Amazon has released a firmware update for its Fire TV and Fire TV stick media streaming devices. Among other things, this update adds support for Amazon Fling, which lets you select a video or other content on your phone or tablet and send it to your Fire TV device with a tap of a button.
It’s basically Amazon’s answer to the Google Cast protocol used by the Google Chromecast and Android TV devices.
Note that Fling won’t work with all apps. Developers need to use Amazon’s new Fling SDK to add support for the feature to their apps, but Amazon is encouraging developers to do that by, among other things, making it easy for apps that already support Google’s Cast protocol to enable support for Fling.
The folks at AFTV News have put together a nice run-down of new features included in the Fire TV 18.104.22.168_user_516010220 software, but aside from Fling, here are a few of the highlights:
- You can now manually add apps or games to your favorites, ensuring they always appear on the front page of the Games Library or Apps Library list, even if they haven’t been purchased or played recently.
- You can now check the signal strength and status (connected or not) of your network connection from the settings menu.
- Amazon now shows you how much storage space you have left (and how much you’re using) when you visit the Manage Applications area in the Fire TV settings.
- You can now filter apps and games by their release date, price, average customer review, best selling status, or other critera.
Other changes include an option to view more details about a photo (such as when it was taken and when it was uploaded), changes to the Games and GameCircle Leaderboard areas, and some unfinished tweaks that could eventually add new functionality — including the ability to order goods from Amazon from your TV, using a new “Shop” feature that will be added to the home screen.