Amazon Fire TVs can now automatically download, install, and launch apps

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.

21 comments
  1. Tom Wooden says:

    Jesus Amazon just does not get it. People buy firesticks to download and use the apps, mostly 3rd party because that is what we want and not amazon or Netflix or CBS,or prime video. All that stuff is available for free,or a fraction of the price. let’s promote smarters, and tvmate,and on those apps. Amazon and Roku junk just gets in the way and eats storage.

    • Gabriel Leontine says:

      But the new feature is optional and can be turned off. It’s not like Amazon just forces you to install apps you don’t want.

      • Powerfader says:

        Amazon is counting on the not so tech savvy buyer who will most likely just leave it on, or doesn’t understand how to turn it off. It’s not like our education system is turning out brighter people!

        This is a way for Amazon to increase sales!

        • This feature is off by default and does not turn itself on. There is a one-time pop-up that encourages you to turn it on the first time you download an app, but that’s it as far as Amazon pushing this on users.

  2. Kir says:

    Amazon wants to turn people into monkeys

  3. Rik Emmett says:

    It’s quite easy to consume all of the storage on a stick, unless you have one of the models that allows apps to be installed on external storage, and this feature will make it easier to consume the storage.

    • Agreed. That’s the biggest issue I see with this feature. I can see many people, who are already struggling with low storage space, turning this on and running out of space without even realizing why. This feature makes perfect sense in an ideal world where devices have a plethora of free storage, but, in reality, where many people are low on space and don’t know what to do about it, this feature might do more harm than good.

      What they should have done is paired it with an automatic app archiving feature that would save an app’s data (either locally or in the cloud) before automatically uninstalling a seldom-used app. Then, when the app needs to be automatically reinstalled, the stored data would be restored to the app. That’s certainly easier said than done, but the best scenario (other than having a plethora of empty storage) is if the Fire TV automatically installed and uninstalled apps as needed, without losing any app data in the process.

      • Rik Emmett says:

        Maybe they could sell SSDs with OTG cables labeled as storage upgrades for the newer sticks. Lots of people are using the 2nd gen stick which doesn’t support moving apps to external storage out of the box. Definitely worth moving to the 3rd gen stick or lite stick for the ability to install apps to external storage, in my opinion. I think a common use case is for a parent or grandparent to share their cable tv subscription with a younger member of the family so they can load the corresponding apps to use with their elders cable tv login. Maybe amazon could market a stick bundled with external storage for use with a cable TV subscription.

        • Michael Nix says:

          Unfortunately, not all TV providers have an app that works on Fire Devices outside of the Fire Tablets. Spectrum will not work on the Fire TV box or the Fire Sticks regardless of what gen they are. Not even in the Silk browser for the web-based viewing.

          • TechyChris says:

            You can link your Charter Spectrum account to the Stremium app which is available directly through the Amazon Appstore, the app is free, and they have a free tier with some “Pluto TV” type channels thrown in but with the ability to link third party providers. However, some reviewers are saying Stremium recently started charging $5 per month to link accounts. in that case I would spend $40 and purchase a Roku Stick which provides full access to Spectrum (with in home router) or partial access to your TVE channel lineup when used out of home (Similar to Xfinity).

    • Arthur Lapalme says:

      Firestick needs more memory. That’s only new feature needed. It doesn’t need a feature that eats more memory for users. Most of whom already have no idea how to do required memory management such as delete unused apps and clear cashes.

    • Dennis Redway says:

      I agree 100 percent!! I love my SMARTERS app.

  4. Jim Carter says:

    I’m continually amazed that people believe a company will produce a product and not promote themselves. Don’t ever start a business, because you will surely fail.

  5. Arthur Lapalme says:

    Firestick needs more memory. That’s only new feature needed. It doesn’t need a feature that eats more memory for users. Most of whom already have no idea how to do required memory management such as delete unused apps and clear cashes.

  6. karim bydoun says:

    anyone installed FireOS 7.2.7.3 on cube 2nd gen? can we turn off HDR now or not yet??

    • David_1960 says:

      Just change setting to ‘Adaptive’ in Display settings. Job done.

      • karim bydoun says:

        even if you change to adaptive HDR still work on HDR movies or shows, no option to turn off ? you updated to the new firmware 7.2.7.3 ?

        • David_1960 says:

          Just checked and 7.2.7.3 not here yet in UK. Why do you need to Turn HDR off? What issues are you experiencing?

          • karim bydoun says:

            picture quality is shit on some content with HDR, a lot here are experiencing this.

            Thank you so much for checking.
            hope someone who already got the update can help answering this.
            I’m using the Fire tv 4K max just because you can turn off HDR on it.
            Will reconnect my Cube once it also possible to do it

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