Plex can now sync Watched State and User Ratings across multiple Plex Servers

Plex has added a new feature that can sync watch state and user ratings between multiple Plex servers. So, if you have multiple Plex servers with the same content, the content will be marked as watched (or unwatched) on all of them when the state of one server changes. This also means that content you watch on a friend’s server will also be marked as watched on your own server, if you both have the same content. The same syncing occurs for user star ratings for content. Read more ›

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Amazon overhauls Prime Video app on Fire TVs and other devices

Amazon is giving its Prime Video app a full redesign. A newly overhauled app is starting to roll out now to Fire TV devices, as well as other streaming platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and game consoles. The new design closely resembles other streaming apps, such as Netflix, with the navigation menu changed from being a horizontal menu across the top, so a slim vertical menu across the left side. Read more ›

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YouTube’s mobile app will soon sync with what you’re watching on your Fire TV’s YouTube app

YouTube has announced a new feature that allows the YouTube app on your phone to sync up with what you’re watching on your TV’s YouTube app, via TechCrunch. If while watching YouTube on a device like a Fire TV, you can then open the YouTube app on your phone and you’ll see a prompt to connect the mobile app to the TV app. This “reverse-casting” will then allow you to view comments and other YouTube aspects for the YouTube video being played on your TV. Read more ›

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Crackle releases revamped app for Amazon Fire TV devices

Crackle has announced the release of its revamped app on Amazon Fire TV devices. The new Crackle app is apparently rebuilt to be faster than the old one, along with having new content and video playback interface screens. The new app will now autoplay the next episode in a series and provide content recommendations personalized to you. If you’re unaware, Crackle is a free ad-supported streaming service similar to Pluto, Tubi, and Xumo. It was originally launched and owned by Sony but was sold to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. a few years ago. I believe this is the first big update to the app since the new owners aquired it, so if you’re looking for a new free app to try, give Crackle a concideration.

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New app ‘IMDb What to Watch’ launches exclusively on Fire TV to help you find recommendations through games

Amazon has launched a new app called IMDb What to Watch to help you find new movies and TV shows to watch. It does this through three different game-like interaction methods to make flipping through recommendations a bit more fun than the usual endless lists that you usually scroll through when trying to figure out what to watch. Read more ›

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Paid Fire TV apps and those with in-app purchases will be temporarily unavailable in the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden

Amazon has contacted Fire TV app developers to inform them that paid apps and apps with any in-app purchasing options will be temporarily unavailable in the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden. This means that many apps, including my own Downloader app, will not be installable on Fire TV Sticks in those regions. Read more ›

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The best Fire TV puzzle-adventure game, Machinarium, is on sale for $0.99 — Down from $4.99

The puzzle-adventure game Machinarium is on sale for $0.99. This is easily my favorite puzzle game for Fire TV devices and one of my favorite Fire TV games overall. The game normally costs $4.99 and this sale matches the lowest it has ever been. Machinarium is similar to “escape” games, where you need to figure out the correct combination of items to find and tasks to complete in a given space to progress to the next area of the game. It’s perfect for casual players and even those that have never tried a Fire TV game before because it moves at your own pace with simple controls. Those basic controls allow it to work with the Fire TV remote, so you don’t need to have a game controller to play. The game is compatible with every Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Smart TV model. Other Fire TV games that are currently on sale include all Jackbox party games, all Final Fantasy games, and the Monster RPG games.

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Zoom app arives on Amazon Omni Series Fire TV Smart TVs for 2-way video calling

Fire TV Omni Series Smart TVs are now compatible with the Zoom app for two-way video conferencing. These TVs are only the second Fire TV models to work with Zoom, after the Fire TV Cube was the first to gain compatibility earlier this year. To use Zoom with either a Fire TV Omni Series Smart TV or a Fire TV Cube, you need to connect a USB camera to the Fire TV. Amazon recommends the Logitech C920 (1080p, ~$65), Logitech C922x (1080p, ~$80), and Logitech C310 (720p, ~$27) webcams, but any cameras that support the USB Video Class (UVC) standard with at least 720p resolution and 30fps will work. Once the camera is connected to the Smart TV’s USB port or the Fire TV Cube’s microUSB port with an adpater, like these from StarTech, UGREEN, and CableCreation, you can launch the Zoom app and login. If your calendar is linked to Alexa and your Zoom meting is on your calendar, you can say “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting” to automatically join your next meeting.

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Spotify app on Amazon Fire TVs now displays moving Lyrics

Spotify has updated its Fire TV app with the ability to display full-screen lyrics that move in sync with the playing song, like a Karaoke machine, as spotted by a Reddit user. When playing a song with available lyrics, a new button appears in the lower right corner of the screen labeled “Show Lyrics.” Selecting it switches to the full-screen view shown above with lyrics being highlighted and scrolling up as the song progresses. The background color of the lyric screen changes color to match a dominant color found in the album art of the song that is currently playing. If you’ve been using Alexa to play your Spotify tunes on your Fire TV, perhaps give the actual Spotify app a try if the new lyric feature sounds appealing. A tip is to leave the app by pressing the HOME button on your remote and then press the PLAY button to resume your music in the background. This allows you to use other apps or browse content while music from the Spotify app continues to play.

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Downloader v1.4.3 released with GitHub compatibility fix and Browser included on Android/Google TV by default

Last week, GitHub made a change to how it serves files which was incompatible with Downloader. Since many app projects are hosted on GitHub, this resulted in Downloader displaying an error that read “URL needs authorization” when trying to download files hosted by GitHub. I’ve fixed the issue in Downloader version 1.4.3 and the updated version is already live in the Amazon Appstore for Fire TV devices and the Google Play Store for Android/Google TV devices. In the past, Google absurdly would not allow Downloader to have its built-in browser included by default, even though there are plenty of stand-alone browsers already in the Google Play Store for Android/Google TV devices. I gave it another try this time and Google finally approved Downloader with the browser included, so, as of v1.4.3, the browser plugin is no longer required for Android/Google TV devices.

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