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.
With a new device that matches the description of a next generation Fire TV Stick already uncovered through FCC documents, and the existing Fire TV Stick being currently unavailable from Amazon in anyform, there’s no doubt a new Fire TV Stick 2 is on the horizon, but the big question is when will it be released? Well, it’s starting to look more and more evident that an all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 will be announced, and possibly start shipping, next week. More so, it looks like the new Fire TV Stick 2 will also ship with a new voice remote that comes with new features not present on the existing voice remote. Read more ›
Amazon may have just discontinued the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote. The product page now says the bundle is “currently unavailable” and that they “don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.” Fire TV devices have become unavailable in the past, only to return to stock after a short hiatus, so that’s not definitive proof the voice bundle has been discontinued. However, it’s a bit odd that the option for the voice bundle no longer appears on the regular Fire TV Stick’s product page. More so, when viewing the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote product page, the family of products at the top are now Fire tablets instead of the Fire TV line of devices, like it used to show. In a sense, this implies the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote is no longer a part of the Fire TV family of devices. Read more ›
Now that TWRP and and a Fire OS 5 pre-rooted ROM has been released for the 1st-gen Fire TV, rbox is continuing his work to bring the same to the Fire TV Stick. He has teased what appears to be a functioning boot menu for the Fire TV Stick, so it looks like he has already made great progress. The Fire TV Stick poses several hurdles that aren’t present with the Fire TV. For starters, the absence of a standard USB port means rbox needs to find a way to control the bootmenu without a USB keyboard, like is required with the Fire TV 1 and 2. Not having an ethernet port on the Fire TV Stick may also pose a problem since TWRP does not currently have WiFi support. Rbox does not know when he’ll be releasing TWRP for the Fire TV Stick, so please don’t ask. He is currently working out issues that some people are experiencing with TWRP for the 1st-gen Fire TV, so it’s best to assume the Fire TV Stick files will be released at a much later date.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote has just gone out of stock and is schedualed to be back in stock in about a week on April 4th. The non-voice Fire TV Stick is in stock, but has the note about requiring an extra couple days to process orders, which usually indicates supplies are low. People seem very eager for a new Fire TV Stick model since, anytime either one goes out of stock, I receive questions asking if it means a new model is coming soon. The last time the Fire TV Stick went out of stock appeared to be due to the sale in February that preceeded. There haven’t been any sales lately, so it seems a bit odd that supplies are low. One possible explanation is the upcoming release of the new Amazon Tap and Echo Dot next week. If Amazon uses the same facilities to manufacture these new devices as they do for the Fire TV Stick, it would be understandable that manufacturing resources have been focused on the new devices, which themselves don’t seem to be keeping up with demand. Despite the “new” Fire TV Stick just being a repackaging of the same original model, but with a new remote, I don’t believe we’ll see a new Fire TV Stick released until the last quarter of this year. That said, the original 1st generation Fire TV was released on April 2nd, so April seems like a plausible month for a new device to be released.
Amazon is now listing the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote separately on their software update page. Listing the 1st and 2nd-gen Fire TV separately is understandable, since they are completely different products, but it doesn’t quite make as much sense for the two Fire TV Stick bundles since they are both the same device, just with different remotes. Most likely, Amazon just doesn’t want to confuse customers by listing a single latest software version for the Fire TV Stick while there are technically two valid “latest” versions in the wild: one for existing Fire TV Stick owners, and one for owners of the new bundle, since it shipped with a newer software version pre-installed.
Amazon also just added a new Fire TV Stick software update, version 22.214.171.124, last night to their source code page. Now that Fire OS 5 is out on the Fire TV Stick in the wild, via the new voice bundle, Amazon probably discovered a few more bugs to fix. Once this new software version makes it out to Fire TV Stick voice bundle owners, and assuming new bugs don’t arise, we should start seeing existing non-voice Fire TV Sticks get updated to Fire OS 5, resulting in a convergence of software versions for all Fire TV Sticks.
Since the new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote bundle includes a new wifi based voice remote, it’s no surprise to learn that the device ships with Fire OS 5 pre-installed, since Fire OS 5 is required to work with wifi based remotes and controllers. What is surprising is that mine arrived with the latest software update, version 126.96.36.199, already installed. I’m positive it didn’t update during the initial setup, especially since it alerted me that a remote software update was being installed prior to connecting the Fire TV Stick to my network. This remote update was added with the 5.0.3.x software update to fix disconnection issues and responsiveness. I was told by my contacts at Amazon, prior to the buggy Fire OS 5 debacle, that this new Fire TV Stick bundle would arrive with software version 5.0.0 and have a day-one software update. Looks like Amazon isn’t taking any chances this time with a buggy launch and opted to update all these new Fire TV Sticks prior to shipping them out. That would explain the shipping delay from their original shipping date of October 22nd. My Fire TV Stick arrived with an OS installation date of October 30th.
Shockingly, this Fire TV Stick also arrived with ADB debugging already enabled. I assume that’s an oversight caused by Amazon updating the software on these Fire TV Sticks after they’ve already left the factory. Now that I have a Fire TV Stick running Fire OS 5 that is nearly identical to my existing Fire TV Sticks running Fire OS 3, I’ll be able to really compare the two operating systems. Look for a complete overview of what Fire OS 5 brings to these 1st-gen devices, as well as benchmark comparisons and more. Let me know in the comments what you’d like to know about Fire OS 5 on the Fire TV Stick. Also, if you ordered a new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote bundle, I’d love to know if yours also arrived with ADB debugging enabled.
Now that the new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote has shipped to customers, we can finally know if it’s the same as the original Fire TV Stick, bundled with a non-voice remote, which was released a year ago. I’ll tell you right now, the two Fire TV Sticks are essentially the same device, as was assumed, but they do differ in a few small ways. Here’s a detailed comparison of the differences between the two Fire TV Sticks. Read more ›