Amazon.com just announced a significant update for its Fire TV and Fire TV Stick streaming devices. The media players will receive voice search support through Alexa, Amazon’s smart voice assistant, and will integrate Netflix and HBO recommendation results in the home screen.
The update follows significant efforts from the e-commerce giant to push its voice assistant further into the market. Amazon had previously introduced Alexa as a voice service primarily through the Amazon Echo. The home automation device uses Alexa to execute commands and answer requests from homeowners.
Moreover, both Alexa as a standalone app and through the Echo home assistant support remote control of vehicles from BMW and Hyundai. Amazon has used the smart platform in the past as a probe to enter in the automotive industry.
“CUSTOMERS HAVE TOLD US THEY LOVE HAVING ACCESS TO THE WIDE SELECTION OF APPS, GAMES AND ALEXA SKILLS ON AMAZON FIRE TV, AND THEY LOVE HOW EASY IT IS TO FIND THEI FAVORITE SHOWS WITH UNIVERSAL VOICE SEARCH,” said the Vice President of the Amazon Fire TV subdivision Marc Whitten.
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick now offer more comprehensive searches
Amazon’s signature streaming devices already set high, if not atop, the list of digital media players for home consumers in the U.S. The main reason for this is their simple interface and seamless integration with a very wide range of apps and live-streaming channels for all tastes.
With the over-the-air software update for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, customers will get a standardized universal search across all of their apps and channels. This means that shows and movies are now easier to find, as the interface shows all the results available in different platforms and displays options to buy, rent, stream, or watch directly.
Users will also get an updated home screen that readily provides access to recommendations from iconic subscription services like Netflix and HBO GO. No need to enter the official apps anymore to navigate searching for shows or films, since Amazon Fire TV devices will now display dedicated rows from selected providers.
Additionally, the digital media players will get full control over the playback options in Amazon Video thanks to Alexa. Saying commands out loud to skip, play, pause, rewind, or switch to the next episode, viewers can fully experience their favorite content in a premium fashion.
Last but not least, Alexa goes an extra mile to offer sports updates directly in-app while broadcasting from Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Users can customize which sports they want to get updates from, and just use voice commands to request Alexa the latest info on them.
The update is currently rolling out on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick streaming players and will enable the new functions automatically.