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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AFTVnews turns 4 years old

Four years ago today, I started this site on a whim because I thought I could help a few people get a little more out of their new TV gadget. It’s still just me on this end running the site on my own, but there are now millions of you reading what I have to say and using my apps. Thank you so much for your patronage. It allows me to support my family with this site, which, in turn, gives me more time with them than I likely ever would have had otherwise. My older son just turned three a few days ago and his baby brother recently started standing up on his own. I’m looking forward to the years to come. Thank you for being part of the wonderful and supportive community that has formed around this site.

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Please excuse this week’s temporary slow down

If you’re a regular of AFTVnews, you may notice that there will likely be fewer and shorter posts this week than you may be used to from me. That’s because my wife and I welcomed our second son this morning, so I won’t be able to give the site my usual attention. I’ll try to cover major topics as soon as I can, but please excuse my delay and brevity for the time being. I appreciate your support and understanding.

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Keeping in touch with AFTVnews on Twitter, Facebook, and beyond

Apart from the links in the footer of the site, I’ve never posted anything about my social media accounts. I’ve always just let people stumble across them on their own. Since news has been a bit slow this week, I figured now would be a good time to post about the various ways you can keep in touch if you’d like.

Twitter: @AFTVnews is the main account for the site where I post every article I write, for those who want them in their Twitter feed. I’m most responsive on Twitter of all social media accounts, but I’ll usually reply from my personal Twitter account, which is @Elias. I also recently created @AFTVnewsApps where I’ve been posting weird/dumb/strange reviews of my app for those interested in face-palm inducing chuckles.

Facebook: The main account is which is where I post all articles for those who want AFTVnews in their Facebook news feed. There is also an AFTVnews Community Facebook Group where people are free to discuss anything. Everyone who asks to join is approved and anyone can approve others. I keep my personal Facebook account private, but I do have a public profile at that I occasionally post on.

Other: Twitter and Facebook are the main ways to keep in touch outside of the site, but there is also an Email List if you want to receive new articles in your inbox. There’s also of course an RSS Feed for those wanting to use an external reader. I’ve also considered adding browser notifications for new posts, so let me know in the comments if that’s something you would use.

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New site navigation menu

I just spent some time redesigning the site’s navigation menu (that gray thing at the top). Please let me know (preferably with screenshots/photos) in the comments if it looks or acts strange on any of your devices.

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