We aim to create the best 10-foot experience for our customers and developers by making content discovery and engagement easy and enjoyable. We are excited to announce that, starting today, an over-the-air (OTA) update will bring key changes to Fire TV that will make discovery and engagement even easier than before. Fire TV will now support notifications and have a brand new user interface. The updated Fire TV interface will present a cinematic experience, offering video trailers and content screenshots to help customers access the content they want more quickly – without the need to open and close multiple apps. With over 7000 apps, games and Alexa Skills, the new and improved on-device experience will make it much easier for customers to engage with the content they love and discover new apps and games. This OTA update is currently being delivered to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice remote, the two most recent members of the Fire TV device family. Earlier models of Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks will also receive the update once available for those devices.
A brand new Amazon Fire TV experience
The new display is more than just a cosmetic update. We’ve compiled apps and games within the Apps tab and increased its visibility as a whole, by boosting it up to the primary navigation alongside Home, Movies and TV Shows. Now customers can access your apps and games with just one click. Additionally, the new interface simplifies browsing and makes it easier for customers to peruse through various rows of content, increasing chances of discovering new media.
A variety of new content rows will highlight different types of apps and games for customers, making it easier for them to see the variety of content that is available. Let’s take a closer look at some of the new and updated rows that will be available to customers soon:
Drive engagement for your apps and games
The Your Apps and Games row is a brand new row on the home screen, and combines the customer’s favorite apps and games in one easy to access row. Customers will be able to customize the order in which apps and games appear, based on their interests, allowing them to get to the content they love in fewer clicks. This row is also available to customers from the Home screen, making it that much easier for customers to quickly engage with the apps and games they love and increasing your app’s overall usage. For customers who subscribe to Netflix, HBO GO or HBO NOW, the new interface will provide a dedicated row that will highlight content from within these apps, so customers can easily explore new shows.
Personalization with recommendations
The Recommended For You row uses Amazon’s recommendation engine to display apps that are more likely to be of interest to each individual customer. Just like the Amazon.com website, the Recommended For You row considers user preferences, affinities, and past activities to surface content that is truly relevant to the individual customer. This means that we’ll recommend your app to the customers who are most likely to appreciate and download it, leading to a deeper engagement.
Increased discovery for New Releases
You may also find your app featured in the Hot New Releases row. This new row highlights apps and games newly available to Fire TV customers. The content in this row will also be personalized based on the preferences of each customer, so that new apps on Fire TV will be recommended to people more likely to download them. This is a great new way to highlight a variety of apps to customers who are actively seeking new content.
Engage your customers with notifications
In addition to the new interface, for the first time ever, you will be able to directly engage your customers on Fire TV by using notifications. The standard Android notification mechanism drives this capability, so using notifications in your app or game is a straightforward process. Now, depending on the specifics of your app or game, you can use notifications to engage customers when new content is available in your app, like new episodes to an existing series, or a brand new functionality or feature. If you are a game developer, notifications can help keep your customers informed when there are new levels in a game, new game-packs available, or new badges or rewards are earned. To get started with notifications, specify a PendingIntent as you would in any Android application, giving you flexibility to drive specific actions. All the details you need to get started with notification on Fire TV are outlined in our documentation. Notifications are enabled by default and images are supported, helping you create more engaging communication with your customers. All notifications will be shown in the dedicated Notification Center, where customers will be provided with visual cues to learn that they can expect to hear directly from the developers of their favorite content within the Notification Center.
Bring your apps to Amazon Fire TV today
Fire TV continues to be the #1 streaming media player family in the U.S. across all retailers, and sales of Amazon Fire TV devices were up over 2.5X this Cyber Monday. Along with this growth, we are committed to continuing to optimize the Fire TV experience to help drive discovery and engagement for your apps. Getting your apps onto Fire TV is easy. The Fire TV device family runs on Fire OS5, which is based on Android Lollipop, so you can develop with the tools and frameworks you’re familiar with. Additionally, Amazon-built frameworks like Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV and Fire App Builder, make it easy for you to get started with creating and publishing a Fire TV app, even if you’re new to developing for the 10 ft. experience.
Get your apps ready for the new interface
To fully benefit from the update and maximize its impact on user engagement, we encourage you to take a look at the asset guideline for the new interface and update your app icon, background image, and screenshots directly in the Developer Portal. The new developer portal fields are already available for you to upload the new image assets. While you are not required to submit new assets, we highly encourage you to update your app icon, background image, and screenshots according to the new asset guidelines, so that your app can look its very best in the new Fire TV experience.
Fire TV asset guideline
Fire TV Notification Center
Learn about developing for Fire TV
WASK -HTML5 web app template for Fire TV
Fire App Builder - Java framework for Fire TV
Test your app