A new software update is starting to roll out to Amazon Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions. The update adds a new Prime Video interface that gives you a way to browse movies and TV shows available through Amazon. It also makes getting to your Amazon Channels a lot easier by adding an icon for each channel you’re subscribed to in your Apps row on the Fire TV home screen.
The new software update carries the version number 188.8.131.52 and build number 606753420. During the coming weeks, this update will be rolling out to all Fire TV models, except the new Fire TV 3 pendant. That means that 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, 2nd-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions will be receiving this update. The Fire TV 3 is likely not receiving this update at this time because it is the only model that runs Fire OS 6, as opposed to Fire OS 5, so it’s on a different software track than other Fire TV models.
The major change that this update makes is it renames the “Your Apps & Games” row on the Fire TV home screen to “Your Apps & Channels.” That’s because each Amazon Channel that you are subscribed to will have an icon appear in this row alongside your apps. This makes Amazon Channels more like apps by making them equal citizens in the Fire TV interface. You no longer have to scroll down the home screen to the “Your Channels” area if all you want to do is only see content from a single channel.
The new Amazon Channel icons are treated the same as app icons. Just like with apps, you can customize where in the list you would like to place each Amazon Channel icon. This is done by highlighting the Amazon Channel icon, pressing the menu button on your remote, and selecting the “move” option. If you want quick access to a channel, you can move it to the front of the list, but if you want the list to still just be about apps, you can move channels to the very end of the list.
In addition to Amazon Channel icons now having equal real estate as apps on the Fire TV home screen, Amazon has added a new Prime Video icon as well. Selecting the Prime Video icon takes you to an interface that is likely brand new to most Fire TV owners, but actually isn’t completely new. This new Prime Video interface has actually been available on Fire TV Edition televisions since they first launched. It’s what gets loaded when you press the “Prime video” button on the remote that comes with Element and Westinghouse televisions running Amazon’s Fire TV software.
This is the first time Amazon has made this Prime Video interface available outside of Fire TV Edition televisions. There’s a good chance this interface is going to confuse a lot of customers, especially those who have already been using the very similar “Included with Prime” interface that can be found among your list of Amazon Channels on Fire TV devices. The new Prime Video interface does not replace the “Included with Prime” interface. Both are still present after receiving the new software update and the “Included with Prime” interface can actually be accessed from within the “Prime Video” interface.
Are you confused yet? Yeah, I thought so. This confusion all stems from the fact that Amazon rebranded “Amazon Video” into “Prime Video” a couple months ago. The new “Prime Video” interface being added to Fire TVs should really be thought of as a new “Amazon Video” interface because it simply houses all video content available through Amazon, not just content available to Prime members as the name might imply. That is why you’ll still find the “Included with Prime” interface available within the “Prime Video” interface, because “Included with Prime” is a subset of all the video content, which Amazon now calls Prime Video.
Think of it this way. The main Fire TV interface is where you’ll find all possible streaming content. That includes content from 3rd-party apps you have installed like Netflix, HBO Now, Crackle, and others. The “Prime Video” interface added with this update includes all possible streaming content from Amazon. It includes Prime content but also includes non-Prime content that you have to rent or buy individually. The “Included with Prime” interface, which is listed as one of your channels if you are a Prime member, is where you’ll find only content included with Prime that doesn’t require paying anything extra.
If you’re a Prime member looking to browse only videos included with your membership, you’re going to want to use the “Included with Prime” interface. Unfortunately, while that interface is listed alongside other Amazon Channels, it is not available in the updated “Your Apps & Channels” row at the top of the Fire TV home screen, since it’s technically not an Amazon Channel. So you’re still going to have to scroll down the home screen to the “Your Channels” rows to get to a list of only content included with Prime.