Amazon’s Fire TV update with all-new homescreen is now live

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Amazon’s new Fire TV software

Amazon

Amazon Thursday announced that its big new Fire TV software update is now deployed to devices. It has a totally redesigned home screen and features like separate user profiles, so the recommendations on what to watch are different for each person in your family.

The software was first announced in September and debuted on the Fire TV Stick Lite and the third-gen Fire TV Stick in December, but now everyone who owns the Amazon Fire TV Cube (1st and 2nd gen) and the 3rd-gen Fire TV, the Fire TV Stick 4K will be able to use the new features. Amazon says it will update smart TVs and the second-generation Fire TV Stick later this year.

New features can help it compete more aggressively Roku, which still holds a 50% market share of global connected TV streaming hours with strong growth opportunities, according to an analyst note from Deutsche Bank in August.

Amazon’s new Fire TV software

Amazon

Up to six people can create different profiles with the new software. So if you watch a lot of comedy shows, Amazon might recommend other comedies that you will like. But if your spouse watches a lot of drama, they’ll get recommendations for more of this type of content. Currently, with just one profile, Amazon is simply recommending more based on everything that’s been watched, no matter who’s watching.

The new Amazon Fire TV interface, which includes user profiles.

Amazon

Personalization also extends to the Home screen, where you can pin specific apps to the top for quick access. Maybe you are using Netflix, YouTube TV and Disney + often, for example. You can put new, smaller icons for the ones at the top. Recommendations for the content you watch across all services are displayed below.

There’s also a new “Live” tab that shows you a channel guide so it’s easier to jump straight to live TV, if you’re paying for a streaming TV service like Sling or YouTube TV. Amazon told CNBC in September that it designed this to make it a more familiar experience for people switching from cable to streaming.

The update also includes deeper integration with Alexa voice assistant, so you can say “Alexa, go to live TV” and it will launch the live TV service you pay for.

Amazon’s new Fire TV software

Amazon

Finally, there is a new “Find” section that makes it easier to find something to look at. It shows movies, on-demand TV shows, live TV, your watchlist and more.

You can update your Fire TV by opening settings and selecting “My Fire TV”, then “About” and choosing “Check for system update.”


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