Amazon slightly shrinks the full-screen auto-playing ad on the Fire TV’s home screen

Amazon has updated the size of the full-screen auto-playing video ads that appear on the Fire TV home screen when you first power on the device. The change, which was first spotted by Cord Cutters News, reduces the size of the ad slightly to keep the navigation bar and your app row visible at the bottom of the screen. Read more ›

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Amazon launches its new AI-powered voice search on Fire TVs but leaves out the best parts

Amazon has announced the launch of its new AI-enhanced voice search for Fire TV devices which promises to make finding “personalized TV show and movie recommendations using natural language” simple and easy. The update was first announced last fall and looked impressive in the demo video, but what’s starting to roll out now is missing some of the useful flair that was demonstrated last year. Read more ›

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Google announces new features coming in Android TV 14

Google is holding its annual Google I/O developer conference this week and has revealed a few new features coming to Google TV and Android TV devices with the upcoming Android 14 update. The changes include performance improvements, reduced power consumption thanks to new power modes, accessibility improvements, picture-in-picture multitasking, and more. Read more ›

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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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