Amazon makes a small but welcomed change to the Fire TV navigation menu

It seems like Amazon can’t quite settle on the best arrangement of navigation icons on the Fire TV home screen because it has changed once again. Most recently, Amazon merged the “Profile” and “Settings” icons to make room for a new “Games” icon. Before that, Amazon squeezed in a new “Free” icon to make it easier to get to the content that doesn’t cost anything extra. The change this time is only a rearrangement of the already present icons, but I would argue it’s more useful for most people than either of the new icons that have been added recently. Read more ›

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Google TV home screen update makes your apps more accessible

Google has announced a small but welcomed update to its Google TV home screen. The biggest change is the switch from rectangular to circular icons for the home screen’s “Your apps” row. While aesthetically differentiating app icons from the rectangular content icons, it also has the added benefit of increasing the number of visible apps from seven on the old design to nine on the new design. Comparatively, Fire TVs only show six app icons on the home screen. Read more ›

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Fire TV gains new web-based virtual remote and keyboard for quick and simple control from anywhere

The latest Fire TV software update has made some annoying changes, but it has also made some good changes. One of those changes is the addition of an extremely easy to use virtual keyboard and basic remote that can be accessed by any web browser. While the Fire TV mobile app has existed for quite a while to serve as a virtual Fire TV remote, it can be cumbersome and slow to use, especially if all you want to do is type a single long password. While the new browser-based alternative keyboard/remote isn’t as capable as the Fire TV Remote app, it makes up for it in speed and simplicity. Read more ›

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Google TV update improves performance, frees up storage space, and more

Google has announced a few new updates rolling out to devices running the Google TV version of Android TV, such as the Chromecast 4K and Onn 4K Box. These updates, most of which will arrive as system app updates through the Google Play Store, are focused on improving the performance of the device, reducing the amount of internal storage space taken up by pre-installed apps, and tweaking the Live TV tab by adding a couple of new rows. Read more ›

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New Fire TV privacy options control the info your apps share with Amazon

As part of the new Continue Watching row feature on the Fire TV home screen, Amazon has added new privacy options that allow you to control which of your apps share your viewing history with Amazon. With these new privacy options enabled, your supported apps will share your watch activity, watchlist, DVR recordings, content purchases, and rentals with Amazon. While Amazon will use this data about you for positive things, like the new Continue Watching row, it will also use the data to target ads at you. Read more ›

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Fire TVs now autoplay Full-Screen Video Ads when waking up and what you can do about it

Amazon has made an audacious change to Fire TV devices that causes a full-screen video ad to automatically play when the device is powered on or wakes from its standby sleep mode. Fire TVs have long had a large banner ad at the top of the home screen that, when manually navigated to, would expand into a full-screen video. A recent change made by Amazon has made the ad the new default cursor location, instead of the navigation menu as it has been since the Fire TV debuted in 2014. Making the banner ad the new default cursor location now causes the ad to expand and autoplay immediately. Read more ›

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Recently Used Apps row returns to all Fire TVs — Amazon says its removal was caused by an issue that has been fixed

Earlier this week, Fire TV users began noticing that the “Recently Used Apps” row had been removed from their Fire TV home screen. Amazon has just informed me that the removal was not intentional and was caused by a “temporary issue” that affected Fire TV customers in North America. I’m told that the issue has now been fixed and that those who saw the “Recently Used Apps” go missing should now see it restored to their home screens.

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Recently Used App row goes missing on some Fire TVs

Some people are finding that the “Recently Used Apps” row on the Fire TV home screen has been removed. Several users on Reddit and Cord Cutters News are seeing this change across numerous Fire TV models including the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and Fire TV Smart TVs. While Amazon has been making positive changes to the Fire TV home screen recently, like the recent addition of a Continue Watching row, this change is upsetting a lot of customers. Read more ›

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Ambient Experience on Fire TV Stick 4K Max can now stay on longer or forever

The 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which is currently on sale at an all-time low of $39.99, debuted earlier this year as the first non-television Fire TV device with the Fire TV Ambient Experience. Disappointingly, the Echo Show-like screensaver replacement would only run for about 15 minutes before the device went to sleep, making the feature nearly useless for many people who thought the feature could turn their TV into a smart display of sorts. In a new software update, Amazon has now made it possible to set how long the TV stays on with the Ambient Experience running. Read more ›

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Fire TV’s built-in live channel guide has been updated with improved filtering options

If you’re a fan of watching live channels, one of the best features of Fire TVs is the built-in program guide that combines channels from many apps and services into a single list. With a button that takes you directly to the guide on all modern Fire TV remotes, it’s handy to flip back and forth between channels no matter what service they’re from. While you can easily remove channels and services you don’t want to be included, the program guide can still easily become unwieldy with the number of channels it contains. Amazon has recently made changes to help filter through the channel guide that is already available on select devices and will, hopefully, be coming to more in the near future. Read more ›

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