Amazon has released a new Alexa Voice Remote for Fire TV devices. This remote has unofficially appeared in a few places already but now it is officially available for purchase. Amazon has also chosen to swap out the remote that comes with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick for this new remote in many regions, including the US, Canada, Germany, and others. This new remote preserves all the features of the existing Alexa Voice Remote and adds a few extras like a Live Guide button and four app buttons.
The most obvious difference between the new remote and the old one is the addition of four app buttons. This new remote marks the first time that Amazon has ever put app buttons on the remote that comes with a standalone Fire TV media player. Prior to this, app buttons have only been placed on the remotes that come with Fire TV Edition televisions and soundbars. When pressed, these app buttons immediately launch their associated app, giving quick access to those services.
In the US, the app buttons are for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. While it’s safe to assume that Prime Video and Netflix will always be the first two buttons, the other two buttons may differ from region to region and may change over time. In Germany, Canada, and several other countries, for example, the bottom two buttons are for Disney+ and Amazon Music. Interestingly, the third button on the remote sold in India is labeled as “Apps” and, presumably, will open the Fire TV’s grid of all apps when pressed.
Sentiment towards app buttons is certainly mixed. Some people love them, especially when they are for a service that they use often, because it speeds up access to their apps. Others hate them, especially if they are for apps that they don’t use or even have installed, because they seem like more advertisement and clutter up the remote. Unfortunately, Amazon has never allowed customers to customize which apps these buttons launch, so it’s safe to assume that won’t be any different with this new remote. That said, my Remapper app can be used to remap some of these buttons on Fire TV Edition remotes, but we’ll need to wait and see if it works for this new remote.
The other functionality that this new remote adds is a button with a TV icon on it that launches the Fire TV’s built-in channel guide. This button first appeared on Fire TV Edition remotes and later appeared on the Fire TV Stick Lite remote. This is the first time this button has been added to a remote that can also control your TV’s power and volume, making this new remote the most fully-featured Fire TV remote that Amazon has ever released.
The last changes on the new remote, compared to the existing remote, are cosmetic. Amazon has swapped out the standard black microphone button, which has existed on every Fire TV voice remote since the first Fire TV was released in 2014, for a bright blue button with an Alexa logo. This seems to be a direct response to Google which swapped out the microphone button on Android TV remotes for one with their Google Assistant logo.
One final subtle difference on the new remote is the addition of the Fire TV logo at the bottom of the remote. Amazon’s oldest Fire TV remotes had the full Amazon logo at the bottom but that was replaced by just the Amazon arrow on the most recent remotes. It seems like Amazon wants the Fire TV brand to stand out more, now that this new remote features the Fire TV logo and the remote that comes with Fire TV Edition televisions by Croma also include a Fire TV logo as a first for a Fire TV Edition remote.
It’s unclear exactly which Fire TV devices will ultimately come with this new remote. So far, Amazon has bundled the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick with this new remote in several regions. They’ve also bundled this new remote with the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick 4K in Australia, Brazil, and Mexico, which just today received that model for the first time. However, it doesn’t appear that other regions are seeing the Fire TV Stick 4K bundled with this remote and no regions have this new remote bundled with the Fire TV Cube. It’s probably safe to assume that all Fire TV devices that come with the old remote will eventually be bundled with the new remote, but it’s unclear when or if that will actually happen.
The new remote, which Amazon calls the 3rd-Gen Alexa Voice Remote, is available to pre-order now for $29.99 and it will be released on April 14 in the US. This new remote is compatible with all the same Fire TV models that the old remote is compatible with, which includes the Fire TV Stick Lite, 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, 3rd-gen Fire TV, 1st-gen Fire TV Cube, and 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube. If you’re not sure which Fire TV model you have, see this guide.
Here is a list, that I will keep updated as new listings appear, of regions and bundles that include this new remote. Please let me know in the comments if you find listings that are not present below.