New Fire TV software update changes the way you arrange Apps and Channels

A new software update has started to roll out to Amazon Fire TV devices. The only change I’ve found so far with this update is a change to how apps you have installed and the channels you are subscribed to are arranged on both the home screen and the app grid. The option to move items has been replaced with a new option to pin items to the front of your list of apps and channels. This has been done because new apps you install and new channels you subscribe to will now automatically appear at the front of your list of apps and channels, making them easier to find. Pinning an app or channel gives it priority over new items and keeps it at the front of the list.

The problem that Amazon is trying to address with this change is not being able to find, or easily get to, a new app you installed or a new channel you subscribed to. With the old behavior, new apps and channels were always added to the end of your list of apps/channels, so that they didn’t disturb your manually organized app/channel arrangement. This made new items difficult to find for novice users. I constantly receive emails from people claiming that Amazon blocked sideloading or that my Downloader app is broken because they can’t find the app they just installed. Every time, it’s simply because they didn’t scroll to the end of their app list, where new apps appear.

Since new apps/channels now automatically appear at the front of your list, the option to pin an app/channel has been introduced so that you have a way to keep certain items at the front, regardless of what new apps you install or channels you subscribe to in the future. The main issue with the new pinning behavior is that there is now no easy way to rearrange the items that you want at the front of your app/channel list.

If you pin items in the reverse order that you want them to appear, then you’ll be able to control the order of your apps/channels since the last item you pinned will always go to the front of the list. If you ever need to rearrange the list, you’ll need to unpin everything and repin in the desired order that you want. This is certainly a nightmare, but it seems like it’s only going to be a temporary issue.

I’ve been told that Amazon will be adding a way to more easily organize the items you pin in a future update. It seems like they wanted to address the issue of not being able to find new items first and then circle back to add back in the lost functionality of easily rearranging items.

The new pinning functionality is currently rolling out in software update 5.2.6.9 (build 632552020) to older Fire TV devices. So far, I’ve only confirmed that the Fire TV 1 and Fire TV 2 have received this update, but I assume other models will also receive it or a similar update. Let me know in comments if you receive this update on other models and if you notice any other changes.

Update

I’m told this update is rolling out to the Fire TV Stick 1 and Fire TV Stick 2 as well.

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36 comments
  1. John O'Connell says:

    What’s the deal with the latest update on my firestick? I can’t sign in because I have a network connection lost message but I can’t override it.

  2. Keith says:

    Yuk! More “change for change’s sake!

  3. Mike Hurlbut says:

    Half the bloatware apps that are preloaded on a firestick or fire TV didnt work for me since day 1. So I just took them out and didnt give them a second thought

    • Randy Randerson says:

      Sounds like an instance where the needs of a few outweigh the needs of the many in Amazon’s mind. It’s ridiculous that they updated the software and instead of getting closer to Roku’s UI they managed to make it even worse.

  4. Adam Johns says:

    I have a problem with not having Amazon app store on my list if apps. Unless you consider the Amazon app developers crap. Anyone else have apps missing? I cannot even get my downloader to download it.

  5. Y2Bogus says:

    This seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

  6. Topher S says:

    They need to do a complete overhaul of the UI by redoing the clunky menu columns at the top, simply the mess of rows that they organize the way they want, and do away with banners. It’s an ungodly mess and eyesore full of crap many users have no use for.

    If what I’ve read is correct, Roku has made the poor choice to emulate the UI to some extent. Eventually they’re going to use the Roku Channel as the default landing page which features the services and subscriptions they offer.

  7. leon says:

    So thats why I couldn’t move my apps.. its an *-ing nightmare.

  8. wayneg says:

    Why root? Why block updates? Hmmmmmmm

  9. Ant says:

    I have a fire TV cube. I just got a software update today, I can’t find any info on what the changes were, Fire OS 6.2.6.0 (N6260/1840) Fire TV home version 6.1.3.1-004 any info on this?

    Thank you

  10. Frank Nitty says:

    Anybody figure out a way to root the 4k firesticks yet

    • BossSystem says:

      It’s a disaster not to be able anymore to rearrange the main apps screen…why change something that was working? If really Amazon wants to put the latest downloaded app in front fine but why remove such a comfy function and get people upset removing such an easy simple useful tool?

      • Frank Nitty says:

        If you so resentfully feel that way a/b the user interface on Amazon TV devices, you can easily change it w/ a home launcher via ADB so its presentation suits your workflow just to address your sentiment. However, that does not address my original question where I asked has anyone rooted the 4K firestick so please stay on topic if you don’t mind.

  11. James P Updike says:

    The ugly UI and overload of ads finally made me jump to Nvidia shield. Now i have no ads and i can make my screen look EXACTLY how J want it…

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      Except an outdated Hulu app, Boomerang, DCUniverse and casting is annoying.

      Nvidia shield for me is a replacement for the underpowered RetroPie.

      • James P Updike says:

        The hulu app sucks, but I do have one with the modern ui that works, even though it has ours own annoying quirks. I have no need for boomerang or dcuniverse, so that’s fine.

  12. Tony Ramirez says:

    UI should be like the Roku channels on the left and ads on the right side only and yes I do have a Roku too.

  13. badbob001 says:

    I haven’t gotten this update yet but the pinning option seems like a good feature. My father-in-law likes to randomly try different apps and the main apps he needs get pushed down the list.

  14. Pete says:

    Just install the HALauncher app and pin it to the front. Much more user friendly and looks great. You can organize apps any which way you like. And the look and layout is light years ahead of the Amazon stick user interface.

  15. Joe says:

    Whomever came up with the bright idea to remove the MOVE APP feature should be removed themselves from being able to make future changes. It makes absolutely no sense.

  16. Rimon Kade says:

    It’s not part of the Options menu, but you can still move apps, you just have to long-press Select to enter that mode.

    • Joe says:

      I tried holding down the Select button and nothing happens except the app opens when I release… So the app update still officially sucks!

  17. Bradley says:

    Wow, what a garbage update! Makes me wonder if I made a mistake getting the firestick. The customization of the homepage was restrictive enough as it was. Now it’s a nightmare whenever I need to reorder my apps. >:(

  18. Dale says:

    Amazon bord meeting, so guys and girls. What bright ideas do you have for the new update

    Business people: Umm… We have Nothing new to offer.

    Sundderly Waiter come in with the tea, coffee and food, I have a idea, you could remove a feature, the ability to move apps and instead you can pin the ones you like.

    Business people, we will do that, thanks that will be a apil 1st joke, now get out, oh and your fired.

    Just a apil 1st joke BTW (at least it should be)

  19. Gabe says:

    All they had to do is leave everything the way it was and the only change that should have been made is when you download a new app, have it show up in the front rather than the end. That way the user can easily find their new app and still have the option to arrange the apps how they feel free to. Ugh, the stupidity.

  20. Bob says:

    This is driving me nuts and I agree with Gabe. Could not find anywhere to complain. Any links to feedback that might get read but Amazon people and fix this quicker?

  21. Michael Thomas says:

    Way to go Amazon. You finally get the Apple award for screwing up something that wasn’t broken.

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