Ever since the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot officially launched in the UK and Germany, it was expected that Fire TV owners in those countries would eventually get access to Alexa on their devices, just like Fire TV owners in the US. Now that the Fire TV Stick 2 with Alexa has been officially announced for the UK and Germany, Amazon has confirmed that Alexa will also be added to all existing Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models in those countries.
Amazon has unfortunately not said exactly when Alexa will be added to existing Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks in the UK and Germany, but at least now we know the voice assistant is definitely on its way to older devices. Based on Amazon’s past feature releases, I would guess 2nd-gen Fire TVs overseas will receive Alexa first, followed by 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks soon after. Devices without a voice remote will be able to access Alexa through the Fire TV remote app for mobile devices.
When Alexa’s debut on Fire TV devices was revealed with the announcement of the 2nd-gen Fire TV in the US, we were similarly told Alexa would also be coming to all 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks in the US. Before the Fire TV 2 was released, a trusted source within Amazon told me 1st-gen devices would receive Alexa and Fire OS 5 in October 2015, within weeks of the Fire TV 2’s release. While that was initially the plan, numerous issues with Fire OS 5’s launch delayed Alexa’s arrival on 1st-gen devices until February 2016.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I would guess the plan is to release Alexa to existing Fire TV devices in April, but of course, that would change if issues with Alexa on 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks overseas arise after the devices reach customers. Since Amazon released both Alexa and Fire OS 5 simultaneously in the US, I would guess that Alexa and the new Fire TV interface will also be released simultaneously to existing devices in the UK and Germany. So I suspect, if all goes well, all devices in the US, UK, and Germany will have Alexa and the new Fire TV interface by May.
It launches in the UK on April 6th. It’s now on amazon.co.uk website.
While the “All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote” is due to be released on 6th April 2017 in the UK, I think it’s important to note that Elias was also including the “existing” UK Fire TV models when he wrote about “all devices” having Alexa, as well as the new interface, “…by May”.
So, while purchasers of the “All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote” will get to experience these features first, the good news is that those of us who purchased one of the “existing” devices in the UK should (hopefully) not have to wait more than a month for our devices to be updated with Alexa plus the corresponding new Fire OS version.