When Amazon first added Fire TV capabilities to the Echo Show 15, you could control the experience using the touchscreen when using a touch-enabled app and either a physical or virtual on-screen remote when an app didn’t support touch interaction. Not available at the time was the ability to use the Fire TV Remote app on a mobile device with the Echo Show 15. Amazon has now added support for the remote app with a few limitations.
The Fire TV Remote app can be installed from the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or Amazon Appstore on a mobile phone or tablet. Once installed and launched, the Echo Show 15 now shows up in the list of Fire TV devices that the app can connect to, whereas it didn’t when the Fire TV experience first arrived on the Echo Show 15.
While a physical remote is still the best way to control the Fire TV experience on an Echo Show 15, the Fire TV Remote app is a close second and far superior to using the onscreen virtual remote. For some tasks, such as typing text, the remote app is actually superior to even a physical remote, thanks to being able to use your phone/tablet’s standard keyboard.
The remote app offers all the same navigation and media playback controls found on the physical remote. One feature of the remote app not available when using it with an Echo Show 15 is the ability to make Alexa voice requests through the app. For any other Fire TV device, the remote app has a microphone button that relays your voice request through the app to the Fire TV. When the remote app is used with an Echo Show 15, the microphone button is missing. Since the Echo Show 15 obviously has its own built-in microphones for voice requests, not having voice capabilities in the remote app is a non-issue.
Another missing capability in the remote app when used with an Echo Show 15 is access to your list of Fire TV apps. Normally, pressing the Apps button in the remote app lists your installed Fire TV apps and allows you to tap any app to instantly launch it on the Fire TV. The Apps button is present in the remote app when it’s being used to control an Echo Show 15, but pressing it just incorrectly states that there are no apps installed on the Echo Show 15. This might just be a bug with the app instead of a deliberate omission, like the missing mic button.
If you are planning to use the Fire TV experience on the Echo Show 15 regularly but aren’t planning to purchase a physical remote, consider installing the Fire TV Remote app. It’s a great alternative to the virtual remote and definitely the best way to enter text.