The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have gained a new grid based app launcher. The new launcher is opened by double pressing the home button on your remote and serves as an alternative to the horizontal app list that was introduced when Amazon added double home press functionality. If you prefer the horizontally scrolling list of apps, you can still quickly get to it by holding the home button on your remote and selecting the “My Apps” option from the list of shortcuts that appear. The main Fire TV “App” section also continues to use horizontal scrolling lists. You’ll be happy to know that sideloaded apps, including Kodi, do appear in this new app launcher alongside official apps from the Amazon appstore.
The apps are sorted by most recently used with no option to sort another way. The grid consists of only icons with no text whatsoever. Ther’s no way to view the app names or descriptions form this new interface.
The new app launcher is arriving on Fire TV devices through an over the air update to one of the system apps. This is not a new software version that updates the entire operating system and there is no notification that the system app has been updated. If you don’t have the new feature yet, it’ll probably arrive within the next few days.
If you have blocked software updates using method 1 or 2 of my blocking guide, you will not receive this new launcher because those blocking methods also block system app updates. The good news is, the next time a software update is released and a new pre-rooted ROM is created, it will include this new system app.
If you’re rooted, and want this new app launcher before a new full software update and ROM are released, you have two options. Your first option is to be sure you’re on the latest pre-rooted ROM version 188.8.131.52 and unblock updates to see if you get the new app laucnher within a few hours. Since you’re on the latest software version, there’s minimal risk of a new OTA update to get released while you have updates unblocked. The other safer option is to block software updates using the new method only. This new method only blocks operating system updates and does not block system app updates. Once you get the new app launcher, you can re-apply the method 1 update block to be extra safe again.