Users of the popular Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick should see an update pop through in the next day or two that will add some nice new features to your hardware. Amazon will incorporate two of their well known features: Alexa voice search and personalized recommendations. Users should see an OTA update soon which will bring the new features.
Users have been able to use Alexa on their Fire TV devices before now, however the update rolling out will provide an improved universal voice search using Amazon’s assistant. Users will be able to search through shows and movies, as well as apps and network providers such as Netflix and HBO. When searching for content, Alexa will return options for viewing, including where a program can be rented, purchased, streamed, etc. to allow for better choice for the user. Amazon has also included improved voice controls for Amazon video. Skip to any part of the show or movie that you’re watching with simple voice commands. Anything from “skip ahead two minutes” to “rewind 30 seconds” can get you to the exact spot you’re looking for using only your voice.
Anyone who has visited Amazon.com at any point is sure to have seen a list of curated recommendations based on prior shopping or browsing. Some of these recommendations are more helpful than others, but recommendations based on prior viewing should be a bit less complicated. After the update, users will see recommended shows and movies from services such as Netflix and HBO GO, provided you’re a subscriber of those services. When you boot up your Fire TV device, you’ll see a list of personalized recommendations directly on the home page. Jumping into this content will be quick and easy, otherwise you can browse for something else if you’d prefer.
Do you own an Amazon Fire TV device? What do you think about these updates? Tell us all about the great recommendations you’re getting in the comment section below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. You can read more about the updates to Amazon Fire TV devices in the full press release below.
FULL PRESS RELEASE
Amazon Announces New Features for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
Fire TV customers can now use Alexa to voice search across more apps and channels than any other streaming media player
Fire TV and Fire TV Stick now integrate personalized recommendations from popular providers including Netflix and HBO, giving customers more ways to find great content
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 6, 2016– (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon today announced new features are coming to the best-selling Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. These features will be enabled automatically as part of a free, over-the-air software update currently being delivered to customers. Through this update, customers can now easily use their voice to search for favorite content, find the best subscription deals, and see recommendations for popular programming from apps including Netflix, HBO GO and, coming soon, HBO NOW.
“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,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Fire TV. “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.”
New features coming to all Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick customers starting today include:
- Universal Search expanded to over 75 apps and channels. Use your voice to search across 75+ apps and channels, including Netflix. With support for universal search across more apps and content providers than any other streaming media player, Fire TV makes it easy to find and watch your favorite TV shows and movies. In addition, if a TV show or movie is available on multiple apps, Fire TV will now show you viewing options – watch, stream, rent, or purchase – so you can choose an app or channel based on convenience and value.
- Customized content that’s easy to find. With Fire TV, you don’t have to launch multiple apps to see what’s new or get recommendations. Now, subscribers to popular providers like Netflix or HBO can quickly see personalized recommendations in custom rows available directly from the Fire TV home page. Fire TV gives customers a fast, easy way to access content they want with custom rows for popular apps and channels, including HBO, Netflix, and more in the coming months.
- Alexa voice control for Amazon Video. Using just your voice, Alexa support for Amazon Video now lets you advance or go back in a video any amount of time you specify. Say “skip ahead 2 minutes” to jump past the opening credits. Miss something because you were interrupted? Just try “rewind 30 seconds.” Ready for the next episode? Just say “next.”
- Sports Updates. Using Alexa, just say “give me my sports update” to see the latest scores and game info from your favorite sports teams right from your Fire TV. To select your favorite sports teams, simply go to Settings within the Alexa app, using a browser or your Fire tablet, iOS or Android device.
“At Netflix, we are always seeking new ways to help connect people with stories they’ll love,” said Scott Mirer, Vice President of device partner ecosystem at Netflix. “Now, Fire TV customers have more ways to discover great TV shows and movies on Netflix through personalized recommendations available in a custom row right on the home page or through universal voice search – making it more convenient for them to find their favorite show on Netflix.”
Amazon Fire TV is the #1 selling streaming media player in the US across all retailers, and Fire TV Stick is the most reviewed product in Amazon history with more than 100,000 customer reviews. Additional product details are available at amazon.com/firetv.