Amazon is on an Alexa improvement kick with the Amazon Fire TV Cube that has been bringing formerly Echo-exclusive features to the streaming device. The Fire TV Cube gained support for Alexa Announcements earlier this month and now Amazon has announced that the next update will add support for multi-room music and Alexa follow-up mode. Multi-room music support will make it possible to sync music playback on the Fire TV Cube with all other whole-home audio capable Alexa devices, such as the Amazon Echo speaker line up. Follow-up mode allows the Fire TV Cube to continue listening after responding to a voice command so that customers don’t need to repeat the wake word before follow-up requests.
A new software update with version number 188.8.131.52 and build value NS6258/1604 should begin rolling out to Fire TV Cubes this week with these two new features in tow. Both features will be configurable through the Alexa app, just as they are with smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo.
Support for multi-room on the Fire TV Cube poses a bit of a challenge, compared to devices like the Echo and Echo Dot, due to audio lag caused by the HDMI connection. Amazon tells me they’ve built-in the ability to adjust audio lag for music on the Fire TV to fix any sync issues that arise. If the music coming out of the Fire TV Cube is out of sync with other Alexa devices, you’ll be able to press the menu button on the Fire TV Cube’s remote to bring up an on-screen slider that lets you manually compensate for the HDMI lag and sync everything up.
As for follow-up mode, it’s fairly straightforward. It’s an optional setting that you can enable for the Fire TV Cube within the Alexa app. When enabled, they Fire TV Cube will continue to listen for additional commands after it responds to an initial Alexa command. The blue LED light bar on the Fire TV Cube, as well as the blue bar that appears on the TV screen, will remain illuminated for a few seconds after each response to see if you have a follow-up response to give. You can manually end the follow-up session by saying “Cancel,” “Stop,” “Exit,” “Thank you,” or by pressing any button on the remote.