Amazon has announced that it will be bringing the updated Fire TV interface, which first began rolling out to stand-alone Fire TV devices about a year ago, to the Fire TV systems built into vehicles. In addition to the visual overhaul, the update will add new personalization features to vehicles, including user-profiles and personalized recommendations. A new sync feature will also allow customers to resume content in the vehicle that was paused on a home Fire TV.
The updated Fire TV interface first began rolling out to stand-alone Fire TV Sticks about a year ago. Shortly after, the first vehicle with Fire TV built into its rear-seat entertainment system, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, was debuted with an interface that more closely resembled the older Fire TV interface than the new one. Since that system, and the vehicle, were likely in production for quite a while, it seems to have made more sense for Amazon to debut it with the older aesthetic than to try to rush the new interface into vehicles at the last minute. Now that there are several vehicles with Fire TV built-in, and more expected to be announced later today, Amazon will be updating the vehicle interface to more closely match the new one that has been rolling out to home Fire TV devices over the past year.
The main difference between the new and old interface, as can be determined by the one and only screenshot that Amazon has shared, is the movement of the navigation menu from the top of the screen to the center of the screen. This now matches the location of the menu on 2016 and newer home Fire TV devices. You can also see the new addition of a profile icon to the left of the navigation menu, since Amazon will be bringing profile selection to Fire TV built-into vehicles as well. With profile selection will come personalized content recommendations, which likely means the inclusion of a “Next Up For You” row further down the home screen, which will list content that Amazon thinks you’ll enjoy based on your viewing history.
Once this update rolls out, Amazon says customers will be able to “pause a show in their home and resume in their car.” My guess is this will only be possible for Prime Video content or content played through the Fire TV’s built-in video player, like purchased and rented movies and TV shows. This may also mean that the “Recently Watched” row will be synced across vehicle and home Fire TVs, as it currently does between multiple home Fire TV devices.
Amazon has not stated when these updates will roll out, apart from saying they will come “this year.” Amazon typically uses the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is going on now, to reveal automotive and television-related Fire TV news. It says there is “more to come later today,” so it shouldn’t be long for more Fire TV news.