Overview of Fire TV Software Update 51.1.3.0_user_513011520

51130update-overview-header

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.

New Features

  • 51130update-unknownsourcesApps 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.
  • 51130update-languageGerman 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.
  • 51130update-feedbackFeedback
    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:
    firetv-feedback-us@amazon.com
  • 51130update-searchCrackle & 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.

Interface Improvements

  • 51130update-fontText
    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.
  • 51130update-screensaverScreen 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.
  • 51130update-keyboard51130update-pinInput 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.
  • 51130update-tipsEasier 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.

Other Changes

  • 51130update-remoteVoice 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.
  • 51130update-terms51130update-legalLegal Documents Missing
    Strangely, some sections of the legal documentation is completly missing after the update. The entire Terms of Use menu is empty, and both the Privacy and Voice Search legal documents are missing. I am unsure if this is limited to just my device or if it is actually missing from this update for everyone. Let me know in the comments if your legal documents are also 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.

Update

I’ve discovered and added Crackle and Showtime search integration to the list of new features.

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15 comments
  1. hdmkv says:

    Thanks for this… I was pulling my hair out. One of my 4 FTV’s got the update & XBMC just refused to launch. With ‘Apps from Unknown Sources’ enabled, still good. Man, I hope Amazon continues to allow this, otherwise I’ll be ditching these FTV’s on eBay.

    • Chris says:

      I’ve turned off auto-updates, so I’m safe. However, if I manually update and then turn on “Allow Apps from Unknown Sources”, are you saying XBMC will keep working? Just making sure before I take that step.

      • hdmkv says:

        In my case, I must turn on “Allow Apps from Unknown Sources” for XBMC to even launch. I’m not blocking Amazon updates (as I eventually want updated Netflix & HBO Go), so fingers crossed.

  2. JT says:

    Are you saying any new box will get this forced updated automatically? Their is no way to block it? We lost root and future development? If so I’m selling my unit on ebay.

    • william says:

      I would assume the fire tv that you buy from the store would do the automatic firmware update. However after it reboots, you could go to system->about and cancel the update immediately. I did that for 2 fire tv that I got from staples. The fire tv that I got from Amazon didn’t do any automatic firmware update. I would believe that Amazon is shipping out the new unrootable versions and retail stores are still selling older rootable versions right now. If someone gets a rootable fire tv from store…… After it downloads the new firmware and reboots, quickly go to systems and cancel the update… and then root it and block updates.

  3. Tomazo says:

    Will the Stickmout software work on unrooted device?
    or

    May be new ADBFire cab do this without rooting?

    any ideas?

    Thanks

  4. Martin says:

    Is it now possible to change the timezone for europe?

  5. JMSBrasil says:

    Hi there. I would like to know if this update fix somehow the bluetooth audio? I know its not officially supported but maybe a software update fix it? For now my bkuetooth headphone works for about 20min then it breaks signal.

    Thanks

  6. z says:

    Hi, I have my fire TV rooted and blocked updates on my fire tv. I have unplugged it many time and even manually tried to update it. Both do not find a update nor update manually. I’m not sure if amazon can update my box unless amazon connect to my box a different way. Not sure how they would do that. Any ideas? So far I’m amazon update free and going good for me. All apps up to date too as I can see.

  7. Scott Howell says:

    I can confirm legal documents return if you do a clean install. This is on the pre-rooted as a clean install, but I would assume same otherwise.

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