What's New in Development
- Amazon Fire TV Device Updates
- Amazon Fire TV Documentation Updates
- Amazon Fire TV Blog Updates
Amazon Fire TV Device Updates
New Fire TV Smart Edition TVs Coming with Amazon and Best Buy Partnership
April 18, 2018. Amazon announced a multi-year collaboration with Best Buy to bring the next generation of Fire TV Edition smart TVs to customers in the United States and Canada. Beginning this summer, Best Buy will launch more than ten 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models from Toshiba and Insignia. The newly designed, affordable smart TVs come with the Fire TV experience built-in, uniquely bringing together live over-the-air TV and all streamed content into one easy-to-view location. The smart TVs will run Fire OS 6.
The Fire TV Edition also includes Voice Remote with Alexa, making it easy to launch apps, search for TV shows, play music, switch inputs, control smart home devices, and more. The smart TVs can also be paired with any Echo device, allowing customers to use their voice to control their TV experience hands-free with Alexa.
Fire TV Edition smart TVs will be available exclusively in Best Buy stores, on BestBuy.com, and for the first time, from Best Buy as a third-party seller on Amazon.com. Customers in the United States can purchase the first Fire TV Edition smart TV from Toshiba beginning this summer, with additional models to be released in 2018. The new Fire TV Edition smart TVs will also be available for purchase in Canada later this year.
More models and more places to buy a Fire TV means more potential customers for your Android apps and games when you publish on the Amazon Appstore and target Fire TV. See this blog post for more details.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic Edition Released
November 7, 2017. Fire TV Stick Basic Edition was released. See the official announcement here and the Appstore blog post. Fire TV Stick Basic Edition brings media streaming and the Amazon Fire TV experience to a global audience, including Canada, France, Italy, and Spain and more than 100 countries and territories (see the full list here). Brazil and Mexico will be included soon. Customers can set their default language as Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian Portuguese, German, or English.
The near global availability of Fire TV Stick Basic Edition means more potential customers for your Android app or game when you publish it on Amazon Appstore and target Fire TV. If you've set your app's availability as "In all countries and regions where Amazon sells apps", no extra work is required to target the new marketplaces. However, if you've chosen to make your app available in only specific countries, you will need to select the new marketplaces accordingly.
From a hardware perspective, the specs for Fire TV Stick (Gen 2) and Fire TV Stick Basic Edition are largely the same except that the Basic Edition doesn’t ship with an Alexa Voice Remote. The user interface in Basic Edition is also simplified and more app-centric. Fire TV Stick (Gen 2) is available in US, UK, Germany, Japan, and India, whereas Basic Edition is available outside these areas in more than 100 countries or territories.
Amazon Fire TV (Gen 3) Released
October 20, 2017. Fire TV (Gen 3) was released. (See Fire TV naming conventions for details on device names.) Fire TV (Gen 3) provides the latest release for the Fire TV line of devices. With the Gen 3 release, the form factor of the device changed from a set-top box to a more portable pendant (small box) that connects to an HDMI at the back of your TV. The media capabilities offer both 4K@60fps and HDR, along with Dolby Atmos. The device no longer offers an expandable microSD card, and the USB port is only for power and Ethernet (with an adapter), not to interface with your computer (you'll need to connect to adb wirelessly).
The most significant update is the Fire operating system. This is the first (and so far only) Fire TV device to run Fire OS 6, which is based on Android Nougat (API level 25) instead of Lollipop (API level 22). See the following for documentation updates details:
- Developing for Amazon Fire TV Devices Running Fire OS 6
- Fire TV Device Specifications
- Identify Amazon Fire TV Devices
- Audio and Video Synchronization
Fire TV Edition Released
May 16, 2017. Fire TV Edition was released. Fire TV Edition is a 4K Ultra HD television with Fire TV built-in. Fire TV Edition is similar to a TV with Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, with some additional features in the user interface. For example, with Fire TV Edition, you can:
- Toggle between inputs (and see a preview of the input prior to switching).
- See all live content on a row called "On Now".
- Select over-the-air (antenna) content.
- Use your voice to control volume, power, and other TV features.
Fire TV Edition's remote controller includes 6 new buttons (power, volume up, volume down, Netflix, Amazon Video, and Amazon Music), and more. See the full description of Fire TV Edition on Amazon.com for more details.
Your app works the same on Fire TV Edition as with other Fire TV devices, so there's no impact to third-party apps except for wider visibility of your content through this new device and market. See the Fire TV Edition FAQ for more details about apps and Fire TV Edition.
Fire TV Stick Gen 2 Available in UK, Germany, Japan, and India
Feb 21, 2017. The Fire TV Stick Gen 2 (officially called the "Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote) is now available in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, and India. For more details, see the All-New Fire TV Stick to Hit Shelves in the UK, Germany, and Japan.
Amazon Fire TV Documentation Updates
The following table lists significant updates or new pages to the general Amazon Fire TV documentation. Updates related to Fire App Builder, Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV, or Amazon Creator are provided in the release notes section of their documentation.
|May 10, 2018||Testing Audio Focus||Evaluate whether your app handles audio focus correctly with the Audio Focus Requester tool.|
|April 24, 2018||Device Specifications for Fire TV||Reformatted the page from a tabbed layout to a drop-down-selector layout to accommodate the growing number of Fire TV devices. Added general descriptions for each device.|
|March 29, 2018||Optimization to Enable Voice Interactivity with Media Playback through Media Session||Provides instructions for voice-enabling the media playback in your app (for example, Play, Stop, Fast-forward, Rewind) using Android MediaSession.|
|March 27, 2018||Retrieving the Advertising ID and Ad Tracking Preference in Web Apps||You can get the advertising ID and the ad tracking preference in web apps by calling two methods:
|March 27, 2018||Requirements for Multimedia Apps on Fire TV||For Fire TV applications to interact harmoniously with other applications on Fire TV, all applications must adhere to the same multimedia requirements. These multimedia requirements include how to correctly handle activity lifecycle and audio focus events, MediaSession, decoder instances, wake locks, and more.|
|March 14, 2018||Cordova plugin for Fire TV Catalog Integration||The Cordova plugin for Fire TV Catalog Integration makes it possible to integrate your HTML5 web app with the Fire TV catalog. By integrating with Fire TV Catalog, users can perform voice searches for media in your app, and the Fire TV search results will show your app's content.|
|March 8, 2018||Getting Started Developing Apps||Included links to Fire TV ebook and to Amazon Creator.|
|March 8, 2018||Development Framework Comparison||Included Amazon Creator in the content, including comparisons in the table.|
|March 8, 2018||What's New||Removed Fire App Builder updates, as these are contained in the Fire App Builder Release Notes. Also removed notes about updates from 2016.|
|November 8, 2017||Fire TV specifications||Specifications for Fire TV Stick Basic Edition added.|
|November 3, 2017||Fire TV specifications||CPU details for all Fire TV devices (which run Fire OS) updated with "Supports 32-bit apps."|
|October 13, 2017||Site theme update for docs pages||The web pages for docs were updated to match branding of other site pages. Backend processes for authoring and publishing docs were completely retooled with a docs-as-code process. This new authoring/publishing framework will make it easier to publish doc updates in a quicker, more consistent and uniform way.|
|October 13, 2017||Debug Your Web App||Updates to the doc to match updates in the Web App Tester tool.|
|September 28, 2017||Fire TV Device Specifications||Linked to Bluetooth profile for each device to provide supported profiles.|
|September 28, 2017||
"Audio Focus" section in Developer Tools
"Naming Conventions" section in Get Started
Fire OS Overview updates
"Remove uses-amzn-sdk" from App Manifest" section in Targeting Amazon Devices
|Updates related to Fire TV (Gen 3) release|
|September 27, 2017||
Developing for Amazon Fire TV Devices Running Fire OS 6
Fire TV Device Specifications
Identify Amazon Fire TV Devices
Audio and Video Synchronization
|New docs for Fire TV (Gen 3) release|
|May 16, 2017||
Fire TV Device Specifications
Fire TV Edition FAQ
Identify Fire TV Devices
Playing 4K Ultra HD Videos on Fire TV
|Documentation updates related to Fire TV Edition.|
|May 8, 2017||Recommendations FAQ||Recommendations questions and answers.|
|March 10, 2017||
Send Recommendations that Include Amazon Enhancements
Test Your Recommendations
Best Practices with Recommendations
|New documentation on how to send recommendations to a row called "Recommended By Your Apps" on the Fire TV home screen.|
|March 5, 2017||Documentation index page.||The top navigation bar of the Developer Portal now includes a Docs link that provides an index to all documentation on the Developer Portal.|
Amazon Fire TV Blog Updates
You can follow the latest news about Fire TV by reading the Fire TV category on the blog.