The new Fire TV interface update for Fire TV Smart TVs seems to have recently resumed its rollout and with it comes a small, but very welcomed, addition to the main navigation menu. Amazon has added a new Inputs button to the menu bar, between the profile selector and the Home button. This makes it much easier to change inputs since inputs no longer appear in the Recent row on the home screen.
The old Fire TV interface had a “Recents” row at the top of the home screen which acted as a catch-all for various different things that you did with a Fire TV. For Fire TV Smart TVs, one thing that appeared in the Recents row was the various inputs that were recently accessed. This made it very easy to get back to an input, especially if you didn’t have your TV configured to power on to the last input automatically.
With the new Fire TV interface, the catch-all Recents row has been replaced with two separate “Recently Watched” and “recently Used Apps” rows. Since inputs are neither watched content or launched apps, they no longer appear in the new interface’s Recent rows. This has lead to people complaining that it now took too many button presses to change inputs, since the input you wanted was usually in the Recents row of the old interface.
The quickest way to change inputs on the new interface prior to the recent update, aside from voice commands, was to hold the Home button on the remote to bring up a menu on the right side, go down the menu, and then select Input. This takes 4 remote button presses. Given that this menu is hidden, making it difficult to discover or remember, I suspect a lot of Fire TV Smart TV owners changing the input by navigating to the main Settings menu, which takes 12 remote button presses.
It seems like Amazon has listened to the complaints because a recent software update has now added a new Inputs button on the main navigation menu. It does, unfortunately, seem like an afterthought in its placement, given how the highlighted Inputs icon overlaps the profile icon slightly, but it’s functionally a great addition. Thankfully, you don’t have to select the icon to view the input options, like you do with the Apps button to see the rest of your apps. The new Input button brings up the selection of inputs below it when you simply highlight the button, similar to how the Settings button populates the settings menu when highlighted.