Amazon reverts Fire TV home screen change by moving ‘Recently Watched’ row back to the top

Amazon has stepped back one of the most controversial changes brought on by the Fire TV’s new interface update. The “Next Up For You” row, which was introduced with the new interface update and promised to provide custom recommendations for what to watch next, has been moved from the top row on the new home screen to the fourth row. Replacing it as the new top row is the “Recently Watched” row, which used to sit at the top of the old interface but, to the annoyance of many, got pushed far down the home screen when the new interface arrived. Below that is still a sponsored row and the “Recently Used Apps” row, which was also moved up the home screen from its original position farther down when the new interface first debuted. Read more ›

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Fire TV devices now support Prime Video Watch Parties

Prime Video launched its Watch Party feature a year ago to allow people to watch the same movie or TV show together simultaneously. Today, Amazon has extended the capability to the Prime Video app on Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Smart TVs. Hosting a Watch Party and interacting with the features chat capability still requires a mobile or PC browser, but once things get going you can watch or join directly through a Fire TV. Read more ›

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All the newly expanded Alexa/Echo hands-free voice controls for Fire TV devices

Amazon has announced today that they’ve significantly expanded what Alexa commands you can say to an Amazon Echo device to control your Fire TV or Firestick. For a long time now, it has been possible to ask an Echo that has been linked with your Fire TV to perform a few basic tasks, such as launching apps, searching for content, and controlling video playback. When the Fire TV Cube was first released, what you could do hands-free with Alexa and a Fire TV expanded, but all the new capabilities required speaking directly to a Fire TV Cube and did not work through a separate Echo or Echo Dot and something like a Fire TV Stick. Today’s Alexa expansion on Fire TV brings many of those voice commands that formerly only worked on the Fire TV Cube to the rest of Amazon’s Fire TV devices. Here’s the full list of Alexa voice commands that can be used to control a Fire TV hands-free. Read more ›

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Amazon restores the ability to move and rearrange Fire TV apps

A new update rolling out to Fire TV devices has restored the ability to move apps on the Fire TV home screen and on the app grid screen. An update last month replaced the move functionality with a new pinning feature. This latest update appears to roll things back because the option to pin is gone and has been replaced with the previous “Move” and “Move to front” options. Read more ›

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You can now switch which default browser you use for YouTube directly from the Fire TV settings menu

A new option to select your default browser has been added to the Fire TV’s settings menu with the new and software updates that are rolling out to all models. The new option, located at the bottom of the Preferences menu, allows you to change which browser is used when launching the YouTube shortcut app, without needing to clear the app’s data. Read more ›

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New color format option on Amazon Fire TVs will automatically select whether RGB or YCbCr is best for your TV

The new software update that is rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV 3 (pendant) is adding a new third “Auto” option to the existing Color Format setting, which previously only allowed customers to select from “RGB” or “YCbCr.” When set to Auto, which is the new default configuration, the Fire TV may decide to switch its color format setting if one is better than the other for your particular TV model. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TVs now allow you to check for and install system app updates

A new feature introduced with the new software update, for older Fire TV models, and software update, for newer Fire TV models, gives you a bit more control over when system apps get updated. As an alternative to overall operating system updates, Amazon began the practice of updating individual system apps, such as Amazon Photos or Prime Video, separately a few years ago. This would occur silently in the background as a way to update individual Fire TV components without needing to update the entire operating system. With the latest round of software updates, it’s now possible to manually check for system app updates and force them to install. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV 2 box running latest software version has been Rooted

Depending on how you look at it, it has either been a great or really bad couple of weeks for Amazon devices with MediaTek processors. First, the Fire HD 8 tablet was rooted and then the Fire 7 tablet was rooted. Just a few days ago, the Fire TV Stick 2 was rooted for the first time and now the 2nd-generation Fire TV box is the latest device to fall. Surprisingly, the rooting method that has just been discovered for the Fire TV 2 is unrelated to the method used to root the other Amazon devices. This new method is actually much easier, as it does not require opening the device or shorting circuit board points, like the Fire TV Stick 2 and Fire tablet rooting methods. There’s also the potential for this new rooting method to work on other Fire TV devices with MediaTek processors, like the Fire TV Stick 4K, which has yet to be rooted, and even the Fire TV Stick 2, to serve as a simpler rooting method than the one that already exists. Read more ›

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New Fire TV software update changes the way you arrange Apps and Channels

A new software update has started to roll out to Amazon Fire TV devices. The only change I’ve found so far with this update is a change to how apps you have installed and the channels you are subscribed to are arranged on both the home screen and the app grid. The option to move items has been replaced with a new option to pin items to the front of your list of apps and channels. This has been done because new apps you install and new channels you subscribe to will now automatically appear at the front of your list of apps and channels, making them easier to find. Pinning an app or channel gives it priority over new items and keeps it at the front of the list. Read more ›

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Fire TV Cube and Fire TV 3 (Pendant) receiving new Software Update

The Amazon Fire TV Cube and Fire TV 3 (pendant) are currently receiving a new software update. The update carries the same version number as the previous update, but has a new build number of 1628. Amazon has not yet updated their Fire TV Software Page to include this new version, but, since the version number hasn’t changed, it likely only contains bug fixes. Given the proximity of this release to the release of the Fire TV Recast, it’s probably safe to assume that this update makes improvements to the new DVR menu in Fire OS. I haven’t noticed any obvious changes myself, but if you do, please mention them in the comments below.

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