before purchasing. Now you need to ensure an app is compatible with your type of Fire TV, regular or stick, in addition to checking remote compatibility. To help make your life easy, I’ll be including the above 4 icons in the main image whenever I write about an app. This way you’ll know at a glance whether the app is compatible with your hardware. From left to right is an icon for: the Fire TV, the Fire TV Stick, the remote control, and the game controller. If an app is compatible, the icon will be dark, and if it’s incompatible, the icon will be dim.

Check out the two free app deals I just wrote about to see the icons in action. And while you’re at it, please take note of the new “Shop Amazon” link in the main navigation menu. If you do all of your Amazon shopping through that link, it costs you nothing extra but tremendously helps keep this little site going. It truly is the #1 way you can support the site, so please try to keep it in mind as you take advantage of all the great Amazon deals this holiday season.

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Menu Item Remover Mod updated with 51.1.4.0 Compatibility

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Just a quick heads up for those who miss having the ability to hide unwanted home screen menu items. Fire TV software version 51.1.4.0 broke compatibility with the mod, but good news because rbox has updated the mod to work with the latest software version. Head on over to my guide to learn more about the mod and how to install it.

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BBC News App Released for US Residents

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Not to be outdone by the recently released CBS News app, the BBC has released a new BBC News app for US residents. Just like the CBS News app, this BBC News app is completely free and requires no cable subscription. However, that’s where the similarities end. This BBC News app for US Fire TV’s does not provide access to their live news broadcast like the UK version released last month. Instead , the app provides a “News in Video” playlist of recent news clips. There is also a menu of news categories like Health, Tech, Business, and Entertainment, however these categories bring up text articles with no accompanying videos.

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CBS brings Live News to Fire TV with new CBS News app

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A new CBS News app has just been released for the Amazon Fire TV. The app lets you stream live news coverage from CBS’s new 24/7 news station CBSN. In addition to the live stream, the app features on demand video from CBS’s other news programs, such as CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, and MoneyWatch. The app separates on demand video into several categories, including U.S., World, Politics, Entertainment, and Health. All of this content is free of charge with no cable subscription needed. Read more ›

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