Amazon will be releasing a Fire TV Remote App for smartphones and tablets this Wednesday in conjunction with the release of the Fire TV Stick. The apps primary purpose is to provide voice search capability to the Fire TV Stick since the Fire TV Stick does not come with a Voice Remote. However, it seems the app has a few more tricks up its sleeve as more information has emerged regarding its functionality. Read on for a list of what we know so far about the app.
What We Know
- The app will initially be released to both the Amazon Appstore and Google Play Store, and will come to the iTunes store for iOS later.
- The app requires Android version 4.0 (ICS) or higher
- The app communicates with the Fire TV Stick over the network via Wifi; not via Bluetooth like the physical remotes and controllers.
- To initiate a voice search, you swipe down from the top and keep your finger pressed as you speak. Release your finger to end recording and see your search results.
- Multiple smartphones/tablets running the app can be paired with and control the same Fire TV Stick, however only the first smartphone/tablet paired can perform voice searches.
- The app can simulate all button presses found on the physical remote and, therefore, can even be used as a controller for games to a limited degree.
- Swiping up, down, left, or right in the center (empty space) of the app is equivalent to pressing one of the directional buttons on the physical remote. Swiping and holding is equivalent to holding down one of the directional buttons on a physical remote. Tapping anywhere is equivalent to pressing the physical remotes “Select” button.
- Back, Home, and Menu buttons at the bottom of the app will simulate the equivalent buttons on a physical remote.
- Swiping up from the bottom of the app will bring up Rewind, Play/Pause, and Fast Forward buttons.
- You can use a virtual keyboard in the app to enter text on the Fire TV Stick instead of using the Fire TV Stick’s onscreen keyboard.
Amazon has made no indication that the app will work for the Fire TV, but I’d be shocked if a future Fire TV software update didn’t add compatibility with the app. Especially since we have confirmation that the Fire TV Sticks Non-Voice Remote will work with the Fire TV.
The App has now been released.