Amazon is rolling out a new update to its Fire TV devices that will allow you to control it with your Amazon Echo device with Alexa. This new feature will work between first and second-generation Fire TV set-top box and Fire TV Stick (1st and 2nd gen) with Voice Remote.
Amazon Fire TV Update
According to the changelog from Amazon, the software update is Fire OS 126.96.36.199 for or 188.8.131.52 depending on the device you have. Don’t worry about the version number too much as both versions have the same updated features.
The most notable of which is controlling your Fire TV with your Alexa device. You’ll be able to activate Alexa with your voice (versus hitting the microphone button on the remote to activate it) and use commands like play, pause, rewind, skip back, jump forward, next show and others. You can also launch apps and search for TV shows and movies. To pair the devices, you need to use the Alexa app on your mobile device or the online version.
To find out which version you have or check for the update manually head to Settings > Device > About > Software Version > System Update. Wait for the update to download and restart your device.
Other new features include the following:
- Redesigned Fire TV on-screen experience. Originally released for Amazon Fire TV (2nd Generation) and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote with the previous software update, is now available on all Fire TV devices. It adds a streamlined top menu, a featured content section that automatically plays video snippets for selected titles, a Your Apps & Games row on the Home screen, and new options for the VoiceView screen reader.
- Data monitoring tool. This tool lets you get dynamic info about the amount of internet data your device is using for apps and streaming services.
- PIN Protect Prime Photos App. This option has been added to Fire TV parental controls preferences. When turned on you will need to enter a selected PIN before you can open the Prime Photos app for Fire TV.
- Recommended by Your Apps. A new row on the home screen features content recommendations based on the apps, games, music, audiobooks, and news you use frequently.
Amazon is certainly doing a lot of interesting things with its devices. Do you have an echo or Fire TV? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of these new features.