New Fire TV home screen layout brings focus to Games at the expense of User Profiles

Amazon has been periodically tweaking the navigation menu of the current Fire TV home screen interface ever since it debuted three years ago. First, it reordered the menu, then increased app icon sizes, and then added an input switching icon for Fire TV Smart TVs before finally dropping all text and switching to an icon-only navigation menu. Earlier this year, Amazon added a new “Free” tab to the navigation menu before ultimately removing it. Amazon is now trying out another new tab for the Fire TV home screen with the addition of a “Games” tab that takes the place of the profile switcher icon in the navigation menu.

This Fire TV home screen change arrived recently on a Fire TV Stick 4K in Canada and was posted about in a private Facebook group which was spotted by YouTuber Chris Waite who highlighted it in his latest video. Where the profile icon once sat on the far left of the Fire TV navigation menu is now a game controller icon that loads a “Games” tab. The games tab itself isn’t actually new as it is simply the Games Hub released a year ago, which can be accessed on any Fire TV device by selecting the Games option in the Find tab. The Games hub/tab primarily promotes Amazon Luna cloud gaming but also lists local Fire TV games from the Amazon appstore as well as live game streams on Twitch.

To make room for the new Games icon, Amazon has merged the profile icon with the settings icon on the far right of the navigation menu. By doing so it allows you to still know which user profile is currently active but it means that changing profiles requires an extra step because selecting the icon just loads the standard settings screen. This explains why Amazon recently added a Profile menu to the settings screen of Fire TVs, which, at the time, seemed pointless when the same menu could be accessed from the home screen. To change profiles with this new home screen change, users now need to either select the profile menu from the settings screen or hold the home button for a few seconds to bring up the quick launch menu which also contains access to the same profile menu.

This change to the Fire TV home screen might not be permanent and might not even make it out to all Fire TV users. Amazon periodically pushes out changes like this to a very small subset of Fire TV devices to test the waters before deciding if the change should go out to everyone. The addition of a “Free” tab earlier this year is an example of this where some users never received the change and it seems like Amazon reverted the change for those that did receive it.

  1. Tj says:

    I’m OK with this. You can easily access user profiles by hitting the settings button on the remote on any screen too so it wouldn’t be much of a loss if the icon isn’t on the home screen anymore.

    • Mike says:

      Not everyone has a setting button on the remote.

      • Chris says:

        So I think I’ve found if you hold down on the home bottom it will bring up the profile and settings page. It was hit or miss at times which I’m not sure why. I have the remote that just has voice control.

  2. Ujn Hunter says:

    This is super annoying. I will NEVER use the “Games” feature of my Fire TV, and now changing Profiles is more difficult and requires going into Settings? I don’t want my kids having to go into Settings… da fuq Amazon?

  3. Mark F Heil says:

    They should move the combined icon to the far left and let the apps go to the far right.

  4. Bo Otrel says:

    Very annoying update. That combined icon is really dumb. And how many people use fire stick for gaming? How about being able to uninstall the preinstalled Amazon apps?

    • Tj says:

      I’m the minority here, but I regularly use Luna on my Fire TV because it’s actually really good. Amazon is doing the streaming side of things right. The quality has been great and the gameplay is responsive. Almost feels like you’re gaming on a console locally.
      All they need though is to add more compelling games as right now the lineup isn’t so great. There are some good games like Batman and the Yakuza franchise, but outside of that it’s mainly indie and small side scroller games.

      I also imagine others are using the service more and more too since they added Fortnite. Amazon may have seen a big of enough jump to bother making these changes.

  5. Chris says:

    So with increased costs for everything Amazon comes increased stupidity in design. We use profiles multiple times throughout the day and having to go through this crap design is ridiculous. Hopefully it’s short lived.

  6. Doug says:

    In certain states, sales tax is applied to internet games. Including streaming apps such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, without regard to whether the subscriber wants or uses games. That tax adds to already high subscription fees. These companies should allow subscribers to opt out of games, so they don’t have to pay tax for something they don’t want.

  7. Anthony Rossetti says:

    Don’t care but are they ever going to fix the camera viewer and put it back the way it was?
    The huge “minimize to PIP” button that is not hideable and does not ever go away I mean.
    And the screen being dimmed and dim around the edges too.
    The button is huge and brighter than everything else and the camera view in the background is dimmer.
    This absolutely sucks and makes me not able to watch cameras on my OLED

  8. Nick says:

    Now if only they would give us an Xbox Game Pass app for fire tv.

  9. Kelsey says:

    I hate it. I don’t need the freaking stupid gaming icon. I have several children. I want our profiles back.

  10. Kevin says:

    My Fire Tv Stick 4k in my bedroom never got this update. It still got the profile icon. I even went into setting and did a check for update but said “your fire tv it up to date” But as for The Fire Tv Stick 4k Max in the kitchen and the living room they both got the new update with that new gaming icon

  11. D.Adcock says:

    Prime member forever, have purchased 6 Fire Sticks over the years. I HATE the Games icon/button I want it gone. I want the profile icon back where it belongs on far left.. first button.

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