Amazon Fire TV devices have always had the option to block apps under their parental control settings. The problem was, there was no easy way for an adult to bypass the restriction without disabling parental controls entirely. The new 188.8.131.52 software update addresses this annoyance by giving users the option to simply be prompted for their PIN when trying to launch an app that is being blocked. This allows adults to easily access Fire TV apps while restricting access to children, or any user that doesn’t have the parental control PIN code.
Under the Fire TV’s parental control settings, there is a new option called “PIN Protect App Launches.” With this option enabled, trying to launch any app will prompt the user for the parental control PIN in order to open the app. This setting affects all apps, including sideloaded apps. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to select specific apps to block.
The option to block apps and games under the “Block Content Types” menu remains. The new option to PIN protect apps and the old option to block apps by content type are a bit redundant. The difference between the two is if the new PIN option is enabled, the Fire TV will prompt for a PIN when trying to launch an app, and if the app content type block is enabled, the Fire TV will display a message informing the user they need to adjust parental controls when trying to launch apps. Unless you never want to use apps, the new option is definitely the better of the two.