Amazon has started to add specific websites to the Universal Search results on Fire TV devices. Searching for a URL, either by voice search or using the onscreen keyboard search, will now display a new search result format for select websites that will load the website directly through Amazon’s Silk web browser. Read more ›
Amazon has announced that the Fire TV Cube is the first streaming device in the U.S. to support Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA). Those with compatible Bluetooth hearing aids from Starkey can use a new “Hearing Aids” menu found under the Accessibility menu in Settings to connect the hearing aid to the Fire TV Cube. Once connected, you can use the volume buttons on the Fire TV remote to adjust the volume of the hearing aid. While the hearing aids are connected, you can hold the Home button to see a new “Disconnect Hearing Aids” option to easily disconnect. Amazon says it will expand support to more Fire TV models later this year.
Along with the new Fire TV Interface’s arrival last year came the arrival of user profiles on Fire TV devices. Those user profiles are becoming more useful as they can now be linked to the profiles within streaming service apps. As Reddit user occasio has pointed out, user profiles in the Discovery+ app can now be linked to the Fire TV user profile to eliminate the need to select a profile twice. Read more ›
Amazon has rolled out a new Auto App Download feature to Fire TV devices recently that can speed up access to new apps. The new feature, once enabled, will streamline the process of downloading, installing, and launching apps with a single click. Instead of needing to first select an app to be downloaded, wait for the download, and then find the app in your app list to launch it, all steps happen as soon as you select any app, with a few caveats. Read more ›
Amazon Fire TV devices have gained a new feature called the Alexa Shortcut Panel. When you tap the microphone / Alexa button on your remote, the shortcut panel appears in the bottom third of the screen with buttons that provide access to the Smart Home Dashboard, which was recently revamped, the Weather, your video Library, and to News, which launches the Fire TV News app. Read more ›
Amazon first launched a Smart Home Dashboard on Fire TV devices a little over a year ago. The dashboard has never really been emphasized or highlighted by Amazon, even though it has existed for quite a while. It always felt more like an experiment than a primary feature, but now the Smart Home Dashboard has been overhauled with a new look that shrinks controls and icons to provide a much denser view of your smart lights, plugs, security cameras, and more. Read more ›
Much like what was just announced for the Omni and 4-Series Fire TV Smart TVs, Amazon has announced that the Fire TV Stick 4K Max will be gaining support for Alexa Home Theater groups this month. This allows audio from the Firestick to be sent wirelessly to compatible Echo devices for a better home theater audio experience than your TV’s speakers can provide. However, when the feature arrives on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, it also comes with an extra capability that allows you to hear not only the Firestick’s audio through Echo speakers, but the audio of all of your home theater devices, like cable boxes, game systems, and Blu-ray players. Read more ›
Amazon has announced that its line of Fire TV Smart TVs, the Omni Series and 4-Series, will be gaining several new features “over the coming weeks.” One of those features is Apple AirPlay 2 support, which allows iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac owners to easily mirror and cast their screen to the TV. Along with AirPlay 2 will come support for Apple Homekit, which allows for basic control of the TV through Apple’s voice assistant Siri. Amazon also says its TVs will also gain support for Alexa Home Theater groups, which allows you to use Echo devices as wireless speakers. The list of compatible Echos is, unfortunately, smaller with these TVs than with other Fire TV models, and includes only the Echo Studio, Echo (3rd & 4th Gen), Echo Dot (4th Gen), and Echo Plus (2nd Gen). Lastly, only the Fire TV Omni is also getting access to Zoom video calls soon, when you connect a USB webcam. These features are expected to be available later this month.
The Amazon Fire TV’s Live Experience, which makes accessing live linear content easier through various interfaces including a Live Tab, traditional Program Guide, and Home screen rows, has continuously evolved over the years. It started with the first Fire TV Smart TVs as the way to access antenna channels through the TV’s built-in OTA tuner and then expanded to all Fire TV devices with the inclusion of Prime Video Channels, streaming services, and apps. Here’s the full list of streaming services, apps, channels, and devices that integrate into the Fire TV’s Live TV interfaces. This list is regularly updated as more services integrate channels. Read more ›
Amazon has announced that the voice command “Play Something on Netflix” is now available on Fire TV devices in the US and Canada. Saying the command, either to the remote microphone or hands-free to Alexa on a Fire TV Cube or Fire TV Omni Smart TV, should begin playing something that Netflix thinks you’ll enjoy, making it the quickest way to start watching anything on a Fire TV. This was one of the new upcoming Fire TV features that Amazon teased last month. I tried the voice command myself and, while Alexa seems to indicate it understood the command by responding “Getting something from Netflix,” all that happened is the Netflix app opened. So, it seems like the feature is still in the process of rolling out and may not be available to everyone just yet.