First in-depth look at the new Amazon Fire TV Interface Redesign

Amazon has shared the first real in-depth look at the new Fire TV interface redisgn that is starting to roll out to devices. Nearly all Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Edition models will be getting the new interface. Here is a breakdown of all the new information and screenshots that have been revealed, as well as a video overview.

Video Overview

Home Screen

On the home screen is the large featured content banner at the top and the new main menu in the middle. Scrolling vertically down from the main menu takes you through various rows of thumbnails, as it does in the existing interface. Scrolling horizontally to the right takes you to your list of apps. The 6 apps that appear on the main menu are customizable and unique to each profile. You select the three-dot […] icon to access the rest of your apps, but we don’t yet know what the full list of apps looks like. The gear icon at the end of the main menu is how you access the Fire TV’s settings which, again, we haven’t seen yet.

The first row down from the main menu on the Home screen is a new row called “Next Up For You.” It’s not entirely clear what will appear in this row because one description of it says that it “features recently watched TV shows and movies,” however, just below it is a row called “Recently Watched” so it seems like that is actually where recent content will appear. Perhaps the “Next Up For You” row contains items you haven’t watched that are related to what you’ve watched recently, while the “Recently Watched” row contains what you’ve finished watching.

Recents

Further down the Home screen, we see the aforementioned “Recently Watched” row and then a couple of rows lower is a row labeled “Recent Apps.” This implies that, unlike the old interface’s singular “Recent” row at the very top of the Home screen, the new interface will separate recent videos from recent apps, instead of combining them into the same row. Something to keep in mind is that the various rows in the old interface change order all the time, so I don’t expect that the “Amazon Originals” row in the image above is fixed in place forever.

App Peek

One new feature of the redesigned interface that has been mentioned several times, but not shown up until now, is the ability to peek into apps without launching them. We now see how this feature works. When you scroll over one of your apps in the main menu, the bottom portion of the screen displays content that is available from that app in various rows.

While an app in the main menu is highlighted, and the app peek content is being displayed below, you can scroll down and browse through the peeked content, as if it were like a home screen customized for that app. While describing the feature, Amazon does specify that it is for “supported apps,” so it seems like not all apps will show peeked content below their icon. We don’t know what, if anything, will be displayed below apps that don’t support peeking.

Featured Content

The large banner with featured content from the old interface is carried over to the new interface. As shown in the image above, you have to manually scroll up from the main menu for the featured content banner to expand into its full size, so it seems like it might be easier to ignore in the new interface since you no longer have to scroll through the large featured content banner to get to your apps or other rows of the Home screen.

Profiles

Scrolling left on the main menu takes you to the profile picker where you can have up to 6 profiles. Amazon says that each profile will have its own customized apps, personalized viewing history, recommendations, watch list, live TV preferences, and settings. Selecting a child’s profile will take you to Amazon Kids where only kid-friendly content can be accessed. Amazon Kids on the Fire TV will be rolling out to customers in the US this holiday, with the UK, Germany, Japan, and Canada getting it next year.

Find

We haven’t seen much of what the Find tab looks like, but it’s where the content found in the old interface’s Movies, TV Shows, and Free tabs now exists. Amazon says you’ll be able to browser genres, like comedies and action, as well as categories, like free and sports, in the Find tab. This is also where the search function that used to be in the navigation menu can now be found.

Live


In the first spot of the first row in the Live section is now a button for the Fire TV’s built-in channel guide. That first row is also where recently watched channels will be listed. Like the old interface, each channel will display the progress of what is airing as a red progress bar in the thumbnail.

Channel Guide

The channel guide itself doesn’t look too different in the new interface, compared to the old interface. You still have a simple grid of what is airing with a preview of the content that is highlighted displayed at the top.

Library

Lastly is the Library section. These screenshots show the Library section at the far right of the main menu, but we’ve also previously seen the Library section moved to the left of the Home section. Either the position is customizable or one orientation is outdated in the new interface’s images. Regardless of where it is placed in the main menu, the Library section is where you’ll find your watchlist, purchased content, and rented content. If you own a Fire TV Recast, the Library section is also where you’ll find your recorded DVR content.

This new Fire TV interface is slowly rolling out now to the 2020 Fire TV Stick Lite and the 2020 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick. It will be coming to all other Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Edition televisions in early 2021, except for the 1st-gen Fire TV and 1st-gen Fire TV Stick.

34 comments
  1. JC says:

    When will this new feature be released?

    • Lohara says:

      Go read the other articles. Its already out.

    • I added more detail about that to the end of the article. It’s rolling out now to 2020 Fire TV Sticks and it’s coming to other models in early 2021.

      • David says:

        Hi Elias, Have you heard anything about why Amazons new firmware updates for the Firestick 4k have made it impossible to run DTS passthrough in Kodi now? The Kodi Forum thread for the Firestick 4k talks about the issue… I’ve bought 3 generations of Firetv devices now and they’ve never done this before. For the first time now, I’m thinking about buying a non-Amazon box because of this issue.

        • CENAP says:

          On which forum in Kodi ? Dou you have a link ?
          I have same problem…

          • David says:

            In the Discussion Forum under the Hardware section titled ‘Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K’. I’m surprised that AFTVnews hasn’t talked about this issue. It’s a big deal to some users that Amazon has taken away some features that the hardware used to do like DTS and Multichannel support, Even if they never advertised it. Reminds me of when the PS3 took away Linux support. AFTVnews used to cover topics like this years ago. I guess they don’t anymore…

    • Aimye says:

      It tells u in last paragraph according 2 where u live…

  2. STEVEN D PEAKE says:

    How will I get this new interface on my firestick and when?

    • It’ll be installed automatically through a software update. There is no way to manually install it or get it early. 2020 Fire TV Sticks are starting to get it now and other models will get it in early 2021.

      • Michele says:

        I heard 2nd gen won’t be getting the update. Is this true because if so, I’m downgrading. This update sucks. We all hate it.

  3. spiffy says:

    “One new feature of the redesigned interface…is the ability to peek into apps without launching them. … When you scroll over one of your apps in the main menu, the bottom portion of the screen displays content that is available from that app in various rows.”

    Called it! I figured it would work like that back when you first mentioned it. Really, it makes all the sense in the world for it to work that way, as every other non-Fire streaming device seems to be moving towards the direction of having streaming service apps treated more as channels, in a way, than wholly separate apps that need to be launched in order to see what’s available or suggested. With the new Fire OS interface, that will all appear when “hovering over” the app (“peeking” into apps).

    One improvement I’d like to see is the three dots to get into apps that aren’t “preferred” ones moved to the left, so one won’t have to scroll through the preferred apps to get to it. Maybe have a search icon available on that left side as well so that one can search shows, movies, etc. right on the main screen without having to first go through the “find” section and then selecting “search”.

  4. Joel Barraza says:

    Will this new update also update the fireTV stick 4k to play all content available on 4k from 3rd party apps? Netflix, Disney+, etc.? Mine only plays Amazon content in 4k. Also, will it enable Dolby Vision and Atmos on said apps? Mine doesn’t.

    • Moena says:

      That is up to the individual app companies not Amazon.

      • Joel Barraza says:

        According to Netflix, it’s an Amazon issue. Netflix through my TV and Xbox is Dolby Vision and Atmos. Same with Disney+ and a few others. Called Netflix to complain and they said it was an Amazon issue. Called Amazon and they said they were “working on it” its been over a year now.

        • Kim S. says:

          Might be for Amazon but you can’t also blame them for Disney and others without any confirmation from the companies involved.

        • 666 says:

          4k fire stick plays 4k netflix, Disney+ etc. Can’t confirm dolby vision but I’m pretty sure it does on both netflix and Disney. Atmos I don’t think it does in netflix.

          • Joel Barraza says:

            I have 2 fire 4k sticks. Neither play Netflix or other apps in 4k.I get Dolby vision, but it’s 1080p. Weird. I don’t think it supports Dolby Atmos though. Like I stated, my Xbox and TV apps display 4k but those same movies or shows on the fire stick do not.

  5. Rik Emmett says:

    Will this new interface update degrade the performance of older devices? I assume this is why it’s not being rolled out to the first generation devices.

    • We’ll have to wait and see, but the 1st-gen Fire TV, which is not getting the new interface, is much more powerful than the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, which is getting the new interface, so device power is not the reason why some devices are getting it but others are not. It seems more like the age of the device is the determining factor.

  6. Angie says:

    My firestick haven’t updated yet to the new home screen

    • Kurt (Dj K) says:

      Angie,
      As per article and comments, you will not see it until 2021 unless you have a 2020 Firestick. If you have anything older than a second gen Firestick you probably won’t see it at all.

  7. clarence says:

    Might this new update give us an option to disable SLEEP mode??
    Is there any downside to the Firestick 4K staying “awake” all the time?
    I know you had an article years ago, 2017, on how to do this but I’m not sure it is still relevant or IS THERE an easier way, not crazy about using ADB.
    https://www.aftvnews.com/how-to-set-custom-sleep-or-screensaver-times-on-the-amazon-fire-tv-or-stick-without-root/

    THANKS for this site.

  8. JEFF T says:

    Can anyone tell me when the 4K fire stick will be coming out with the 2020 version?

  9. Enayshia Blocker says:

    I have a 2nd generation firestick will the update be on that?

  10. TechyChris says:

    I have 3 Fire Cube Gen 2’s. It looks like I’ve started to receive a “partial update” for the new interface as of yesterday. Specifically the Live section has significantly changed. The TV grid is now available (prior to yesterday never had it) Also I have access to Live TV settings now. Ability to Sync sources plus signal quality indicators and more. Right now the only live source comes from Amazon’s IMDB TV. I have subscriptions to ABC, AMC, Hallmark, Lifetime, Peacock etc. All have live TV. Will I eventually be able to sync them to the Live TV Grid and access directly from there?

  11. 666 says:

    4k fire stick plays 4k netflix, Disney+ etc. Can’t confirm dolby vision but I’m pretty sure it does on both netflix and Disney. Atmos I don’t think it does in netflix.

  12. Paul says:

    Will the first generation of Fire TV Edition Toshiba get the new interface??

  13. Charles says:

    It took 15 minutes to download and install this morning. It is better organized and intuitive in most ways except the support of Amazon’s own Recast DVR. Putting it in the library is not optimal. Amazon needs to create a DVR app so it can be prioritized along with Prime, Netflix, etc.

  14. Michele says:

    How do we get rid of this crap? I HATE it.

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