A new software update for the Amazon Fire TV started rolling out to devices yesterday. Unlike the previous update which rolled out very slowly to only a small number of devices and then stopped, this update appears to be rolling out much faster. This update is expected to eventually make its way to all Fire TVs since Amazon has made this update official by listing it on their official software page, which is something they don’t do for every update.
For the most part, this update brings very few changes to the Fire TV. The most notable change is that this update is the first widespread update which blocks the current rooting method. Other then that, this update is primarily polishing up the settings menu and preparing the Fire TV for this weeks German release. Read on for a complete list, with screenshots, of all the changes I’ve discovered in this update.
Apps from Unknown Sources
The option to allow app installs from unknown sources has been added. This does not affect sideloading apps via ADB or one of the Fire TV utilities that exist. You can sideload apps onto the Fire TV with this new setting set to off or on. This setting allows apps running on the Fire TV to install new apps. For example, many file explorers have the ability to install apps. Previously, you would receive an error message when trying to install apps from a file explorer. Now, with this new setting set to “ON”, you will not receive an error and can install apps using other apps. I’ll be posting more about this feature and how it can be used very soon.
- German Language
A new option to select a language has been added under the “System” menu. Currently, there is only one option other than English, and that’s German. This is no doubt in preparation for the Fire TV being released in Germany later this week on September 25th. This may mean that the international Fire TV software will be identical to the American Fire TV software, just with different defaults set.
A new option labeled “Feedback” has been added to the Help menu. Selecting the option simply opens information on how you can give Amazon comments about your experience with the Fire TV. They instruct you to send feedback to the email address:
- Crackle & Showtime Integration
The Fire TV is now aware of movies and shows available through the Crackle and Showtime Anytime apps. When viewing the details of a movie or show, a “Watch now with …” option may appear if the video is available from somewhere other than Amazon. If it doesn’t appear, the option will be inside the “More Ways to Watch” menu.
Fonts overall are slightly smaller with this update. Labels which used to consist of all capital letters are now upper and lowercase. text which used to be pure white is now a slightly dimmer off white color. Additionally, some labels have been renamed.
- Screen Saver Options
The Screen Saver options have been completely overhauled. The options now have a unique interface which shows a live preview of the currently configured screen saver behind the list of options.
- Input Interface
The keyboard and all other on-screen input interfaces have been given a makeover. The various input interfaces seem more tailored for the specific task. For example, the interface to enter your parental control PIN now has 5 dashes to indicate a 5 digit PIN instead of just a white text field. Additionally, the PIN interface conceals the entered digits now, where as before they stayed visible in the text field until you clicked next.
- Easier to Read Tips
The quick tips in the help section now open up in a larger pop-up window instead of just being displayed next to the tip title.
- Voice Remote Updated to v352
Along with this latest Fire TV software update comes a new update for the voice remote. Once your Fire TV has been updated, be sure to head over to the Remote section of the Settings menu and update your remote. You should see an update waiting. You will need to initiate the remote update manually, as it does not seem to ever automatically install. Lastly, the option to unpair a remote has been removed.
- Legal Documents Missing
Those are all the changes I could find. If I’ve missed anything, please do let me know in the comments below. Overall this seems like a very incremental update intended to refine the Fire TV as opposed to adding new features.
I’ve discovered and added Crackle and Showtime search integration to the list of new features.