Amazon announced today that it will be bringing its popular Alex voice service to Fire TV. First made popular on its Echo Smart Speaker, the intelligent assistant will be able to control a variety of functions on the streaming media player. Of course, Apple TV has had Siri functionality since the current generation was released last October. How does the Fire TV’s new found feature stack up? Head below for more.
The most natural use for Alexa is the ability to launch apps and search on-demand content. Users will be able to say commands like, “launch Hulu” and the appropriate software will open. Sifting through all of the available content should also be easier with dictation. All told, Alexa will support 59 different content providers including “Hulu, Showtime, Starz, HBO Go and more.” Fire TV owners will simply need to press the microphone button on the included remote to activate this functionality.
Additional features include finding movie showtimes at your local theaters and finding information on local establishments like restaurants. Alongside today’s Alexa news, Amazon also announced that it will be bringing support for YouTube’s library of 4K content to its streaming media player.
All of today’s updates are slated to hit via a free over-the-air update in the “coming weeks.” Amazon’s Fire TV is currently available direct for $99.99 shipped.
Amazon Adds New Alexa Features for Fire TV
Now you can ask Alexa to play TV shows and movies, launch apps, and more
Amazon Fire TV is the #1 streaming media player in the US across all retailers; Fire TV Stick is the most reviewed product in Amazon history with over 100,000 customer reviews
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 17, 2016– (NASDAQ:AMZN)–Amazon today announced new Alexa voice features are coming to Fire TV, including the ability to control playback of Amazon Video and Add-On Subscription content, launch apps, access local movie show times, search local businesses and restaurants, and more—all just by using your voice. Discovering and accessing content on Fire TV has never been easier with the new Alexa playback features, plus integrated voice search across 59 content partners including Hulu, Showtime, Starz, HBO Go and more. These new Alexa features will be automatically delivered via free, over-the-air software updates in the coming weeks.
“Customers have told us they love having the convenience of Alexa on their Amazon Fire TV,” said Tim Twerdahl, General Manager, Amazon Fire TV. “We’re excited to add new Alexa features to Fire TV, making it easier than ever to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies, and apps.”
New features coming to Amazon Fire TV in the coming weeks include:
- Launch apps using Alexa—Say “Open HBO Now” or “Launch Hulu” into the Fire TV Voice Remote to instantly open the app
- Play Amazon Video and Add-On Subscription content from Starz, Showtime, and more using Alexa—Say “Play Interstellar,��� or “Watch Veep” and get even easier access to your favorite TV shows and movies
- Find local movie show times via Alexa—Ask “What movies are playing nearby?” or “Where is The Jungle Book playing?” to find out what movies are playing in theatres near you or specific movie times
- YouTube 4K Ultra HD—Access YouTube’s full 4K library via the YouTube.com app on Amazon Fire TV when connected to a UHD-compatible TV
- Search for local businesses and restaurants using Alexa—Ask “What Mexican restaurants are nearby?” to find restaurants around you or ask “What time does the nearest bank close?” to get convenient information on businesses nearby
- Access Kindle e-books via Alexa—Say “Read The Nightingale” to listen to text-to-speech enabled books from your Kindle library through Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV remains the #1 streaming media player in the US across all retailers as of March (the last month for which there is data). Fire TV Stick is the most reviewed product in Amazon history with over 100,000 customer reviews. Here’s what customers are saying:
- “The combination of the incredible simple design, super-fast no-wait streaming with an excellent remote control make this device a real family favourite. I for one am really impressed”
- “I love the voice activated Alexa info service, as well as the excellent voice search features of the system. It just doesn’t get any better than Fire TV from Amazon.”
- “The voice recognition on the remote is spot on, and I even tried some hard ones…There is never a shortage of programs to watch and I have watched a few series that I would not have found on my own. This is definitely a win for Amazon and the price is perfect.”
- “I’ve had Apple TV, Roku and others. Amazon Fire TV is the best!”
- “Quick and convenient search abilities thanks to Alexa. I no longer have to painstakingly type movie titles with a remote control. Success”
- “I love this device, primarily because it is simple to use and to navigate – made simple as pie by the voice-enabled search feature on the (included) remote. You can say “Homeland” and the Fire TV will locate the program, and you simply press the large button just below the microphone to bring up the show on Showtime.”
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