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Smart TV FAQ

This FAQ is common for all Smart TV devices.

Smart TVs refers to any TV with Amazon Fire OS built-in to the television hardware. As you develop apps for Fire TV, here are answers to a few questions you might have about support for Fire TV.

Q: If my app works on other Amazon Fire TV devices, will it work on Smart TVs?
Yes, if your app works on Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, it will most likely work on a Smart TV. 99.9% of Fire TV apps are expected to work on Smart TVs. For any apps you already have in the Appstore, Smart TV will automatically be added as a supported device — you don't need to do anything. If support for a Smart TV fails, you will be notified by the Appstore team.
Q: Why would an app fail for a Smart TV?
If you targeted your code for specific build models, such as AFTS (instead of using the wildcard AFT*), Smart TVs will not be included.
Q: How can I target Smart TV models in my code?
To target Fire TV Smart TVs in your code, you can check for AFT* in the android.os.Build.MODEL combined with the Build.MANUFACTURER, which will return Amazon. See Identifying Amazon Fire TV Devices for more details.
Q: How do I target Smart TVs in my manifest?
Currently, you can't target any Fire TV devices through your manifest. When you upload your APK into the Appstore submission portal, on the "APK Files" tab, you must indicate support for Smart TV devices in the same way that you indicate support for the other Fire TV devices — by manually moving a slider to indicate support for that device.
Q: What features can I access/leverage on Smart TVs that I previously was unable to use on other Fire TV devices?
For apps, Smart TVs do not give you access to any special new features. The device itself has some new UI elements, such as the ability to toggle between inputs (and see a preview of the input prior to switching), aggregation of live content on a row called "On Now", the option to select over-the-air (antenna) content, the ability to control volume, power, and other TV features using your voice, and a remote with extra buttons. However, apps launch and function in the same way as with other Fire TV devices.
Q: Do Smart TVs have more horsepower to run more CPU intensive games?
In general, Fire TV is geared toward casual games, not graphic intensive/immersive games. You can see the graphics specs for Smart TVs in the device specifications.
Q: Can I map the new buttons on the Smart TV remote controller to my game?
No, the additional buttons on Smart TV remote controls (volume up, volume down, power, Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.) are owned by the system and not accessible to third-party apps.
Q: How can I test my app on Smart TVs?
For Android apps, you test apps the usual way, by connecting Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to Fire TV then running the app from Android Studio. However, you cannot connect adb to Smart TVs using a USB cable. You must connect adb through the wifi network. Web apps can be tested using the Web App Tester rather than with adb.
Q: How can I test my app on Smart TVs without a Fire TV Smart TV?
You must have a Fire TV Smart TV device to fully test your device. Emulators don't work reliably for testing apps with Fire TV. And the App Testing Service (ATS) does not evaluate support for Fire TV Smart TVs. However, if you submit your APK to the Appstore and it fails for some reason on Smart TVs, the Appstore team will let you know why your app failed. In general, if your app works on a Fire TV device (especially Fire TV Stick), it will work on a Smart TV.
Q: If I have a Smart TV, can I plug in a Fire TV device (e.g., stick, cube, pendant, set-top box) into the Smart TV to test support on those devices as well?
Yes, you can plug a Fire TV device into your Smart TV and select it as an input on your Smart TV.