The next Amazon Fire TV updated will be focused on expanding the device’s connectivity options. The biggest news is the expected addition of external storage support, which would finally allow consumers to increase the Fire TV’s limiting 8GB storage capacity. The awesome Fire TV team over at Amazon’s Lab126, who’s in charge of the device’s development, isn’t stopping with USB improvements. Bluetooth improvements are also on the agenda in the form of audio and peripheral support.
As it stands today, the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s bluetooth radios are only used to connect remote controls and game controllers. Multiple trusted sources at Amazon tell me the Fire TV will soon be able to connect to additional bluetooth devices. Included among the expansion is the ability to connect to audio devices like bluetooth headphones and speakers. This would theoretically allow you to watch content on your Fire TV without disturbing those around you through the use of bluetooth headphones, or wirelessly connect your Fire TV to satellite speakers like the Amazon Echo. The rooting community has long struggled to reliably connect unsupported bluetooth devices to the Fire TV. Their efforts have always resulted in audio syncing issues where the audio coming from a connected bluetooth device becomes out of sync with the video being played on the Fire TV. Having official bluetooth audio support should hopefully solve the audio syncing issues.
In addition to new bluetooth audio support, I’m told the Fire TV will be getting support for bluetooth peripherals like bluetooth keyboards. This will be especially nice for the Fire TV Stick which cannot connect to keyboards like my favorite Fire TV keyboard, Logitech’s K400, due to its lack of a full sized USB port. It’s currently possible to connect bluetooth keyboards to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick through a round about process involving the sideloading of a settings.apk file, but there’s nothing like official out-of-the-box support to make it easy for everyone.
My sources tell me the new bluetooth functionality is slated for the next Fire TV update, but may be pushed back to a different update in the future. I don’t know for sure if the bluetooth enhancements are also coming to the Fire TV Stick, but if I were to guess I’d say both devices will receive the improvements simultaneously.