Amazon has rolled out a new Auto App Download feature to Fire TV devices recently that can speed up access to new apps. The new feature, once enabled, will streamline the process of downloading, installing, and launching apps with a single click. Instead of needing to first select an app to be downloaded, wait for the download, and then find the app in your app list to launch it, all steps happen as soon as you select any app, with a few caveats.
Normally, when you select an app that is not installed on a Fire TV, the app’s detail page is displayed. That page either has a purchase button, if you’ve never used the app before, or a download button, if you’ve previously purchased the app. If you enable the new auto app download feature, as soon as you load an app’s detail page, the app will immediately begin to download without any prompts. Once the app finishes downloading and installing, the app will then immediately launch.
This behavior only happens for apps that are either free or have already been purchased by your Amazon account in the past. For apps that are not free, you’ll still need to manually select to purchase them before they will be installed on your Fire TV, even if you have this new feature enabled.
Selecting an app icon isn’t the only action that can trigger the automatic download, installation, and launching of apps. The behavior is also extended to movies and TV shows from apps that are not yet installed on your device. If, while browsing the Fire TV interface, you select to watch a piece of content that is available through an app you don’t have installed, the necessary app will automatically install itself and then launch into the content you selected.
The first time you select to install a new app on a Fire TV model that has received this new auto app downloading feature, you should see a prompt asking if you’d like to enable the feature for future apps. You can also select to manually enable or disable this new feature under the Fire TV’s Appstore options, which can be found under Settings > Applications > Appstore.
This new behavior for installing apps is more akin to how Roku devices behave. Rokus will usually install and launch new apps, called channels, without any prompts when you select a new app. While this new behavior does streamline the process of installing new apps on Fire TVs, it may result in a lot more apps accidentally being installed from unintentional clicks in the Fire TV’s interface.