The new features are being rolled out in a free over-the-air update, so if your devices haven’t already been updated, they should receive the update over the course of the next few days.
Amazon’s voice search might be more powerful than ever with the new expansion, but that isn’t much help if you’re not sure what to watch. The announcement also details that search results will now show multiple viewing options for content which is available through different apps or through different ways to consume – i.e., stream, rent or purchase. Amazon announced the update today and with the update comes improvements to the universal search, recommendations and Alexa integration.
Beyond Alexa’s expanded capabilities, Amazon has worked with Netflix and HBO to bring in the companies’ personalized recommendations into the Fire TV interface. This means you’ll no longer have to launch an app to see what’s new or get recommendations. No need to enter the official apps anymore to navigate searching for shows or films, since Amazon Fire TV devices will now display dedicated rows from selected providers.
Overall, it’s nice to see Amazon Fire TV improving and making what seems like basic changes with their partners and rivals in the streaming universe, Netflix and HBO, to benefit their users. While in terms of the Alexa functionality, the first notable feature is that when used with Amazon Video, Alexa will now be able to understand and provide very specific rewind and fast forward requests. Users can now move through TV shows and movies by using phrases like “skip ahead 2 minutes” and “rewind 30 seconds”. Ready for the next episode?
Last but not least, Alexa goes an extra mile to offer sports updates directly in-app while broadcasting from Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.
Amazon Fire TV is still the #1 selling streaming media player in the USA across all retailers, and Fire TV Stick is the most reviewed product in Amazon history with more than 100,000 customer reviews.
“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.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking.