Fire TV has held the crown as Amazon’s best-selling device in the electronics product category for quite some time now. For this reason, it’s no surprise that the company continues to spend a reasonable amount of time refreshing its streaming media player lineup in a variety of ways. The latest redesign involves the primary input device for Fire TV, the Alexa Voice Remote. This release is the result of three iterations, and it attempts to simplify finding what you should watch next. Continue reading to learn more.
Amazon adds buttons to Alexa Voice Remote
The new Alexa Voice Remote appears to be taking a page out of Roku’s playbook. For quite some time, Roku streaming media players and smart TVs have occasionally bundled remotes with dedicated app buttons. Now, Fire TV is going this route and has added shortcut buttons for quickly launching Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.
Amazon is also making it easier to quickly pull up a live TV schedule thanks to a Guide button. This addition is described as offering a quick way to showcase “channel and program listings to see all your live TV apps in one place.” The microphone button along the top has also been rebranded to appropriately mirror the Alexa logo.
Pricing and availability
The release date for a standalone Alexa Voice Remote differs from the new Fire TV bundle. If you want the remote as quickly as possible, standalone is the way to go. While it will ship a couple weeks sooner, it’s worth noting that it only costs $10 more to buy a Fire TV.
The redesigned Alexa Voice Remote is priced at $29.99, and Amazon plans to begin shipping the device on April 14. Anyone in need of a new streaming media player can grab a Fire TV, which also includes the new remote for $39.99, and it will launch on April 28.
Having been on the Fire TV bandwagon for going on two years, I have yet to be given a reason to reconsider. Comfort and ease-of-use of the Alexa Voice Remote are two of the things that confirmed my decision to switch away from Apple TV. I also liked the simplicity, something I, unfortunately, deem as being chipped away at by the redesign.
If I had it my way, I would do away with dedicated branding of shortcuts along the bottom and make those user-customizable. This is a pipe dream, though, as it’s highly likely that Amazon is receiving some sort of payout for partnering with Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.
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