Amazon released the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition a couple of days ago, making Fire TV hardware available in over 100 new countries for the first time. The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition takes the existing 2nd generation Fire TV Stick but replaces the Alexa voice remote with the non-voice remote that was included with the original 1st generation Fire TV Stick. Even though the Basic Edition package includes a cheaper remote and fewer features, at $49.99, it’s $10 more expensive than the $39.99 regular Fire TV Stick that comes with An Alexa voice remote. That shows us just how much Amazon subsidizes the regular Fire TV Stick and here’s why. Read more ›
A little-known feature of the 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick, which Amazon has never advertised, is that it supports USB OTG by default. This allows you to connect much more than a power cord to the device’s micro USB port, like wired keyboards, mice, hubs, and external storage, but by far the most common use is to connect an Ethernet adapter in order to get a fast and stable internet connection to the Fire TV Stick. If all you want to do is connect the Fire TV Stick to Ethernet, this all-in-one Ethernet adapter by UGREEN is by far the easiest way to go. Read more ›
A new software version has started rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 2. It seems it’s only being deployed to that specific device. The new update carries version number 188.8.131.52 (574263220). That’s one digit different from the 184.108.40.206 (574263120) that rolled out to only the Fire TV 2 last month. So now, if you count the Fire TV Edition televisions, there are 4 different latest software versions across Fire TV devices. The 1st-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are on the same 220.127.116.11 software, the Fire TV 2 and Fire TV Stick 2 each have a unique version of the 18.104.22.168 software, and the Fire TV Edition televisions are running 22.214.171.124 software. Read more ›
The Amazon Fire TV Stick has been backordered for several months on Amazon but its supply has now finally stabilized. It’s now listed as in stock and ready for immediate delivery. I speculated that the reason for the long outage was a combination of the UK and German release, resellers depleting supplies, and a possible supply shortage of voice remotes. Whatever the reason or reasons were for the shortage, you can once again order the Fire TV Stick and expect it to arrive quickly. The Fire TV box is listed as in stock tomorrow.
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 126.96.36.199 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 188.8.131.52 update with Alexa before then, during the next few weeks.
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 ›
The 1st-generation Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are starting to receive a new software updated, carrying version number 184.108.40.206 and build number 562254320. I’ve received the update and, unfortunately, this update does not bring the new user interface to 1st-gen devices. The new interface is still coming to older devices, but that will happen at a later unknown date. The update with the new interface will likely carry a version number of 220.127.116.11 or greater. I’m told this 18.104.22.168 update’s purpose is to patch various security vulnerabilities within Android. Assuming there aren’t any issues with the update, most devices should receive it by the end of the week. I haven’t noticed any new features or obvious changes with this new software version, but I’ll be doing my usual digging shortly.
A reader of the site, who wishes to remain anonymous, just sent me these pictures of the 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick 2. These are the first shots we have of the device and packaging in the wild. Those of you familiar with the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick will notice that the new hardware is notable larger than the previous generation. Judging by the “Empty Display Box” sticker on the front of the packaging, I’m guessing the Fire TV Stick 2 has arrived at retail stores already, which is likely where these pictures were taken. If you’re eager to get your hands on the Fire TV Stick 2 before its official October 20th release date, you may want to give your local Best Buy, Staples, Target, or other such retailer a try and ask them to check if they have any in the back.
The all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is unquestionablly more powerful than the first generation model it repalces. Nowhere is that more evident than with the new device’s game selection. A vast majority of the best games in the Fire TV app store used to only be available to Fire TV box owners, but the improved performance of the new Fire TV Stick 2 has now made a large portion of those games accessible on a much less expensive device. Amazon’s site currently indicates there are 182 games that are compatible with the new Fire TV Stick 2, which are not compatible with the first generation Fire TV Stick.
Notably still missing from the Fire TV Stick 2’s app library are popular games like Minecraft, Terraria, the Telltale games, and the GTA games. However, top games like Doom & Destiny, Shovel Knight, Leo’s Fortune, SHADOWGUN, Disney games, and dozens more are now playable on a device that costs less than some game controllers. I’ve put together a list of 48 games that caught my eye, which are not compatible with the old Fire TV Stick but are compatible with the new one. Read more ›
Amazon has just announced an all-new Fire TV Stick 2 with Alexa Voice Remote for $39.99. The new device looks exactly like the previous model from the outside, but is all-new on the inside. Packed in is a quad-core 1.3 Ghz Mediatek 8127D processor with Mali-450 GPU. That’s a considerable jump from the 1 Ghz dual core CPU powering the previous generation Fire TV Stick. Connectivity also receives a bump up with the addition of dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11ac WiFi.
Interestingly, ethernet connectivity is listed as “optional” so it seems the new Fire TV Stick may support OTG cables and USB-to-Ethernet adapters out of the box without needing to root the device. (See update below.)
RAM and internal storage remain the same at 1GB and 8GB respectively. The new Fire TV Stick 2 is still a 1080p device, so there’s no 4K support, but the new hardware does now decode h.265 HEVC natively. The new hardware now only ships with a voice remote, but is priced $10 less than the old voice remote bundle. The new Fire TV Stick 2 with Voice Remote is available for pre-order now and will arrive at customer’s doors on October 20th.
Amazon has informed me the listing of ethernet as optional for the new Fire TV Stick 2 was a mistake. The product page has been updated to say ethernet is not an option for the Fire TV Stick 2.