Fire TV YouTube app gets updated. Or did it?

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The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s YouTube app just received a complete interface overhaul, bringing it up to date with the design direction Google is using on Android TV devices like the Nexus Player. You may, however, be surprised to learn that the app itself did not receive an update. Even if you have automatic app updates disabled, you’ll find that your YouTube app now uses the new interface. That’s because the YouTube app for Fire TV devices is an HTML5 app. What that means is the app is actually just a wrapper for a web-based interface. All the app does is load a slightly customized version of YouTube.com/tv. Since the app’s interface is retrieved dynamically from YouTube’s servers every time the app is launched, it allows YouTube to “update” the app at will anytime.

The new YouTube interface emphasizes the “What to Watch” area more so than ever. Your subscribed video stream is now tucked away in a hidden menu with no indication the menu even exists on the app’s home screen. This falls in line with the direction YouTube has been taking with their app and web interfaces. They’ve been wanting to push users toward a video stream they’ve curated for you, rather than one you’ve curated for yourself. Let us know in the comments how you feel about the new interface and the focus on curated content.

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16 comments
  1. lowbee says:

    I like it

  2. Jeff says:

    I don’t like the way it puts recommended channels in among your subscriptions. So if you’re scrolling down through your subscriptions, you now need to scroll passed a few channels you have no interest in…

    Kind of a lame workaround is to access the hidden menu and select a channel from your subscriptions list.

  3. John says:

    I wish this site had a discussion forum for discussing all AF TV/Stick and apps.

  4. jeff says:

    whatever with the update. what I dont like, is that it does not close. home button is the only choice to close youtube app.

  5. Mark C. says:

    My app hasn’t changed.

  6. Liam says:

    This is horrible. It looks like it’s been stretched out from a 2-3 year old smartphone. I can’t even get it to work, half the YouTube logo is missing, flashes when I scroll fast and crashes when I play something.

    Not cool at all. I like the red of the sidebar, that’s about it. But all as I want is a flat, functional YouTube.

    The FireTV is so capable- why can’t they make us an app instead of this generic buggy one?

    I would use a different YT app but I like to pair my phone so ahh I’m going crazy.

  7. Katie says:

    Does anybody know how to view all of your playlists on this new YouTube app on the fire stick? I have been trying to view all videos in a playlist and also all of my playlists. Hopefully there will be another update to fix this. Thanks for any help anybody can give.

    • Khadijah says:

      I’m so sad that no one has responded to you, Katie. I created a playlist just for doing my workout vids, and I went to play it on my new Fire stick on my Samsung TV, and it will now show up, In fact, none of my other playlists show up besides Favorites and Liked Videos. And those are not even up to date or accurate. Why isn’t the YouTube Fire stick app displaying all of our playlists and updating our accounts?

    • Fenrisfil says:

      You are not alone. I’m baffled that it seems the only way to access my own playlists is to create a new youtube account and subscribe to my main accounts playlists! That is insane!

  8. Ujn Hunter says:

    What’s worse than Apps forcing you to update to the latest version? Apps that automatically update without you knowing about it!

  9. Jme says:

    HTML5 wrappers for an app isn’t on. There should really be a native YouTube app. The app feels, a bit … doesn’t feel solid.

    Also, I can’t output any video from the YouTube app, at all. I’ve tried restarting and reinstalling YouTube.

  10. lMike says:

    Does anybody know where or how can u get this (HTML5) APP from,
    whithout having a Fire TV/Stick.

    I have an chinese Android Box and i only have the standard Phone/Tablet Youtube App (wich does not work with a Remote Controll), and accessing youtube.com/tv from Browser doesen’t work anymore.

    I try’ed downloading this App from amazon but it say’s “Your device is not compatible” instead of Download or Install, how can i bipass that? (Its only an android app so it should work on other devices, but where to get the app)?

  11. Michelle says:

    I am SO frustrated with this app. The playlists that you have to access through View More are not that accessible. I have to just watch all of them instead of selecting which videos I want because I haven’t found an easy way to scroll through them. Maybe I’m not holding my tongue right?!

  12. john pyskaty says:

    Ok my subscriptions were listed with their arm twisting aka facebook control of what is trending. They now are all gone, unless they have gone a step further and inserted them in the topics.
    Very frustrating. I remember one time I selected a video on Djinn, because I enjoy stores about mythical creatures. Big mistake. For the next two months the recommended was over whelming stocked with videos positive about the religion of child molesters and rapists. Now when they block out my favorite because I clicked on something they are pushing, I have to run a search. Subscriptions totally gone. Has to really hurt the people that run popular channels that Youtube does not politically agree with.
    A good plan if they are more interested in politics than making money from advertising.

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