Fire OS 5 with Alexa coming to 1st-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in October


The new Fire TV will begin arriving at customer’s doorsteps with Fire OS 5 on October 5th. I’m told by trusted sources at Amazon that around the same time, existing 1st generation Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks will receive a software update that will upgrade them to Fire OS 5. Along with this update will be all the Alexa features that will be present on the new Fire TV. Fire TV Stick owners without a voice remote will be able to use the Fire TV Remote App to issue Alexa voice commands.

You have to praise Amazon for bringing Alexa to existing devices. They could have easily made Alexa exclusive to the new Fire TV in order to increase sales. When Apple introduced Siri on the iPhone 4S, they did not add the feature to older devices. It looks like Apple will be repeating history and not updating existing Apple TVs with Siri. Bravo Amazon and Lab126 for continuing to improve the Fire TV month after month, even when the attention is on new hardware.

  1. Craig says:

    I was told by Amazon Customer Care Kindle chat support that the new Kindle Tablets DO NOT support MIRACAST. (They dropped the ball, there!)

    But I was also told that they’re going to try to update as many Kindle Fire’s as they can to Bellini-Lolli-5.1, so make of it what you will…

  2. Tom says:

    Do we know yet – will Kodi work on 5.0 and be launch-able from the home screen?

  3. Rodalpho says:

    It will certainly work, as they still allow sideloading, but no indication it will be launchable from the homescreen.

    Also firedtvlauncher doesn’t work on fireos5 yet. Hopefully it will.

    • Keith says:

      It will most likely be sideloadable but as far as it working with the new hardware…that’s still the question as far as I know.
      But this article cinched it for me. We have 5.0, we have Alexa, Kodi works great–why do we need to upgrade to generation 2?

      • Keith says:

        But of course all I said above means little if Rbox isn’t able to make prerooted roms for OS 5.

      • MrG says:

        I agree that is fantastic that our gen 1 get Alexa, etc. But for me it’s not really an “upgrade” issue but a more FireTVs around the house decision. We’ve slowly replaced old Rokus with FireTVs and will continue to do so. My great hope is that having the Alexa support will enable its use for home automation (ala Smartthings, Wink, etc.) which is my next major house project. So having multiple sites around the house with Alexa will be nice.

  4. pmcd says:

    Alexa is being brought to the first generation Fire TV, which is great. Comparing this to Siri and the Apple TV is not really appropriate. The current Apple TV is over three years old. Freezing development of the current Fire TV, which is still running current hardware, would not have been reasonable. Amazon did the right thing.

    • Big T says:

      Don’t hold your breathe on getting Alexa on the first gen fire TV. I do not see why amazon would add this feature. They want you to buy a new fire TV

  5. Grinder says:

    The OS 5 preview is a steaming pile of shit. It breaks ADB, time and date, multi-channel audio, optical out, BBC catchup and any convenient way to load Kodi reliably. Just for starters.

    If Amazon hasn’t done something behind the scenes, that we as OS5 testers don’t know about, the launch will be a disaster.

  6. UHD says:

    Alexa is a “good to have” feature but what we REALLY need is a UltraHD capabilities. Is it possible to do it via software upgrade ? I just bough FireTV 1 month ago and found out that it can’t play Netflix UHD. Could you pass the message to FireTV team? Many thanks!

  7. Justin says:

    Hopefully issues from the test version of os 5 are fixed.

    In any case it seems like they aren’t trying to force existing fire tv users to upgrade but just trying to grow the platform and keep up with current technology.

    4k requires updated hardware so can’t come from a software update.

  8. Dave69 says:

    I’m going to hold out on this one until the reports from users (KODI, adb, etc) are in. I’m pretty happy with my rooted Gen 1.

  9. Dave69 says:

    Looks like rbox has been working on an OS5 release for the 1st gen boxes.

  10. Ujn Hunter says:

    Can you control Alexa on Fire TV with your Amazon Echo? No interest in downloading another “App”, opening said App, and pressing a button to issue a voice command when I already own an Echo which “just works”. What’s the point of bringing Alexa to multiple devices if she’s not a single entity, but confined to each device separately?

    • MrG says:

      I’m not sure I understand. Alexa is just voice control software. Each device having it means the device and the things the software does (looking up stuff on the web, etc.) can be controlled by said device. Each device would become a way to access the software. For example, if you had your Echo in your kitchen let’s say and a FireTV in your bedroom you could then access Alexa in either room. Or am I missing your point?

      • Ujn Hunter says:

        Sort of. My point is that I should be able to just say “Alexa, Do This On My Fire TV” and my Echo would hear me and do it. Seeing “Alexa” is just an internet connected voice control, she should be able to do whatever to any device she’s connected with. I shouldn’t have to use a separate Remote Control/App, press a button to issue a voice command when I already have a hands free solution with the Echo.

        • MrG says:

          I see and I agree. Ironically, I’m wanting to test out the Alexa capabilities with the FireTV now that it has it before I invest in an Echo.

        • Eli says:

          Well… there is no significance to where the interface is “hearing” you and if you’re talking to an Echo which is resident on your Fire TV in the bedroom, for example, it should just do whatever you ask it to, on that Fire TV device. BUT, the important thing here is that Amazon should come up with a microphone that you can pair to the ATV in your bedroom, for example, and that listens to you just like Alexa does – no remote, no buttons, no app and when you say the key word “Alexa” then it will invoke and do what you asked it to do. You really don’t have to be needing to talk to Alexa in your living room to do something in your bedroom (like play music), as long as there’s a microphone somewhere in your bedroom that is paired to the ATV in your bedroom and is constantly listening to you and looking for the key word.

        • Eli says:

          The time where you would want your Echo to play something on your FireTV is when they are both in the same room. Your FireTV is connected to your home theater sound system and your Echo is just its own speaker. When you want to ask Alexa to play something on your FireTV, in the same room, that’s where it makes sense a lot! So… they need to do both – (1) come out with a microphone which can be paired to the ATV for Alexa on it and (2) also make the Echo/Alexa play whatever you wish on whichever device around the house.

  11. Ray Fox says:

    I agree that I would prefer that Alexa “just work” via a voice command without the need to press a button on the remote, as the Echo does. But I must admit that having Alexa always listening does make me wonder about security, and whether somebody somewhere besides “Alexa” is listening in to my household’s goings on.

    • jpm100 says:

      People are paranoid about a 24/7 microphone. They carry a 24/7 mic in their phones everywhere by the biggest personal information collector on the planet, but somehow when Amazon does it, its wrong.

  12. Ray Fox says:

    P.S. I’m incredibly stoked that Amazon is bringing Alexa to the first gen Fire TV instead of making it an incentive to buy a new box. My admiration for Amazon and the Fire TV grows by the day.

  13. mitchell fox says:

    I have heard conflicting comments about whether existing fire tablets, like the fire hd6, and the hdx7, will receive an OTA update with OS5 (Bellini)?

  14. Zamiel says:

    Hmm… Early November and the update still hasn’t happened. Anyone have ANY info on when this update will be pushed out?

  15. Fudge says:

    Mid-November and still no update. Seems like this article was just a bunch on B.S?

  16. Surrey streamer says:

    I had to buy another Fire Stick since my blue tooth headphones will only work on the new amazon fire stick with voice remote. Old OS only lets me pair blue tooth controllers. New one allows me to seamlessly connect my Sony headphones!

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