Amazon completely revamped its Fire TV experience late last year. It includes separate user profiles for everyone in your household, smarter suggestions based on your viewing history, and a new live tab that summarizes sporting events and concerts. The latest Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite hardware launched last year hit the shelves with the latest out-of-the-box software. However, some Amazon devices like the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Edition still need to be updated to the latest software.
But those who haven’t had a chance to try out the new software don’t have to wait long. Amazon plans to begin rolling out the Fire TV upgrade to Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire Edition TVs in March, according to a new report from Protocol. Amazon confirmed that these devices would receive the “Early 2021” upgrade, so the rumored release date would fit perfectly.
The protocol claims that Amazon is not only releasing the new Fire TV experience to more streaming devices, it is also working hard on optimizing the software for devices that have already been updated. So it’s entirely possible that we’ll see some exciting new features in the pipeline in the coming weeks and months. With more of us spending time at home catching up on movies and boxing sets that we missed, the timing couldn’t be much better.
For those who missed the first announcement about the big upgrade to Fire TV – one of the biggest in its history – the redesign brings the homescreen back to life.
The new design aims to bring all of your favorite shows, movies and games together in one place. In addition to the Search, Library, and Live tabs, Amazon has added some easy-to-access shortcuts to your favorite apps. they’re all pretty self explanatory. Most of the user interface, however, is filled with tiles of all the shows you are currently watching across your streaming services, as well as suggestions for new films and shows that you can discover based on your viewing history.
Some of these features were available in the previous software update, but what makes such a difference this time around is the arrival of user profiles. Yes, with the new Fire TV experience viewers can switch between a maximum of six profiles for individual family members or roommates.
Each of these profiles has its own personalized suggestions based on the history of the ad. While Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service has had user profiles for a while, the functionality hasn’t been extended to the Fire TV hardware itself. As such, shows and movies would be suggested based on everything watched on television.
Hence, Fire TV would suggest new movies based on the films parents saw in the evening and children in the morning. Needless to say, this could lead to rather confusing suggestions or make younger viewers stumble upon a post-watershed show that is shown front and back on the Fire TV homepage. Likewise, links for continuing box sets are displayed side by side, without any distinction being made between who saw the show.
With the arrival of these new user profiles, these links are now divided according to who was logged in when going through a series. So if you only have a few episodes of Game Of Thrones and Industry but your partner has made it to the season finale, they will be shown separately and only shown if the correct person is signed in.
Additionally, each user profile has its own watchlist, so you can queue up a list of movies and shows that you dearly want to see – and this will not affect other people watching the same thing on TV as they have their own lists can create. Profiles should ensure that everyone gets a highly personalized experience while using a Fire TV. So far this has only applied to those who live alone … or have a different Fire TV Stick in each room of the house.
In addition to the profiles, Amazon has optimized the recommendations. After the update, a new Search tab will appear at the top of the interface. This is designed to bring together all of the box sets and movies that Amazon thinks you will like based on your previous ad. It will still contain recommendations from various streaming services – not just Prime Video. So expect new box sets from Disney +, Shudder and Netflix in the mix.
If you haven’t tried the new Fire TV experience, you’re really missing out. Interestingly, with the update, Amazon has prioritized its cheapest devices. Whether Amazon does this in the future remains to be seen, but if so, those who spent £ 109 on the Fire TV Cube (which combines a Fire TV with an Echo Dot into a single smart home hub) could do so feel a little upset.