Do you ever wonder if the people in your household are really using those Fire TV apps they insisted on installing, or worse, insisted on subscribing to? If so, now you can get some actual insight into how recently each of your installed Fire TV apps has been used thanks to a new update that has rolled out to devices.
A recent update to the Fire TV settings area has added the new ability to sort your list of installed apps by recency. This list used to only be sorted alphabetically until last year when Amazon added the ability to sort by app size. The addition of the new Recency option now gives you a third way to list your apps. This app list, along with the new sorting option, can be found by going into Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications or you can jump directly to the app list by using this shortcut app.
When selecting to sort by recency, your list of apps is displayed with the least used app at the top. There’s no way to reverse the list so that your most used apps are at the top. In addition to being sorted by recency, each app in the list will specify how recently it was used just below the app name. That info will be listed as Never Used, Not used for more than 120 days, Not used for # days, or it’ll just say Today if the app was used during the last day.
I’ve found that the indicated usage isn’t entirely accurate. Some of my apps are listed as Never Used when I’m sure they have been used at least once. I suspect that the apps have to have been launched after this update rolled out in order to indicate that the app has been used at all, so the data isn’t retroactive. That discrepancy is understandable, but I also have apps that indicate they were recently used that I’m certain I’ve never opened, such as some of the pre-installed Amazon apps. My guess is that Amazon’s own apps are performing certain actions, such as background tasks, that are being registered as recent app usage, even though the app was never actually launched. The information regarding 3rd-party apps I installed myself, however, does seem fairly accurate.
The addition of this new ability to sort apps by recency, as well as the previous update to sort apps by size, are both likely meant to help you clear up internal storage space. With only 8 GB of internal storage available on most Fire TV devices, of which less than 5 GB is left free from the factory, running out of space is a very common issue. This new app sorting option should make it a little easier to identify which apps can be uninstalled to clear up space without too much inconvenience.