Prime Photos app for Amazon Fire TV revamped with new design and Alexa support

When Amazon redesigned the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick interface, one aspect that got completely ignored was the photo viewing capability. Other than packaging the photo section of the old Fire TV interface into a standalone app called Prime Photos, Amazon made no changes or improvements to the photo viewing experience. They have now corrected that oversight with a new fully revamped Prime Photos app that now has deep integrations with Alexa and new voice capabilities.

The all-new Prime Photos app for the Fire TV finally drops the old yellow and dark gray aesthetic of the old Fire TV interface and better matches the new cinematic interface. The home screen of the new app lets you scroll through all of the various sections, which include Your Photos, Videos, Favorites, Albums, Folders, People, and Places. Those last two sections, People and Places, bring in the new features of Prime Photos that was launched last year which identifies people in photos and uses GPS metadata to group photos by location.

The new aesthetics of the Prime Photos app is great, but what’s even better is the new Alexa capabilities that come with it. You can now ask Alexa on the Fire TV to show you photos that match fairly specific requests. When Alexa brings up photos you can use the remote’s directional buttons to flip through them or start a slideshow. You can also just ask Alexa to start the slideshow of the requested photos right off the bat if that’s what you wanted to do in the first place.

Alexa can show photos based on a specific time frame. If you want to see recent photos, you can say “show me photos from last week.” If there are photos you want to see from a specific year, month or even day, you can ask to see those by saying something like “show me photos from December 2008.” You can also ask for specific seasons like “show me photos from summer in 2015.”

If you’ve separated your photos into albums, you can of course request Alexa to show you photos from a specific album. If you’re taking advantage of the Family Vault feature, which lets you share photos with family members, you can ask to just see photos from your Family Vault.

Thanks to the object recognition capabilities that Amazon added to Prime Photos recently, you can request to see photos with specific things in them. This is a bit hit or miss, but asking to see photos with dogs, beaches, flowers, sunsets, and other such objects will work.

Since nearly all modern phones, and some cameras, now embed GPS data into photos when they are taken, Alexa can bring up photos by location. You can ask “show me photos from New York” or any other location that is in your photo library. Just remember, photos taken with older cameras without GPS capabilities will not come up when asking for location specific photos.

Lastly, if you’ve gone ahead and named the different faces that Prime Photos has found, either through the web interface or the mobile photos app, you can ask to see photos of specific people by name. Facial recognition and some other aspects are only available to Prime members.

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6 comments
  1. Jim Carter says:

    Is it just me or is this function not possible using Alexa via another device? Example… I press the microphone button on Fire TV remote and say, “show me photos of Carol”. The correct photos appear on the TV. However.. I can’t direct this command to my Echo Show (which is linked to Fire TV) and get the desired result. Other commands directed at Show work on Fire TV and photos correctly appear on the Show. Thanks!

    • AFTVnews says:

      It’s not just you. The abilities of external Alexa devices to control Fire TV devices are limited mostly to media controls. It’s not all of the Fire TV’s Alexa capabilities that are available remotely through other Alexa devices. So you can’t ask an Echo device to show you pictures on your Fire TV, just like you can’t ask an Echo device to show you the weather on your Fire TV.

  2. Matt says:

    Any idea if this new app is a bandwidth hog like the old one? I almost never used it but in one month the app managed to us over 200gb of data, I assume downloading new pictures just in case we opened the app. This was on a fire stick with nowhere near that much storage. I had to disable the app on all my devices to avoid hitting my isp limit.

  3. Llyod says:

    I use the freeware, GeoSetter to add location data to my old photos, so I search by location in the app.

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