Overview of Fire TV Stick Software Update

The Amazon Fire TV Stick has just received its first major update since its launch last year. This update prepares the Fire TV Stick for its international debut and adds several new features. The new update carries version number and is slowly making its way out to all devices. Here is a complete overview of everything that has changed with the Fire TV Stick’s latest software update.

Shortcut Menu
overview- new shortcut menu has been added which displays the current time and three buttons. Selecting the first button immediately puts the Fire TV Stick to sleep. The second button enables mirroring, exactly the same way the mirroring option in the settings menu does. The last button opens up the Fire TV Sticks settings menu. To open this new shortcuts menu, you simply press and hold the remote control’s home button for a few seconds. You can access the shortcut menu this way from anywhere on the Fire TV Stick, even while inside an app.

Concealed PIN Entry Interface
overview- is a new interface for entering your parental control PIN without revealing it to someone viewing the screen. The PIN is now entered using the directional button corresponding with the values displayed on the screen, instead of navigating an on-screen keyboard. You have the option to let the digits you select be visible on-screen so that you can be sure you’re pressing the correct buttons.

Captive Portal Wi-Fi Connections
The Fire TV Stick is now capable of connecting to Wi-Fi connections which require you to login or agree to terms before connecting. These types of connections are called captive portals and are most commonly found in hotels and school campuses. Previous to this update, the Fire TV Stick was unable to connect to these types of Wi-Fi hotspots due to its lack of a web browser. Now, the Fire TV Stick will pop-up a small web browser when a captive portal is detected. Within the browser you are able to press the remote’s menu button to bring up a cursor to navigate the web page with. Captive portal support was announced as “coming soon” when the Fire TV Stick was first introduced back in October of last year. Having this capability now makes the Fire TV Stick an even better travel companion.

Prime Music Playlist Browsing
overview- music section of the Fire TV Stick now allows you to browse through various categories of Prime Music playlists. Before this update, you had to manually add Prime Music playlists to your library using a computer in order for the playlist to show up on the Fire TV Stick. Now there are several curated lists of playlists for you to instantly play without the need of a computer. The available categories include: Recommended For You, Popular, Moods & Activities, Genres, and New. Prime Music gives Amazon Prime members access to over 1 million songs for free.

Prime Music Playlist Search
overview- Fire TV Stick’s search will now return results that match Prime Music playlists. Before this update, the only music results that appeared when searching were tracks you purchased or uploaded yourself.

Improved 3rd Party Buttons
overview- Fire TV Stick now does a better job of discovering and displaying 3rd party options for watching content. If a movie or TV show is available form a source other than Amazon, like Hulu or Showtime, the content’s detail page now displays that option upfront instead of burying it in the “More Ways to Watch” button. This change is going to go largely unnoticed, but Amazon should be commended for improving the user experience instead of defaulting to the option that makes them the most money. Bravo Amazon.

Windows 8.1 Miracast Display Mirroring
Miracast display mirroring is a feature added to the Fire TV Stick in a previous update that allows capable devices to use the Fire TV Stick as a second display. This update has apparently fixed the issues that prevented Windows 8.1 computers from mirroring their display to the Fire TV Stick. I do not have a Miracast Windows 8.1 computer, so I am unable to confirm that it is indeed working. I am basing this change on this comment from AFTVnews reader McChen. If someone else can also confirm this in the comments below, I would be very grateful.

Confirmation from Joshua, LeeP, and Reflex that Miracast for Windows 8.1 is indeed supported now.

Guest Photo Connection
overview- is a new option under the Applications settings menu which allows you to enable and disable the ability for guests to cast photos and videos to your Fire TV Stick.

Skippable Welcome Video
overview- welcome video that plays after you complete the Fire TV Stick’s initial setup can now be fast forwarded. This is a very welcome addition for those of us that often factory reset our devices and have had to sit through the welcome video numerous times.

App Size No Longer Includes Cache
overview- viewing an installed app’s details, the total size of the app (displayed just below the apps name) no longer includes the apps “Cache” usage.

Separate Storage Menu
overview- is now a separate “Storage” area in the “About” panel of the settings menu which displays the Fire TV Stick’s internal storage usage along with a bar visually representing the amount of used space. The device’s storage capacity is still also displayed in the main About area. This new menu is carried over from the Fire TV’s update which uses this menu to display the new external storage information. External storage is not supported on the Fire TV Stick.

overview- Fire TV Stick now has a language option similar to the Fire TV. This is a result of the Fire TV Stick’s recent international release.

Restart Option
overview- is now a new menu option which allows you to restart the Fire TV Stick without disconnecting the power cable. The option can be found in Settings under the System panel. For those not aware, you have always been able to trigger a restart by holding down the remotes SELECT and PLAY buttons simultaneously for several seconds. This can be done from anywhere; even within an app.

Wakes Up on Home Screen
If you force your Fire TV Stick to sleep, it now wakes up on the home screen, where as before it would wake up on the settings menu.

This update is jam packed with changes. If I missed anything, please be sure to mention it in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list! I hope to have a Fire TV update overview up some time tomorrow.

  1. Barusch Benitez says:

    No support for bluetooth keyboards or other remotes?

    • Jesse says:

      I believe that functionality only will be available for the Fire TV, not the Stick. Hardware limitations.

    • JRH says:

      I have used a bluetooth keyboard and headphones with my FireTV Stick since I got it back in November. All you need to do is sideload the Settings apk, open Bluetooth and pair your devices.

      • cdlenfert says:

        I loaded the Settings APK and was able to pair bluetooth headphones with my Fire TV Stick, but audio from the Stick never made it to the headphones. Can you confirm if there are any other steps involved to get audio to go out to the headphones?

      • Neogeo71 says:

        were there any issues with video/audio sync?

    • LTM says:

      Officially no, unofficially yes. It’s just a matter of sideloading the settings.apk file used by android which can be attained anywhere around the internet. Having that apk file installed allows you to pair a wireless bluetooth keyboard. I’ve got a mini bluetooth keyboard with a touchpad connected this way. Works great.

    • Antony says:

      Please see my reply to Jesse below.

  2. LeeP says:

    I was able to confirm the Windows 8.1 Miracast is working properly on the Fire TV box. I tested it with the Surface Pro 3. I tested video, web browsing, etc. and the response time was good.

    • Reflex says:

      I also confirmed with both a SP3 running Windows 8.1 and a Dell Venue 8 Pro running Windows 10 tech preview. On the SP3 it works perfectly, although DirectX games do not render to the screen (blank screen), on Windows 10 the mirroring works but the touch zones on the tablet appear off and I was not able to actively manipulate the device (likely a Win10 issue).

      Response times were excellent, friends of mine who have used Miracast have said response times are terrible but I did not experience that at all. I will likely try to use Steam Streaming to see if that is a viable method of playing a game on my tv.

  3. rahlquist says:

    D$@# the original post made it sound like the stick would be able to use external storage to. GRRRRRRRRR.

    • yoyo says:

      and just where would you had plugged your external storage in the stick heh? its obious is not possible, unlesss you use bluetooth storage lol

  4. Hitcher says:

    Album layout has also been changed.

    Old – http://i57.tinypic.com/angccm.jpg

    New – http://i57.tinypic.com/29nayja.jpg

  5. Cman says:

    This update broker firedtv launcher which I had set up perfectly. Everything else I sideloaded works perfectly. Firedtv will launches but I get nothing now but a black screen. I’ll try to reinstall it.

  6. JC says:

    Should all have update now? I checked last night (Thur.) and mine had no update.

  7. Eric Stuve says:

    I have the update and while watching WWE network, suddenly I get music playing in the background. It’s not a song I chose and I can’t find where it’s playing from. I had to go into my music, choose a different song, and pause it to get it to stop. This happened several times now. Any ideas?

    • Eric Stuve says:

      Found out it was Radio Paradise playing in the background for some reason no idea why it just started playing by itself.

  8. Ulises Rodriguez says:

    I have been patiently waiting for several days, but unfortunately this new FireTV Update never shows up on none of my Two FireTV-Sticks and FireTV-BOX…

    I am aware that Amazon was going to release this New update to the 5-10% first, and then to all the others FireTV Units, but Why is taking such a long time??

  9. khobbs says:

    i am also waiting for the update, just checked and still no update

  10. Ulises Rodriguez says:

    It may be that Amazon has decided to wait a few days to see if it works well and has no errors, and after be fully assured, then launch it to the 100% of the FireTV units…

    Anyway I think that she is taking too long to reach us!!

  11. Tony says:

    Is it possible to use a bluetooth mouse with Firestick?

  12. Ronald says:

    I have 2 firesticks. 1 is updated and the bluetooth menu now shows an option for other bluetooth devices. You can pair a keyboard without sideloading settings.apk. My other firestick is not updated yet. I try to manually check for updates to no avail. Why won’t my other firestick update?

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