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
Fire TV Edition - Toshiba HD (2018) Released
Sept. 4, 2018 Amazon announced a new Fire TV Edition smart TV. The Fire TV Edition - Toshiba HD provides high-quality 2K streaming at a low cost. The tech specs are comparable to Fire TV Stick (2015/2016), and as with other Fire TV Edition smart TVs, the Toshiba HD ships with Fire OS 6 (based on Android N). The Toshiba HD has a max video resolution of 720P HD / 1080P FHD @ 60 Hz, with an Amlogic-T950Y system on chip and 1GB DDR4 memory. The software UI is the same experience as with the Toshiba 4K — you can control many settings and inputs through near-field voice (using your remote control) or through far-field voice using a linked Alexa device. When setting up the Toshiba HD, you aren't required to have an Amazon account to install popular streaming apps. Several screen sizes are available: 32" (720p), 43" (1080p), and 49" (1080p). HDR and 4K are not supported. For specification details, see the Fire TV Device Specifications
Fire TV Cube Announced
June 6, 2017. Amazon Fire TV Cube is a hands-free 4K Ultra HD streaming media player with Alexa that allows you to control your TV from across the room. You can find and watch your favorite TV shows and movies, power your TV on and off, change the volume, switch to different inputs, and change the cable channel—all with just your voice. Even with the TV off, you can simply say a command and Fire TV Cube powers on the TV and sound system, and starts playback right where you left off.
For developers, the Fire TV Cube offers a new way for customers to discover their content. Customers can search for content within a certain genre, saying things like "Alexa, find dramas." The Fire TV Cube will then display all relevant content in a new search interface, where customers can use their voice to scroll through the results and launch the movie or show they requested, or download an app.
You can learn more at the following links:
- Fire TV Cube developer specs
- Official Amazon Press Release: “Alexa, Turn on the TV” – Introducing Amazon Fire TV Cube…
- Appstore blog: Create a Voice-Forward Experience for Customers with the All-New Amazon Fire TV Cube
Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K Announced
May 30, 2018. The Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K Smart TV was announced. Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K (2018) is the latest smart TV integration with Fire TV, supporting up to 4k resolutions @ 60 fps and HDR10. Common with Fire TV Edition features, you can control the Fire TV experience through voice, including controlling power, volume, channels, inputs, content, playback, smart home devices, music, and more.
Unique to the Toshiba Fire TV are a variety of new customization options and an enhanced remote control. The customization options let you select picture and sound setting, add Favorites to the "On" Now row, and name inputs. Additionally, during setup, you can select a "Basic Mode" that does not require you to sign in with an Amazon account.
In Basic Mode, you can still view a subset of apps — Netflix, HBO, Sony PlayStation Vue, Amazon Prime Video, Sling, and Hulu — as well as over-the-air live TV and input switching (but voice-related features aren't unavailable in Basic Mode). Several sizes are offered: 43-inch, 50-inch, and 55-inch. You can read more details in this Appstore Blog post and in the device specifications for developers.
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).
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.
|July 13, 2018||Fire TV Device Specifications||Added Fire TV Edition - Toshiba HD to the device specifications.|
|July 13, 2018||Managing Audio Focus||Updated and simplified the content.|
|June 7, 2018||Device Specifications for Fire TV Cube||Added device specifications for Fire TV Cube|
|June 7, 2018||Voice-enabling Your App and Content||Provides information on two approaches for voice-enabling your app — the Video Skill API and MediaSession API.|
|June 7, 2018||Naming Conventions for Fire TV Devices||"Fire TV Cube" refers to a new category of Fire TV devices.|
|May 30, 2018||Device Specifications for Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K||Added device specifications for Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K Smart TV|
|May 30, 2018||Naming Conventions for Fire TV Devices||"Fire TV Edition" refers to any smart TV with Fire TV integrated, whether Element or Toshiba.|
|May 30, 2018||Identifying Amazon Fire TV Devices||Included details for Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K|
|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
4K Ultra HD Specifications 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.