Along with the new 3rd generation Fire TV, Amazon has released their own official Fire TV Ethernet Adapter that also works with the 2nd generation Fire TV Stick. It’s a fine adapter if all you want is to add Ethernet capabilities to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, but most people will be much better off buying this UGREEN Ethernet Adapter w/ USB Hub along with an OTG Adapter. Read more ›
The 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick has been released today in the UK. Several readers have let me know that their pre-orders have arrived and Alexa is finally working on a Fire TV device in the UK. The 188.8.131.52 software update that is currently rolling out to all devices will be adding Alexa to all existing Fire TV models in the UK and Germany as well. Amazon UK has now officially announced that all 1st-gen devices will be getting the new user interface and all models will be getting Alexa. The Fire TV Stick 2 will be arriving in Germany on April 20th, but existing Fire TV owners in Germany should start receiving the 184.108.40.206 update with Alexa before then, during the next few weeks.
As expected, Amazon has announced that the 2nd generation Fire TV Stick, which was released in the US last October, is coming to the UK and Germany. The quad-core streaming stick is now available for pre-order in the UK for £39.99 and in Germany for 39,99 €. In addition to being a much more capable device than its predecessor, thanks to its quad-core 1.3 Ghz Mediatek 8127D processor, Mali-450 GPU, and 802.11ac WiFi, the all-new Fire TV Stick 2 comes with a voice remote and full Alexa capabilities. Read more ›
The 2nd generation Fire TV Stick has been available in the US since October of last year, but Amazon has not released it in other regions yet, like the UK and Germany, where they still sell the 1st generation device. I think this is about to change soon, due to an abrupt supply shortage of Fire TV Sticks in the US. Earlier this week, the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick suddenly became backordered in the US. Ordering one today won’t see it arrive for over a month. I suspect this is due to Amazon rerouting all supplies to the UK and Germany in preparation for the device’s imminent international launch. Read more ›
It was quite surprising to discover that the Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 works with USB OTG cables out of the box without needing to be rooted. Some, including myself, questioned whether the functionality was accidentally left enabled, and if a future update would disable OTG cable support. The good news is the 220.127.116.11 software update not only still works with USB OTG cables, but it actually better supports USB ethernet adapters connected through OTG cables. Read more ›
If you purchased the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2, and have activated it, you should have received, or should soon be recieving, and email from Amazon with several promotions. The email contains a code for 1 free month of Sling TV, a link for 2 free months of Hulu, and a link which adds $10 of Amazon Video credit to your account. Everyone who activates a Fire TV Stick 2 by October 31st will receive these credits and promotions. Activation simply means powering on the device and logging in with your Amazon account.
The $10 Amazon Video credit must be applied to your account by November 15 and must be used by December 15, so don’t delay. If you’re not sure what to rent or buy with your credit, Amazon’s Video Deals page is a good place to start. The Sling TV and Hulu promotions must be redeemed by December 15 and November 15 respectively, and are unfortunately valid for new customers only.
One legitimate concern with the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is how well it handles heat dissipation. Cramming in a quad-core CPU into such a tiny package, without any forced airflow, could be a recipe for disaster if heat isn’t managed correctly. Many 1st-generation Fire TV Stick owners know too well that it can get quite toasty, which is likely why Amazon under-clocked its dual-core CPU to 1Ghz, even though it was manufactured to run at 1.2Ghz. To determine how well the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick handles heat, I’ve taken internal and external temperature measurements of the 1st and 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks, both at idle and under a 100% CPU load stress test. I’ve concluded that, while the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick’s CPU runs at a notably higher temperature than the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick’s CPU, the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick dissipates heat better, which results in lower external temperatures. Read more ›
When the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 was released, it was evident that it was a far more capable gaming device than its predecessor due to the nearly 200 games that can run on the Fire TV Stick 2 that can’t run on the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick. However, there are still around 300 games that are available to the Fire TV boxes which the Fire TV Stick 2 can’t play. That list of unavailable games for the Fire TV Stick 2 initially included all of the Grand Theft Auto games, but now GTA III and GTA: Vice City have been made compatible with the Fire TV Stick 2. Read more ›
Amazon has made an unusual and unfortunate decision to remove the ability to adjust the display size on the new Fire TV Stick 2. If you navigate to the Display area of the Settings menu on the new device, there is still an option to Calibrate Display. However, selecting the option no longer brings up a prompt to press UP and DOWN to zoom the visible area in and out. Instead, static arrows are displayed with a message instructing you to “adjust the zoom or overscan setting on your TV.”
This is quite an annoying change to many customers, including myself, who have TVs that crop the edges of the Fire TV Stick’s video output, but don’t have the option to adjust zoom/overscan settings on the TV itself. It’s unclear if the removal of screen calibration will be limited to the new Fire TV Stick 2, or if a future software update will remove the option from all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. If you’re among the many Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners who rely on your device’s built-in display calibration setting, now would be a good time to let Amazon know you don’t want the option removed and/or want it added to the Fire TV Stick 2.
If you have found this article because your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is zoomed in and you’re looking for a solution, simply hold down the BACK and FAST-FORWARD button on your remote to turn off the new screen magnifier option. Note that the BACK button is not the same as the REWIND button. The BACK button is the one to the left of the HOME button.
The most common question I’m getting about the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is whether or now Amazon has done anything to block sideloading apps or running Kodi. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t look like anything has changed with either of those two things on the new device. You can sideload 3rd-party apps just like you can on all Fire TV models. Kodi is working on the Fire TV Stick 2 and appears on the home screen. Read more ›