Over the years, the number of buttons on Fire TV remotes has slowly increased. Among the most recent button additions are channel up and down buttons, which first appeared a few years ago when Amazon updated the remote that ships with Fire TV Smart TVs. Stand-alone Fire TV streaming media players typically haven’t included remotes with channel buttons, that is, until the release of the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube last year which is the first stand-alone model that includes a remote with channel buttons. Amazon has now made a change that elevates channel buttons on Fire TV remotes to default status.
The change Amazon recently made regarding channel buttons on Fire TV remotes is officially opening up app developer access to the buttons. Previously, app developers could only interpret the navigation (up/down/left/right/select/back/menu) and media (play/pause/rewind/forward) buttons on Fire TV remotes. There have long been unofficial ways for app developers to access other Fire TV remote buttons, including channel up/down buttons, but Amazon has now made the channel buttons part of the official list of available buttons in its developer documentation. For the first time, this will encourage developers to treat the buttons as standard input options.
Every Fire TV Smart TV released in recent years has included a remote with channel buttons. As mentioned, the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube is the first stand-alone model to include a remote with channel buttons. The new Alexa Voice Remote Pro also includes channel buttons and even the remotes that come with vehicles with Fire TV integration include channel buttons. While the case seems to be made for remotes with channel buttons, the final standouts are Fire TV Sticks, of which none include remotes with channel buttons, yet they make up the vast majority of Fire TV devices in use. If the next new Fire TV Stick includes a remote with channel buttons, then you’ll know the buttons are here to stay for good, whether you have use for them or not.