My Downloader app should return to Google Play in 2 weeks, no thanks to Google

After 6 days of waiting, I received a reply yesterday from Google regarding the baseless removal of my Downloader app from the Google Play Store due to a ridiculous DMCA claim from Israeli TV firms. Google, after taking its sweet time, is taking a backseat to the situation and not reinstating my app at this time. Even though the claim that the web browser in my app is somehow liable for the copyright infringement occurring on some random website that I have nothing to do with is absurd to any sane person, Google is not intervening and is giving the TV firms that filed the DMCA notice their allotted 10 business days to either file “an action that seeks a court order to restrain” my app or file “a claim of infringement with the US Copyright Office.” Meanwhile, my app will remain suspended for at least two more weeks while it continues to bleed the user base I’ve spent over 5 years serving. Read more ›

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My Downloader app was absurdly removed from the Google Play Store because the built-in browser can load a piracy website

This past Friday, my Downloader app was suspended and removed from the Google Play Store due to an absurd Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint from a law firm representing several Israel cable/satellite TV companies, including Yes TV and Hot TV. The lawyer Eran Presenti claims that because my app’s web browser is able to load some specific “copyright infringing website” (e.g., piracy website), which I have no association with, that it somehow makes my app infringe his client’s copyright. Google has rejected my appeal so now I ask for your help. Read more ›

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AFTVnews turns 7 years old

Seven years ago today, I started this site because I thought it would be fun to share all the interesting things that could be done with the Fire TV. A small group of you started to visit the site regularly to see what I had to share. That turned into a few hundred people, then a few thousand, then tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands of people. Now there are millions of you reading my posts and using my apps on a regular basis. I’ve said it plenty of times but I’ll keep saying it. I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to turn this fun hobby into a full-time job that supports me and my family. I took a year “off” to see what it would be like working for Amazon on the other side of the Fire TV world but when I decided it wasn’t for me, you all were ready and waiting to welcome me back. I’ve been back almost a year now and I’m loving what I do here more than ever. Thank you for sticking with me and for your continued patronage.

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New page for Recent Comments on AFTVnews

Someone asked me if there was a way to see the most recent comments posted on AFTVnews in one place. I thought it was an interesting request, so, for anyone who is interested, you can now see the 50 latest comments at It’s just a simple page that, for each recent comment, displays the post title, the recent comment, and the quoted comment that is being replied to, if applicable. You can also get to the Recent Comments page through a link in the navigation menu at the top of the site.

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Introducing the AFTVnews URL Shortener for the Downloader App

I’m excited to announce the AFTVnews URL Shortener which makes using my Downloader App easier than ever. As you’d expect, entering any URL into the AFTVnews URL Shortener results in a short URL being created that points to the original URL. What makes the AFTVnews URL Shortener best for the Downloader App is that the two are integrated together so that you only need to enter the numeric code portion of the short URL to load it in the Downloader App. Read more ›

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Amazon Device Buyer’s Guide updated in time for Prime Day

I have just updated my Amazon Device Buyer’s Guide in time for Prime Day tomorrow. While considering all the Prime Day sales that are already live or coming soon, use the buyer’s guide to determine how good the deal is relative to past sales. The guide lists an “Okay,” “Good,” and “Great” price for nearly every device Amazon makes including Fire TVs, Echos, Fire Tablets, and Kindles. A “Great” price represents the lowest price the device has ever been or is expected to be, based on previous Prime Day and Black Friday sales. The buyer’s guide also lists when each device was released and how often Amazon updates each device, to help you get a sense of when a device is overdue for an update.

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A note about Android TV and Chromecast articles

Ever since I expanded my scope a bit in early 2015, I’ve always included a decent amount of non-Fire TV streaming device coverage on AFTVnews, but I haven’t gone into depth on my coverage of other platforms as I do for Fire TV devices, mostly due to lack of interest and time. While Android TV has certainly been the other platform to interest me and site visitors the most, the pricey hardware and stale UX have kept me from giving it more attention. With the release of the 2020 Chromecast as the first affordable Android TV device and the new Google TV interface, I’m going to try to increase my Android TV coverage and dive a bit deeper with guides and articles focused on those devices. A lot of you have been asking me to do this for some time, but I do want all the Fire TV owners to know that I’m by no means shifting the focus of AFTVnews. While there will likely be a surge of Android/Google TV, Chromecast, and Shield TV articles in the coming weeks while I cover some core functionality, I’ll still be prioritizing Fire TV articles and bring you all the same level of Amazon device coverage that you’ve become accustomed to from me.

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AFTVnews is back!

I’m excited to announce that AFTVnews and I are back! For those of you not aware, I started and ran AFTVnews for 5 years, from 2014 to 2019, and I was then offered a position with the Fire TV team at Amazon, which I accepted. That required me to step away from AFTVnews and I spent just over a year as a Product Manager for Fire TV at Amazon Lab126. I’ve now chosen to voluntarily resign from Amazon so that I can return to running AFTVnews and developing Fire TV apps. Read more ›

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My Next Chapter

When asked about how AFTVnews started, I usually say that I stumbled into it. Five years ago, I was a software engineer who was in between jobs and I was trying to figure out my next steps in life. I purchased a new gadget called the Amazon Fire TV that had just been released and I started to tinker with it. With plenty of time on my hands and a desire to fill it, I started this website to share what I had learned about the Fire TV and to help other owners get the most out of their device. I have never considered myself a writer or a journalist, and I certainly never thought that I’d make a living doing either, but the website simply continued to grow day after day, month after month, and year after year. Before I knew it, I was running this website full-time and loving every minute of it, but I’ve always had a desire to return to working in the tech industry, instead of just writing about it. A rare opportunity has now been presented to combine my affection for Fire TVs with my desire to work on tech again, that I couldn’t pass up. I’ve accepted a position with Amazon Lab126 as a Product Manager on the Fire TV team. Read more ›

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Amazon Device Buyer’s Guide updated to reflect 2018 Prime Day pricing

As I do after every major sale, I’ve given the Amazon Device Buyer’s Guide an overhaul as a result of Prime Day. For those not familiar with my buyer’s guide, it is a one-stop place to help you judge how good a particular sale is on Amazon’s hardware. For each device, an Okay, Good, and Great price are listed, where the Great price is usually as low as you can expect the device to be. I also list how long it has been since a device has been updated, as well as how long past models were available. This can give you a sense of whether a particular device will be updated soon. Interestingly, of the 24 products I have listed in my buyer’s guide, 20 of them were priced at or below their all-time lowest price during this year’s Prime Day. Of those 20 devices, 11 were priced lower during this year’s Prime Day than they had ever been in the past. That’s more new all-time low prices than any past sale has had.

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