Fire TV updated with new Home Screen Navigation icons and menus

A new software update is currently rolling out to Fire TV Sticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Smart TVs that changes the main navigation menu on the Fire TV home screen. Gone are the text navigation menu items, like “Home” and “Find,” that have been part of the Fire TV interface since the beginning. In their place are new icons without any text. However, the change isn’t simply a cosmetic update as the new icons come with revamped screens to go along with them.

Old Fire TV Home Screen Navigation Menu (left) and New Menu (right)

The old navigation menu consisted of the user profile icon, and three text buttons for Home, Find, and Live tabs. That menu arangement has been in place ever since Amazon removed the “Library” tab from the navigation menu a year ago in order to increase the size of the six favorite app icons. In addition to switching from text buttons to icons, the new navigation menu brings back the Library tab, this time adding it to the far right as a bookmark icon with a “My Stuff” label. Lastly, the “Find” tab has been moved to the left of the Home icon. This was likely done to not increase the number of clicks it takes to get to your favorite apps.

Moving the Library section, now called “My Stuff,” out of the Find tab, where Amazon stuffed it a year ago, and into the navigation menu is a welcomed change. The tens of thousands of people that have been using my Library Shortcut app from my collection of Loader apps can certainly attest to that. While the section itself has been renamed to “My Stuff,” it still contains the same stuff as before, which includes your watchlist, purchases, rentals, and DVR recordings if you have a Fire TV Recast. You’ll be happy to know that highlighting the new icon loads the section immediately in the bottom half of the screen, without needing to click the icon.

The other notable change is with the Find tab, which now uses a magnifying glass icon. At the top is a new search bar, whereas before it used a square search icon that looked like the other colorful squares. Functionally, the search bar is just a button that takes you to the same search screen as before. As for the various section and category buttons in the Find tab, those have been trimmed down from four rows to just two. The big sections, like Free, Movies, Comedies, and Sci-Fi, are still present, but some of the smaller sections, like Westerns, Thrillers, War movies, and Cooking Shows, have been removed. Since Amazon can dynamically change these buttons at any time, don’t be surprised if more buttons appear again in the future.

If you’re thinking to yourself that there is a lot of empty space between the navigation menu and the list of favorite apps, remember that Fire TV Smart TVs have an extra “Input” button in the navigation menu to quickly change the TVs input. That icon was added last August. With that extra icon, it fills in the empty space seen on stand-alone Fire TVs, like Fire TV Sticks and Fire TV Cubes. It would have been great if Amazon allowed for a seventh favorite app in the navigation bar on standalone Fire TVs to make use of the extra space, but that’s not the case.

Evolution of the Fire TV Navigation Menu

The Home and Live tabs seem to be unchanged, apart from using icons instead of text. This home screen change seems to still be rolling out to Fire TV devices, so don’t be surprised if it’s not on your Fire TV yet. Updates like this usually take about a week or two to make their way to all devices, so sit tight.

40 comments
  1. Ujn Hunter says:

    Everything I do now requires one extra click… guess it’s not too bad… once the new muscle memory kicks in… but… :|

    • Evalynn Pelcher says:

      Can I still get free video games on my Amazon fire stick and will I still get internet on my Amazon fire stick and will I still be able to play free video games or download free wall paper and games

  2. tlp says:

    Now, just add a hardrive icon for my Fire Recast.

    • Jeff says:

      Your recast is right there under the Bookmark icon, “My Stuff”. As soon as I saw the update, I took Elias’ DVR launcher app out of my top row.

  3. Carsten says:

    That’s not true. To access libary it was 3 clicks before and now only 1.

  4. letour_001 says:

    I hope they eventually break out the Watchlist row under the MY STUFF icon into separate rows for Movies and TV as they do in the Prime Video app.

  5. Mike says:

    This makes me think of a little kid, maybe about 8 to 10 years old, that just can’t make up his mind about how to arrange things. Except it’s not his own things he keeps changing.

    Just about the time things are ‘normal’ the jumble them up again.

    My favorite user interface is the Windows Media Center I have installed on a Windows 7 machine. Microsoft stopped supporting it years ago. The interface hasn’t changed in that whole time. It’s not fancy, it’s FUNCTIONAL. I’ve tried Plex, Kodi, Android TV on Nvidia Shield, FireTV on a couple of boxes & sticks and Chromecast / ChromecastTV. The one that remains the same is WMC. It’s like an old bowling shirt. I hope I never rip it while using it.

    That machine has been running without trouble for over 15 years now. It only turns off during power outages. My average cost per year is now down to about $20 and it is totally reliable. It’s got to fail soon, I just keep waiting for it to give out.

    Anyway, I’m getting tired of all these ‘improvements’ that keep getting dropped on us.

  6. Tab Numlock says:

    Android TV is much better.

  7. ORM says:

    Hello All,
    With resepct to this and other updates, I have been wondering about something for a while. I have 4k FireTV Sticks, FireTV boxes and FireTV cubes and I have noticed something strange. I also have all devices set to NOT automatically update Apps.

    The issue I have been confused by is that my FireTV boxes have almost daily software components related updates that quickly downloads something and updates itself – many times just returns to the “check for update” screen.

    Does anyone know what is going on or where to look to determine what “system components” are being updated and why? Except for just recently, the “Software Version” nor the “”Fire TV Home Version” changes. The devices just downloads some unknown system components with the screen showing “do not press any buttons on the remote” screen and just returns to the “Check for Updates” screen or the settings home menu…

    Please provide any suggestions for what my FireTV devices are doing?

    By the way, I have all my devices set to essentially send no info back to Amazon, all developer options are enabled, privacy settings are OFF, Data Monitoring is disabled, etc.

    Thanks, in advance, for any guidance or suggestions for what is going on!

    • Carsten says:

      I was wondering about the same thing. Here’s my solution: install the file explorer “X-plore” from regular Amazon Appstore. Open it and go to the installed apps section. There you select “sort by date” and “decreasing”. Then you go to “System Apps”. Now you can see the latest updated system app right at the top of that list. Now long press on that app and get tons of details. Then everytime you a new system components update, you go there again and you can see easily what exactly was updated just before.

      • Carsten says:

        By the way, you should always leave Developer Options disabled, if you don’t need it for a specific app, because otherwise it’s a security risk you should avoid.

      • Jack says:

        You can do something similar with Total Commander from Installed Apps. You can even backup the system app with Copy.

        • Carsten says:

          Yeah, I know. I just recommended X-plore, because you get a lot more file infos even in the free version. But yes, you can use both for checking last updated apps.

          • Jack says:

            I checked out X-plore on my Fire 8 tablet. I like it – thanks for the suggestion. Otherwise, I would of not known about it.

    • Anon says:

      Those are security updates.

  8. clocks says:

    I have three devices, and none rec’d the update yet.

  9. Tj says:

    Would it kill them to add a clock?

    • Carsten says:

      On Fire TV SmartTVs there is a clock with date. Even if it’s not permanently visible, you can at least long press the Home button to open Quick Settings, where you have a big clock and date right at the top. And you can reach it system wide from every page or app with only one click. But Stick and Cube users don’t have this, right?

      • Mark says:

        Hahaha…yes, of course cube and stick users have this feature.

        • Carsten says:

          How am I supposed to know if I don’t have a stick or a cube? I mean, nevertheless I could know, but I don’t have to, right? ;)

          So why is the above poster missing a clock then?

  10. Lukas Schiller says:

    It’s a bit out of place, but does anyone know how I get the Live TV tab back? Mine is gone for a few weeks now and I found nothing on the internet to bring it back. I can still access my channels and the guide via scrolling down but I would much prefer to just get to directly again.

  11. littlefingers116 says:

    Has anyone noticed that we no longer have control over the favorites apps section?

    In the past and before all these “so-called” improvements I was able to arrange the favorite apps to my liking.
    Now, after the “so-called” improvements, the favorites section is limited to ONLY 6 apps!!! Who has only 6 favorite apps?!

    To add insult to injury, Amazon has taken it upon themselves to decide which apps are in the favorites section. I say this because I have on multiple occasions set up my favorite apps in the following order: Hulu, Netflix, Prime, Disney, Paramont Plus, CW, Peacock, Tubi, VUDU, Kodi and Crackle. Only to open my firestick to find my favorite apps have been changed back to the following order: Netflix, Prime, IMDB, YouTube, News and Amazon Music.

    I rarely use YouTube and Amazon music app on the firestick and I have NEVER used the News app. As for the IMDB app, it’s a piece of crap and you CAN’T remove/delete from the firestick!

    Since the update, I spend more time clicking then I did in the past.
    I understand Amazon wanting to make improvements but if they make the user experience worse how is that a good thing???

    I purchased the firestick and that makes it mine to arrange the way I like NOT to be constantly rearranged to what Amazon thinks my favorite apps should be!

    I am NOT a fan of the Amazon firestick homescreen update. My motto is if it’s broken fix it, but if it AIN’T broke…leave it the hell alone!

    • Mark says:

      Hahaha…You’re funny, but the stick you bought IS yours. The interface however, belongs to Amazon.

      • Carsten says:

        That’s exactly the point, Mark. You buy the piece of hardware and the exclusive software with it’s general functionality, but which could change in some details, as described at the product by Amazon. No more and no less.

        And the original firmware/launcher at least since last year never had more than 6 app favourites to choose.

    • TechyChris says:

      The consumer is purchasing the hardware. Amazon controls all rights to the software. The same is true for every media device, mobile phone, computer, game console. I do not understand why so many do not grasp this concept. It’s a $30 piece of plastic, why some users go to such exhausting lengths to exercise total control over Fire Sticks is beyond me. A losing battle, simply enjoy it as intended by the manufacturer or purchase another brand. Too much drama.

      • Carsten says:

        And that is exactly why I am satisfied with the product. I knew before what it’s intended for and also what it’s not intended for, you know what I mean. So I got what I bought.

  12. ORM says:

    @Carsten:
    Thanks for the X-Plore App suggestion, it really helped provide some insight.

    It would be great if Amazon(Lab126) would faithfully provide release notes about system changes!

    Also, I’m not too concerned about leaving dev-op-modes enabled, these devices are locked down via their network interfaces, PiHole’d and they are not directly connected to my Amazon account so no exploits can gain any account info nor make any purchases, but I appreciate your concerns!

    @Jack:
    I have Total Commander installed but X-plore seems to present info a little nicer.

    @Anon:
    Security updates for whose benefit? I’d really like to know more of what modifications are being made of “my” hardware…

    Thanks.

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