Amazon announced today that they are adding several new features to their popular Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The company today rolled out a free software update that will give Fire customers the ability to use voice search, get personalized recommendations, and even use the Alexa voice assistant to control their videos.
Amazon broke the news in a press release, revealing the following new features, available to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick customers as of today:
- Universal voice search across over 75 apps and channels, including Netflix. The improved Fire TV search functionality will also now show all the available viewing options, so customers can decide if they want to purchase, stream, or rent.
- The Fire TV home page can now offer recommendations from a variety of services. Users can customize these recommendations to pull in suggestions from Netflix, HBO, and other sources, without having to launch the apps themselves to search.
- Alexa voice support will now work with Amazon Video to allow users to skip forward our backwards through a video. Viewers can specify how much to advance or rewind, and can even ask Alexa to skip to the next episode.
- Users can also program in their sports team preferences and then ask Alexa to “give me my sports update.”
Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Fire TV, said:
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 their favorite shows with universal voice search. Now, we’re making it easier than ever for customers to find their favorite content with universal voice search across 75 apps and channels, and a new, simple way to see recommendations from Netflix, HBO GO, and HBO NOW right on the home screen.
It’s nothing revolutionary, but the changes should make the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick even more user friendly.