How to disable Prime Photos from your Fire TV

Prime Photos app is a nice feature which is installed by default on your Amazon Fire TV. Prime Photos app (Android and iOS) enables you to get unlimited photos and up to 5GB of videos and files. However, the photos are not in their original size. There is a neat feeling that you know all of your pictures you take on your phone is automatically backed up and you can view them on your Fire TV almost instantaneously when you get home. By default, the app will sync the photos on your phone with your Prime photos account the moment you connect via Wi-Fi. For most of us, that means our home.

With that said, there are some of us who do not want people to access your photos uploaded to Prime Photos on your Fire TV.

Here is how to disable Prime Photos from your Fire TV.

First, you go to settings -> applications -> Prime Photos






Navigate to ‘Access Prime Photos’






Disable it.







Unfortunately, this is all you can do. As Prime Photos is installed by default, you cannot uninstall the app entirely from your Fire TV.

How to get the best out of Amazon Prime Day deals

This is the 3rd year Amazon has had their Amazon Prime Day deals. To be honest, many people were disappointing especially the first year as there were not many deals to be had and the items that were discounted were not that desirable. Amazon has learned from this but last year their top discounted items went out of stock really quickly. I mean it went out in seconds! However, if you have been eying Amazon product line such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Tap, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire Pad, or Kindle, then you may be in luck!

Here are some Q and A on Amazon Prime Day

When: Amazon Deals start 9pm Eastern Time on July 10 for 30 hours

What: A little bit of everything from all categories will be discounted highlighted by Amazon’s own product line

How: In my opinion, Amazon set up this day to ramp up sales and help merchants get rid of inventory during July as it is distant from Christmas shopping season. They invite merchants to participate by cutting their prices down significantly to be featured.

What if I don’t have prime? You are in luck! Try out the free 30 day trial. If you are a student, sign up for the free 6 month trial at no cost.

Will the Amazon App and Website have the same deals? Yes it will.

How to get the best out of my Alexa? Amazon is offering additional discount if you order using Alexa. If you place an order $20 or more, you get $10 credit if you order from Alexa. Not only this, you have access to deals 2 hours early.

Below are my top choices:

The Element 4K TV Amazon Fire TV Edition is out!

Amazon released the Element 4K TV Fire TV edition which kind a raised eye brows. An Amazon Fire TV that is a TV? It can be a fun play on words but why would Amazon do this for what reason? The Element Ultra HD smart 4K TV integrates Amazon’s Alexa features with Prime and can be integrated with over-the-air HD content all in one homescreen. You do not need a separate Amazon Fire TV to utilize the Fire TV features as it is all built it. The 43″ is currently selling for $449.99.

Some more features:

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)
Refresh rate: 120Hz / 60Hz (for 4K UHD)
Processor: Quad-core T1-938
GPU: ARM Mali Multi-core 3D GPU3GB
Memory: 3 GB
Storage: 16GB internal
Ports: HDMI x 4 (HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2), Component/Composite x 1, Optical SPDIF x 1, TV/DTV x 1, USB 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 1, Ethernet x 1 (10/100/1000Mbp), VGA x 1, Headphone x 1, RCA Input x 1
Wi-Fi: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO). Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 + LE, with support for HFP and A2DP for private listening via Bluetooth headphones, HID, and SPP
Streaming resolution: 2160p, 1080p, and 720p up to 60fps

Comparison Chart:

The remote will have a voice button so you can press to talk to Alexa similar to your 2nd gen Fire TV remote.

As of now, you cannot buy this particular remote for the Element Fire TV edition by itself.

It will have other streaming apps such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and others what you would expect on your Fire TV stick. This is a great way to get Fire TV feature if you were looking for a TV. You can get the Element Fire TV edition and not have to buy a separate Fire TV.

Rumor – Amazon planning a 4K device between Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Amazon’s own streaming device – Fire TV, has been extremely success. The Fire TV sells for $89.99 and the Fire TV Stick with the Alexa Voice Remote goes for $39.99. As of today, both items are out of stock and you need to wait till it gets in stock in 4/5 and 4/15 respectively. The Fire TV Stick is great for someone who doesn’t want to break bank but want to make their ‘dumb’ TV smart and utilize their Prime membership. The Fire TV is for those who want to enable 4K, more storage, and faster processor.

With 4K content becoming more widely available, Amazon may be bucking the trend again with the mid-level Fire TV that would sit between the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick. AFTV News found a GNX benchmark test on 2/7 with codename “AFTN”. Is that Fire TV Next-gen? It comes standard with Android 7, quad core CPU @ 1.5GHz using Amlogic Cortex A53 ARMv8 chip, ARM Mali – 450 graphics chip, 1.5GB of RAM, 4.4 GB of storage. This will support not only 4K but also HDR content.

It is possible this may replace the Fire TV Stick.

Difference between Fire TV Stick and Chromecast Ultra

chromecast-ultra-1Google announced their latest streaming device, the Chromecast Ultra. Chromecast Ultra is the next step to Chromecast where you can simply plug the device into the HDMI port and cast content from the Internet. While the Fire TV Stick is a good competitor to Chromecast, Chromecast has a slight edge in terms of featured content. A lot of apps support Chromecast and even some TV’s have Google’s Casting built in such as Vizio‘s Smartcast. With Chromecast, you can cast content from Youtube and from a Chrome browser. Neat!

What Chromecast distinguished itself apart from the Fire TV Stick is the capability to stream in 4K Ultra HD / HDR. For Amazon, only the Fire TV has this capability.

Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s advantage is its access to Prime videos and its library. Amazon also has more 4K content as well as exclusive content. Google Play is lacking in this area.

Both have mirroring capabilities from their respective phones but Google may have a slight edge over the ease of use.

At this event, Google also announced Google Home which has its AI, Google Assistant, which will seamlessly integrate information from various Google apps from calendar, maps, traffic, and location to give you information such as news and weather. Although Amazon’s Alexa is amazing, it doesn’t compare to the integrated offering that Google can offer. This is when the Fire phone’s failure is coming to bite Amazon.

Chromecast Ultra Amazon Fire TV Stick – Gen 2 Amazon Fire TV – 2nd Gen
Launched Nov. 2016 Sep-16 Dec. 2015
Price $69 $39.99 $99.99
HD Type All up to 4K, Ultra HD, HDR Up to 1080p – 60hz up to 2160p 4K – 30Hz
Chip CPU Marvell Armada 1500 Mni Plus Mediatek 8127D
Quad-core ARM 1.3Ghz
MediaTek 8173C
Quad-core ARM Cortex A72 (2x2Ghz, 2×1.6Ghz)
RAM 512mb 1GB 2GB
Storage 256mb 8GB 8GB
Connectivity HDMI, Wifi, Ethernet (adopter) Bluetooth 4.1, Micro USB, HDMI, WiFi Bluetooth 4.1, Micro USB, HDMI, WiFi, Ethernet, Dolby
Dimension 52x52x13.5mm 86x30x12.6mm 115x115x17.8mm
Weight 40g 32g 270g
Remote No Yes Yes

New Fire TV Stick Comparison and Difference

What is the difference between first and second generation Fire TV Stick? Here is a run down of the old and new Fire TV Stick. Most notable change is the cpu. The first gen Fire TV stick used a Dual Core 2xARM A9 chip by Broadcom. The new Fire TV Stick sports a Quad-Core ARM CPU by MediaTek with speed of 1.3GHz. The WiFi and Bluetooth technology has aso improved. The voice search function with Alexa is not default whereas the first gen model didn’t have voice search capabilities.

another subtle change is that the warranty went from a full year to now only 90 days. We also saw this change for the Amazon Echo Dot which is set to be released on Oct.

Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Gen)
Size 3.3 x 1.0 x 0.5 in. (84.9 x 25.0 x 11.5 mm) 3.4″ x 1.2″ x 0.5″ (85.9 mm x 30.0 mm x 12.6 mm)
Weight 0.9 oz. (25.1g) 1.1 oz. (32.0 g)
Processor Broadcom, Dual-core 2xARM A9 up to 1 GHz MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz
GPU VideoCore4 Mali450 MP4
Storage 8 GB internal 8 GB internal
Memory 1 GB 1 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO); supports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks. Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2×2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 3.0 with support for the following profiles: HID, SPP Bluetooth 4.1
Voice Search Support Yes, requires Fire TV Voice Remote (sold separately) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android OS, and iOS) Yes, with Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)
Game Controller Support Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers
Cloud Storage All Amazon Cloud Drive customers start with 5 GB of free storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Ports HDMI output, Micro USB for power only HDMI output, Micro USB for power only
Audio Support Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Content Formats Supported Video: H.264, Video: H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30,
Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Audio: AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
Output Resolution Supported 720p and 1080p up to 60fps 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
System Requirements High-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet. High-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet.
TV Compatibility Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from these manufacturers: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse, and others.
Warranty and Service 1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Use of Fire TV Stick is subject to the terms found here. 90-day Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-year and 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire TV Stick is subject to the terms found here.
Regional Support Certain services may not be available outside the U.S. Certain services may not be available outside the U.S.
Closed Captioning Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content. Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content.
Included in the Box Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Remote Alexa Voice Remote
5′ USB cable and power adapter USB cable and power adapter
HDMI extender cable HDMI extender
2 AAA batteries 2 AAA batteries
Quick Start Guide Quick Start Guide
Amazon Fire TV Remote Alexa Voice Remote
Size 4.7 x 1.6 in x 0.5 in (119.0 x 40.4 x 13.8mm) 1.5″ x 5.9″ x 0.7″ (38.4 mm x 150.7 mm x 16.7 mm)
Weight 2 oz. with batteries inserted (56.9 grams) 2.4 oz (68 g) with batteries / 1.6 oz (45 g) without batteries
Batteries 2 AAA (included) 2 AAA (included)
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Buttons 5-way directional, select, back, home, menu, rewind, play/pause, fast forward Voice button, navigation, select, menu, back, home, rewind, play/pause, fast forward
Battery Life Up to 12 months battery life with typical use

Preorder New Amazon Fire Stick – Alexa now!

new-amazon-fire-tv-stickAmazon just made available their latest Amazon Fire TV Stick! The new Amazon Fire TV stick is priced at $39.99 which is the same as their first generation but $10 less than the Amazon Fire TV Stick with the voice control.


They are offering a promotion right now where you will get $65 worth of subscription for sling, hulu, and Amazon. The promotion includes the following although it is not exactly clear how the credit is broken down. Sling should be $10 / month. Hulu has various models based on content and comemrcials.

  • 1 month sling
  • 2 months of Hulu
  • $10 of credit for Amazon

All will require credit card when you sign up and you will need to be a new customer. You can simply use another e-mail from the one you are using.

Amazon Releases Widely Popular 2nd Gen Echo Dot

2nd-gen-echo-dot-whiteAmazon releases it’s widely popular Echo Dot and added a new color – white. In a surprise move, Amazon made available for pre-ordering the 2nd Gen. Echo Dot. The Amazon Echo Dot was launched along with the Tap and was a huge hit. It quickly sold out and was never restocked. Now we know why. We first found out about the 2nd Gen Echo Dot on a pre-maturely tweet sent by @amazonecho official twitter page yesterday which stole the thunder a bit. In the tweet, it was revealed the updated price of $49.99 which is $30 below the first generation. The tweet was promptly deleted. We don’t know if this prompted Amazon to move up the launch but it is now available for pre-order.

The Echo Dot allows for you to make your Bluetooth speakers ‘smart’. It can also enable you to access Alexa for your Amazon services such as e-reader, Prime library, music library, and streaming services. It can also enable you to access information through Wikipedia and other skills you can add. Without a speaker, you can still add to your to-do list and calendars and set alarms.

Buy one now here:

Trigger Alexa with Fire TV remote

fire tv remote alexaIn May, Amazon enable Alexa on its Fire TV remote. This allowed Fire TV owners to use Alexa as you had an Amazon Echo. If you already have an Echo, then this would not be foreign to you.

Movies / TV
With Alexa, you can trigger it to control a movie. You can ask Alexa to play a movie, TV show. It will also search from your active add-on subscriptions as well as third party apps. You can also use it to trigger a certain app.

Play the movie [title]
Start playing the TV show [title]
Launch the app [title]
Open the [title] app

You can also trigger music you have on your Prime Music library to simply listen to one of the Prime stations. You can rate a song by saying you like it or do not like the song. This will help Alexa rate the type of song it chooses for you. You can completely skip songs or rewind but cannot fast forward or rewind or change volume. Bummer. This is possible with Echo.

Audible and eBooks
Through Alexa, you can use your Fire TV to read eligible Kindle books in your library. You can even see the title and book cover on your TV. Neat!

News Flash Briefing
One great feature I love with Alexa is that you can ask her to read you the news flash. Go into the Alexa app and select your news source. You can select national, international, local news, sports, and weather source / location. All you say is “Alexa, What’s my news flash?” or “Alexa, Whats my flash briefing?” and it will read a 5-10 min briefing of the latest news from what you selected. I use it when I sit down and enjoy my breakfast. You can also set up your commute location and it’ll give you the congestion condition!

No surprise to anyone, you can use Alexa to buy things on Amazon. It is a bit clumsy as you need to know the exact item you are interested in buying in order to buy through Alexa. If you ask Alexa to buy something, it will select the top result for that category and display the item. It is a bit easier to re-order something if it is something you have purchased in the past such as detergent, razor blades, diapers for example.

Weather / Traffic
Asking Alexa for the weather is also another one of my favorites. My kids use this almost every day to determine if they can wear shorts for the day! I don’t use the traffic much as I don’t commute to an office 🙂

Q&A / Jokes
This is kind of an easter egg hunt. You can ask “Alexa, how are you doing today?” or “Alexa, good morning” and she will read back a quote or a comment.

Alexa also has access to a database of facts. You can ask how far you are to say New York city, ask for conversion such as cooking, time zone, and more. You can ask celebrities or athlete’s age!

Lists (To do / Shopping)
Alexa can aggregate shopping list and to do list. You can use it as a personal assistant to remind you to do something and check it on your Fire TV or on your app later. You can also have Alexa read out your shopping or to do list using your remote.

There are much much more features which you can do with sports scores, movie info, local search, and some features which are voice only where nothing will display on your Fire TV. For all features, check out:


PBS Kids and Amazon Prime TV!

20160630_211552_911217_pressimageCan you watch shows like Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood?
Do you like Wild Kratts?
How about Odd Squad, Dinosaur Train, Nature Cat, and Ready Jet Go!

Well you are in luck. Amazon signed a deal with PBS Kids to be the exclusive premium subscription service on their Prime video service. This is an agreement that will span multiple years. For people with Amazon Prime membership, you will be able to watch PBS Kids on the PC through through a web browser or use the Amazon Video App. I just gave this a try and a quick search yielded 53 TV show results! Some are individual videos and some are entire season series so the actual videos are much much more.

2016-07-02 17.41.13And of course, you can watch PBS Kids through Amazon videos through Fire TV stick, Fire TV, or Fire tablets.