It looks like the new Alexa voice remote for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick that passed through FCC approval last month is getting close to being released. Amazon just updated their Fire TV Remote Software Update page with a third software version listing. The page used to only have version 352 and 217 listed, which are the software version numbers for the current Fire TV voice remote and the Fire TV Edition television voice remotes respectively. The page now has a third version number, 131, which is very likely the software version number for the new unreleased voice remote.
This new Alexa voice remote for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick is expected to replace the remotes that are currently shipping with those devices. The last time Amazon updated their remote software page was in early June when they added the 217 version number in preparation for the Fire TV Edition television’s release later that month. If the same time frame is followed, we should start seeing these new remotes ship with new orders in about a month.
There likely won’t be any way to know if the new remote or old remote is included with new device orders, since the two remotes look identical from the outside and Amazon is not advertising or even announcing a new remote is being released. On the inside, however, the hardware is expected to be substantially different, since the new remote goes back to using Bluetooth for its connectivity, instead of WiFi-direct, like the existing voice remotes use.
Unless you’re having poor connectivity with the existing remote due to excessive WiFi interference, there likely won’t be much reason to seek out the new remote over the existing one. Amazon is apparently releasing this new remote to alleviate production issues that are preventing them from making enough of the existing remotes. The two remotes should function identically.
Amazon’s product page for the voice remote currently lists the remote as being back in stock on August 8th, but again, there’s no way to know if you’ll get the new remote when ordering yet. Once the remote comes back in stock, if it remains in stock for several weeks, that will be a pretty good indication that orders placed will receive the new remote.
If you happen to buy a new Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, or voice remote in the near future, please do me a favor and check to see if you’ve received the new remote. The way to tell if you have the new remote is to check the model and FCC ID number behind the battery door. The new remote should have model number PE59CV and FCC ID number 2ALBK-0445 listed, where as the current remote lists model number DR49WK and FCC ID number 2ADU9-3876. If you receive the new remote, please give me a heads up so I can try to get my hands on one to compare it with the existing remotes for changes people might want to know about.