After over 5 years without major updates, Amazon has finally unveiled a completely revamped Fire TV interface. This visual overhaul aims to modernize the streaming experience on Fire TV devices. I‘ll provide an in-depth look at what‘s changing and how you can install the update to check out the new look.
Why Amazon Felt It Was Time for an Interface Makeover
Launched back in 2014, Fire TV‘s interface had grown dated compared to competitors like Roku that have continued innovating. With streaming usage booming over the past few years, Amazon needed a more contemporary UI to keep pace.
Specifically, the rise of 4K and on-demand viewing called for an interface optimized for finding content quickly across multiple apps. The old vertical layout with app icons stacked on top of each other made for cluttered navigation.
Analysts have also noted that Roku‘s sticking with a simple grid of icons helped boost its market share over Fire TV. So Amazon likely felt pressure to simplify and modernize its UI.
According to eMarketer, Roku accounts for 28.8% of connected TV usage compared to Amazon Fire TV’s 12.5%. This long overdue redesign could help Amazon catch up.
Key Changes in the New Fire TV Interface
Here are the most notable updates in Amazon‘s Fire TV makeover:
Redesigned Home Screen
The new home screen shifts away from the old vertical menu to a sleek, horizontal ribbon of content. This provides one-glance access to all your apps and videos in a neat single row.
You can quickly scroll left and right through various content categories like Live, Search, Your Apps & Channels, Free, Movies, TV Shows, Sports and more. It‘s much smoother navigation compared to the stacked vertical lists.
Redesigned App Icons
All app icons now have a rounded square shape for cleaner aesthetics. The icons also seem slightly larger, making them easier to see from a distance.
Personalized User Profiles
You can now create up to 6 user profiles within Fire TV. Each profile gets its own content recommendations based on individual viewing history along with the ability to save watchlists. This is great for households sharing one Fire TV device.
The new Fire TV search scans across over 20 streaming apps to find relevant results. This makes it easier to locate the content you want without having to search each app individually.
Improved Content Recommendations
Amazon says the updated interface will showcase more personalized recommendations for new movies, shows, apps, Alexa skills, and more. The redesign aims to surface more relevant content suggestions as you navigate.
How to Install the Fire TV Interface Update
If you don‘t want to wait for the new interface to reach your device, you can manually install the update by following these steps:
- From the Home screen, go to Settings.
- Select My Fire TV > Check for Updates.
- If the interface update is available, select Download.
- Once downloaded, select Install.
- Your Fire TV device will restart to complete the installation. This takes around 2-3 minutes.
- After restarting, you‘ll be greeted with a "Welcome" message. Browse around to check out the new look!
Here‘s a quick visual guide to the process:
It may take a few days for the update to propagate to all Fire TV devices. If you don‘t see it available yet, just keep checking back.
Early Reviews of the New Fire TV Interface
Many reviewers praise the new horizontal menu for improved navigation. TechCrunch says the "single structured row of menus and content is far easier to understand."
CNET also appreciated the visual overhaul, stating the redesigned home screen offers "quick access to movies, shows, apps and recommendations."
However, some note the updated icons appear too similar, making it tricky to distinguish apps at a glance. There are also complaints about increased ads throughout the interface.
Others argue the interface feels dumbed down compared to competitors like Roku. But the streamlined simplicity could appeal to casual streamers wanting an intuitive experience.
Should You Upgrade to the New Interface?
If you‘ve grown frustrated with Fire TV‘s aging vertical menus, the updated horizontal interface is likely a welcome change. Navigation and content discovery do feel snappier.
The personalized profiles also add nice customization for households. And increased Alexa integration provides helpful voice controls.
However, you may want to temporarily revert back to the classic view if the visual changes throw you off at first. Luckily, switching between interfaces is straightforward.
Here are a few other tips for adjusting:
Take time to reorganize your home screen apps to fit your preferences. You can move icons around freely.
Use universal search and recommendations to find new content since app layouts changed.
Adjust icon size and brightness in Settings if needed for readability.
Turn off personalized recommendations and disable targeted ads if you prefer more privacy.
Overall, I recommend giving the fresh new Fire TV interface a shot. Streamlining navigation makes the overall viewing experience more enjoyable. But don‘t hesitate to revert to the classic view if you change your mind.
Let me know if have any other questions! I‘m happy to help you customize the new interface.