Overview of Fire TV Software Update

The release of the Amazon Fire TV Stick has brought with it a new update, version, to the Fire TV. This new update is currently making its way out to Fire TVs everywhere. Read on for an overview of the new features and changes this update brings.

Prime Music
updatecompare514013920-primemusicAccess to Prime Music, the service which gives Prime Members free access to over 1 million songs, has been added to the Fire TV. Since the Fire TV does not have a built-in music store, it’s not possible to browse the full catalogue of Prime Music on the the Fire TV. Instead you must add Prime Music albums, songs, and playlists to your library from a browser for those songs to be accessible on the Fire TV. The music section of the Fire TV now, as one example, has separate areas for “Your Playlists” and “Your Prime Playlists”.

Remote App Support
updatecompare514013920-remoteappSupport for the new Fire TV Remote App has been added to the Fire TV. The app is primarily intended for the Fire TV Stick, but it works just as well on the Fire TV. The app lets you use your smartphone as a remote control for your Fire TV. It replicates all functionality of the Fire TV Voice Remote, and even allows you to enter text on your smartphone keyboard in place of using the Fire TV’s slow onscreen keyboard. The app is Free and is currently only available for Android devices, however an iOS version will be released soon.

Automatically Play Next Episode
updatecompare514013920-nextepisodeThe Fire TV will now automatically play the next episode of a TV show when the one you are currently watching ends. As the episode you are watching is about to end, a popup will appear in the lower left corner with the season and episode number of the next episode, as well as a screenshot. The popup also includes a circular countdown indicator letting you know how long before the next episode automatically begins. Pressing select on your remote when the popup is present will begin the next episode immediately. Binge watching has never been easier.

Better Prime Content Buttons
updatecompare514013920-primewatchbuttonsAmazon has made it a bit clearer that movies and shows are included with Prime membership. Prime movies which previously displayed a button labeled “Watch Now with Prime” now say “Watch Now Included with Prime”. But it’s with TV shows where this update really helps. Previously, TV shows did not include a “Watch with Prime” button. The only indication that a show was part of Prime was the tiny corner banner on the episode screenshot and text above the episode number. Now TV shows free with Prime have a dedicated “Watch Now Included with Prime” button alongside the pay buttons.

Forced Sleep Option
updatecompare514013920-sleepA new “Sleep” option has been added in the Settings menu under the System section. Selecting the option causes the Fire TV to immediately enter sleep mode, which it normally enters on its own after 30 minutes of inactivity. The option is actually a bit of a placebo since the only difference between the Fire TV being on and being asleep is no video signal. The Fire TV uses the same amount of power, about 1-2 watts, being on and idle as it does being in sleep mode.

If you discover any changes that I’ve missed, please be sure to mention them in the comments below!

  1. Ross says:

    I’m guessing that the USB still doesn’t function?

    • BC says:

      I’ve used it, in the current software, to connect a bluetooth keyboard and it worked great for apps that allowed keyboard usage.

      • Ross says:

        I should have been more clear, I’m after finding out if external storage is enabled, usb keyboards/xbox controller etc already worked.

  2. RgnKjnVA says:

    Auto Play Next is a nice addition as is the remote app. Prime Music implementation is a little ‘half-fast’ but have to believe Store functionality is coming, eh?

  3. Y314K says:

    Does the Remote App Keyboard option works on sideloaded apps that need a username & password like ESPN GO, etc. Or is it for FTV supported apps like NetFlix or Hulu Plus only ??

    In other words can the keyboard be use on any app that requires an input or has a search option ?

  4. BC says:

    Any idea if they addressed the problem (unable to receive 5.1/7.1 sound) that people have been having with the audio pass through?

    • jonson says:

      Sadly the 5.1 / Dolby digital over TOS Bug its not fixed. Still no sound ofer Tos. Neither over HDMI when i use the passthrough from my TV.
      Both, my Sony Receiver and Samsung TV are capable of DD/DTS. But as it seems, the Dolby Digital Plus is not backward compatible as they first said in the specification. Or Amazon screwed some things up in their software.

  5. Boomschtick says:

    Is Netflix confirmed to be bug free in this pre-rooted version?

  6. Cosmo says:

    Still no HBO GO? Meh…

    • AFTVnews says:

      Since HBO announced they’ll be offering a stand alone subscription service that doesn’t require a cable subscription, I think they’ll wait for the new service to go live before releasing a Fire TV app.

      • Charlie says:

        Back in the HBO on Prime press release, they mentioned that they were aiming for a HBO Go release by the end of the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was pushed back to Q1 2015.

      • Cosmo says:

        I never thought of that. That certainly sounds like a logical reason.

  7. Terry says:

    Does Kodi/Xbmc still work after the update?

  8. Red Indian says:

    Noticed that you can watch on Hulu Plus directly also now. Instead of having to use the “Other ways to watch” option. Excellent!

  9. Tom says:

    Can you enable location services on the new firmware?

  10. Alex says:

    I noticed, that the prime music stuff also works on the old firmware ( I currently blocked updates and the music section appeared. The other things described in the post have not changed.

  11. Jason Goldstein says:

    I haven’t been able to use my fire TV since October 31st today is December 4th. Video does not play at all there is no audio or system or you its a problem with the software 51. 1. 4. 1_user_5140 13920

  12. Mp3 Cool says:

    Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He always kept talking about this. I’ll forward
    this post to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a good read.

    Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get AFTVnews articles in your inbox!

Get an email anytime a new article is published.
No Spam EVER and Cancel Anytime.