Amazon turns your Fire TV into an Echo Show with new hands-free voice features

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Smart home users ingrained in the Alexa ecosystem will soon be able to leverage an even more extensive lineup of voice commands for controlling their home theater, thanks to a new Fire TV update rolling out in the near future. Bringing plenty of new hands-free controls into the mix, Amazon is now turning your Fire TV into a big-screen Echo Show, thanks to the more robust Alexa integration. Head below for a closer look at what to expect from the new Fire TV Alexa control update.

Amazon doubles down on Fire TV and Alexa integration

Today, Amazon has announced that it will be doubling down on Alexa and Fire TV integration with a host of new voice features. While you’ve been able to enjoy hands-free control over your Amazon streaming media player or Fire TV Edition display, the use cases have been a bit limited. Up until now, most commands centered around controlling playback as well as searching for content or playing specific movies.

Now Amazon is expanding that to cover a much wider feature set. Some of the more enticing additions here will turn your Fire TV into something akin to a big-screen Echo Show. You’ll be able to ask Alexa to pull up your calendar, show the weather, or display the feed of a smart camera, just like you would on any of its smart displays. That’s on top of some newly added navigation controls like scrolling up and down, as well as music playback features for playing audio through a TV’s speaker setup.

It’s worth noting that none of these features are exactly new to the Fire TV, as you’ve been able to access everything with the included Fire TV Voice Remote for quite some time. But now Amazon is removing friction from the equation and allowing you to use the Alexa speakers already into your setup instead.

You will need to have an external Echo device alongside the Fire TV to take advantage here. And even though the new features will effectively turn your Fire TV into an Alexa smart display, Amazon’s actual Echo Show and Echo Spot devices won’t be supported here, in case you had hopes otherwise.

With Fire TV Edition televisions being one of the more popular items over Prime Day, not to mention the Echo devices themselves, now is a perfect time for Amazon to be rolling out its latest batch of new features. Amazon notes that it will begin rolling out all of this hands-free voice control functionality starting this week.

9to5Toys’ Take

Amazon has been one of the more aggressive players in the smart home space for leveraging its entire lineup of devices, and today’s announcement is another step in that direction. Having everything work seamlessly together is the ultimate promise of a smart home. So now being able to access these new Fire TV voice commands hands-free will be a huge plus for those who already own an Echo and Amazon TV or streaming media player.

Not to mention, the new navigation features are sure to be a big perk in the accessibility department, which is always a welcomed addition.

Photo: Amazon 

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