Amazon significantly improves Network Status Test on Fire TVs with new speed test feature and more

Amazon Fire TV devices have had a rudimentary network status check for a while that did very little. Usually, it just reported that the network was either disconnected or fine. At best, I’ve found that the tester would sometimes recommend a different WiFi channel to use if the one that is currently being used is congested. Amazon has now completely overhauled the Fire TV’s built-in network test with vastly more information as well as a built-in network speed test. Read more ›

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Fire TV devices can now load select websites directly from Universal Search Results

Amazon has started to add specific websites to the Universal Search results on Fire TV devices. Searching for a URL, either by voice search or using the onscreen keyboard search, will now display a new search result format for select websites that will load the website directly through Amazon’s Silk web browser. Read more ›

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Fire TV Cube is the first streamer to support Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids

Amazon has announced that the Fire TV Cube is the first streaming device in the U.S. to support Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA). Those with compatible Bluetooth hearing aids from Starkey can use a new “Hearing Aids” menu found under the Accessibility menu in Settings to connect the hearing aid to the Fire TV Cube. Once connected, you can use the volume buttons on the Fire TV remote to adjust the volume of the hearing aid. While the hearing aids are connected, you can hold the Home button to see a new “Disconnect Hearing Aids” option to easily disconnect. Amazon says it will expand support to more Fire TV models later this year.

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Fire TV User Profiles can now be linked to profiles within apps

Along with the new Fire TV Interface’s arrival last year came the arrival of user profiles on Fire TV devices. Those user profiles are becoming more useful as they can now be linked to the profiles within streaming service apps. As Reddit user occasio has pointed out, user profiles in the Discovery+ app can now be linked to the Fire TV user profile to eliminate the need to select a profile twice. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TVs can now automatically download, install, and launch apps

Amazon has rolled out a new Auto App Download feature to Fire TV devices recently that can speed up access to new apps. The new feature, once enabled, will streamline the process of downloading, installing, and launching apps with a single click. Instead of needing to first select an app to be downloaded, wait for the download, and then find the app in your app list to launch it, all steps happen as soon as you select any app, with a few caveats. Read more ›

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Alexa Shortcut Panel arrives on Fire TV devices with quick access to Smart Home, Weather, Library, and News

Amazon Fire TV devices have gained a new feature called the Alexa Shortcut Panel. When you tap the microphone / Alexa button on your remote, the shortcut panel appears in the bottom third of the screen with buttons that provide access to the Smart Home Dashboard, which was recently revamped, the Weather, your video Library, and to News, which launches the Fire TV News app. Read more ›

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Fire TV’s Smart Home Dashboard has been Redesigned with Denser Information

Amazon first launched a Smart Home Dashboard on Fire TV devices a little over a year ago. The dashboard has never really been emphasized or highlighted by Amazon, even though it has existed for quite a while. It always felt more like an experiment than a primary feature, but now the Smart Home Dashboard has been overhauled with a new look that shrinks controls and icons to provide a much denser view of your smart lights, plugs, security cameras, and more. Read more ›

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Here’s how recommended content from 3rd-party apps work on the Amazon Fire TV

With the new Fire TV user interface, Amazon added the ability for any app you have installed to recommend content for you to watch. These recommendations will appear in their own row on the Fire TV’s home screen. This new functionality was likely added in part to address criticism that Amazon only highlights their own Prime Video content on the Fire TV’s interface. Amazon just updated their developer documentation for this feature, giving us a better idea of how it works. Here’s a breakdown of the feature and what to expect when apps begin adopting it. Read more ›

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More apps will be able to recommend content on the Fire TV home screen in the near future


When the original Amazon Fire TV was first released, one of its biggest criticisms was that there was too much focus on Amazon Video content in the device’s interface, and not enough highlighting of content from other services. Amazon has since made huge strides to address those criticisms, and they’ll soon be more ways for non-Amazon content to surface on the Fire TV interface. Amazon recently updated their Fire TV developer documentation to state that more apps will soon be able to recommend content on the Fire TV’s home screen. Yesterday the entry was updated to add that the feature would be coming in “Q2 2017 or sooner.” Read more ›

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Explanation of the System X-Ray bar on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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The System X-Ray bar on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick is a handy overlay with display, CPU, memory, and network information. It can be turned on and off using the hidden Developer Tools Menu on Fire OS 5 devices. It is meant to be used by developers to better understand what their apps are doing, but it can also be useful for common users to diagnose problems and locate misbehaving apps. Here is an overview of what each piece of information in the bar means. Read more ›

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