Amazon Kids, formerly known as Amazon FreeTime, has been available on Fire TV devices since the first model was released in 2014, but only in the US. That finally changes because now Fire TV owners in the UK and in Germany can also access the child silo on Fire TV devices. Amazon Kids, not to be confused with Amazon Kids+ the paid service for child content, is a child-focused interface for Amazon devices that allows kids to only have access to specific kid-friendly content. While Amazon Kids is available on other Amazon devices in Canada and Japan, it is not yet available on Fire TV devices in those regions. Also note that Amazon Kids is not available on all Fire TV models, even if you’re in the US, UK, or Germany.
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Amazon has started to roll out Alexa’s new “Brief Mode” feature to devices in the UK, Germany, and possibly other countries around the world. The feature, when enabled, causes Alexa to respond with a confirmation chime for simple requests, such as turning on lights, instead of responding with its usual “Okay” reply. The feature first arrived in the US back in March of this year. It has taken a while, but it is now also available in other countries. To turn the feature on or off, find it under the “Alexa Voice Responses” option in the Alexa app’s settings menu.
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Amazon has started rolling out an update in the UK and Germany that allows external Alexa devices to control Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. This feature has been available in the US for several months but is now making its way overseas. With this capability, you can ask Alexa on an Echo device to launch apps, start content, and control playback on Fire TV devices without using their remote control. Read more ›
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Amazon has announced that the Echo Spot is now available in the UK and Germany. In the UK, it is priced at £119.99 and in Germany, you’ll pay €129.99. Both the white and black versions of the Echo Spot are available to preorder today in both countries and will be released on January 24th. The Echo Spot is Amazon’s second Echo with a screen, after the Echo Show. It features all of the same features of the larger Echo Show, but in a more compact form factor.
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners in the US have had access to Alexa on their devices for over a year, but the voice assistant hasn’t made an appearance on Fire TV devices overseas yet. That has finally changed with the new 22.214.171.124 software update currently rolling out to all Fire TV models globally. In addition to bringing the new Fire TV user interface to older 1st-generation models, as well as a few other new features, the update adds Alexa to all UK and German Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. Read more ›
As expected, Amazon has announced that the 2nd generation Fire TV Stick, which was released in the US last October, is coming to the UK and Germany. The quad-core streaming stick is now available for pre-order in the UK for £39.99 and in Germany for 39,99 €. In addition to being a much more capable device than its predecessor, thanks to its quad-core 1.3 Ghz Mediatek 8127D processor, Mali-450 GPU, and 802.11ac WiFi, the all-new Fire TV Stick 2 comes with a voice remote and full Alexa capabilities. Read more ›
The 2nd generation Fire TV Stick has been available in the US since October of last year, but Amazon has not released it in other regions yet, like the UK and Germany, where they still sell the 1st generation device. I think this is about to change soon, due to an abrupt supply shortage of Fire TV Sticks in the US. Earlier this week, the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick suddenly became backordered in the US. Ordering one today won’t see it arrive for over a month. I suspect this is due to Amazon rerouting all supplies to the UK and Germany in preparation for the device’s imminent international launch. Read more ›
Amazon has announced that Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is now available for devices in the UK and Germany. AVS is what allows any manufacturer to build Alexa into their device. This is distinctly different from the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), which is what allows Alexa to talk to other devices and services. The US already has devices, like the Triby, that have Alexa built-in, with more devices, like a GE lamp, on their way. Now customers in the UK and Germany should start seeing devices hit the market with Alexa capabilities built-in. This news should mean that Alexa will finally make her debut on UK and German Fire TVs soon.
One of the most common questions I’ve been asked recently, during the Q&A portion of the AFTVnewscast, is whether or not UK and German Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks will be getting access to Alexa on their devices like is available on US devices. Now that the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are officially available in the UK and Germany, you would think Amazon would activate Alexa on all Fire TVs, but they’ve been silent on the matter. I did some digging through the latest Fire TV software update to see if I could determine the answer to this question for myself and I think I’ve found evidence that suggest Alexa is indeed coming to Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks in the UK and Germany. Read more ›
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Amazon has dropped the new Fire TV to £64.99 in the UK and 84.99€ in Germany. Other retailers, including Currys, John Lewis, and Argos have followed suit and done the same. Since the UK and Germany didn’t see the Fire TV go on sale during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale event, this is likely the cheapest the Fire TV will for international residents. Big thanks to iCHAP3RZ for pointing this out!
Clearing out stock of the Amazon Fire TV in preperation for a new model seems to be continuing. The Fire TV is currently on sale in the UK and Germany. Amazon UK has lowered the price from £79 to £64. Not as good as the fire sale form a couple weeks ago, but still a great price. Amazon Germany is having their own fire sale for today only and has lowered the price from 99€ to just 69€. Considering US stock of Fire TVs is next to nothing, I doubt we’ll be seeing the Fire TV discounted in the US anytime soon.
Amazon’s German website isn’t going to let the UK have all the fun. It too has now reduced the price of the Fire TV Stick, dropping it from 39€ to 29€. The UK sale is still active, but both price drops are very likely temporary. The big question is will the US also be dropping the Fire TV Stick’s price soon. In the past, Fire TV sales in the US have not mirrored sales overseas or vice versa. That said, the Fire TV Stick has been out for 6 months now in the US and has never gone on sale, so it seems due for a temporary discount.
Just a few weeks ago Amazon announced the release of the Fire TV Stick in Germany, Austria, and the UK and began accepting preorders for the device. Today marks the official release of the Fire TV’s little brother, despite many customers receiving their devices ahead of schedule. It appears Amazon learned a thing or two from the Fire TV Stick’s US release and is handling demand for the device much better this time around. When the Fire TV Stick launched in the US, customers pre-ordering near the end of the first day were receiving expected delivery dates that were months after its release date. It took 3 months from its release for the device to be in stock. The Amazon Uk site is currently showing the Fire TV Stick as in stock, while the German and Austrian Amazon site are expecting to be in stock in May.
Amazon announced and began accepting pre-orders for the Fire TV Stick in Germany and the UK last month with an official release date of April 15th. AFTVnews reader Kai in Germany just let us know that his Fire TV Stick has already shipped. According to the estimated delivery date given by Amazon, his device is expected to arrive 2 days ahead of the official release. Amazon may have learned a thing or two from the Fire TV Stick’s US release and prepared for the expected high demand. You can chalk it up to foresight or just German efficiency. Either way, international Fire TV Stick customers may find an early surprise in their mailbox come next week.
Looks like not only have some Fire TV Sticks already shipped, but several people have let me know that they’ve already received their Fire TV Sticks in Germany.
After dropping hints for months, Amazon is finally releasing the Amazon Fire TV Stick in Germany, Austria, and the UK. Pre-orders are now live for all three countries, and the device will be released on April 15th. The Fire TV Stick will sell for £35 in the UK and 39 EUR in Germany and Austria. Just like the Stick’s US launch, Prime members can pre-order the device now at a discounted price. Existing Prime members in the UK will pay just £19 and German Prime members will pay just 19 EUR if they place their order in the next 2 days. What’s different from the US release is the availability of an even better price for new Prime members. If you sign up for a new Prime membership, you can pre-order the Fire TV Stick for just £7 in the UK and 7 EUR in in Germany and Austria. Amazon will be enforcing that new Prime members pay their membership fee before receiving the initial discount. New Prime members will not receive the additional discount if they cancel their membership after the free 30 day trial ends.
The Fire TV Stick was the fastest selling product ever when it was released in the US. The device was back ordered for months after it was launched. Get your orders in early, because with these great pre-order discounts it won’t be a surprise if history repeats itself for the Fire TV Stick’s international release.
We’ve been seeing hints and speculating the international release of the Fire TV Stick for several months, but now it’s finally happening. Amazon’s UK, German, and Austrian websites have all put up teaser pages with a countdown for this Tuesday. The teaser does not explicitly say it’s for the Fire TV Stick, but AFTVnews reader Kai has pointed out that the teaser image files all start with fts_ which is likely an abbreviation for Fire TV Stick. Read more ›
When the Amazon Fire TV Stick was first released in the US, none of Amazon’s services could be used from it overseas. Trying to stream content or download apps from the appstore while outside of the US resulted in error messages. In January that changed when US Fire TV Stick’s gained the ability to stream video content from Amazon’s German and UK video library. The Stick still couldn’t download apps but the new ability to access non-US content, along with the release of a German television app, lead me to speculate that the Fire TV Stick would soon be released overseas.
AFTVnews reader Steve in the UK just chimed in to let us know that the Fire TV Stick has now gained the ability to download apps from the UK Amazon appstore. Trying to do so would previously result in an error message. Apart from not having the option to change the device’s timezone, the Fire TV Stick is now fully functional in the UK, and likely Germany as well. Now that the Fire TV Stick is fully at home in the UK and Germany, the device’s international release is likely just around the corner.
If the headline of this post looks familiar, it’s because I wrote the exact same headline, minus the “Stick” part, a day before the Fire TV was announced for Germany and the UK. Once again, a German television app has jumped the gun and added support for a product not yet available in Germany. The German only app ZDFmediathek was just updated with the only new feature being support for the Fire TV Stick. Last month we saw our first hint that the Fire TV Stick would be released overseas when German residents who imported Fire TV Sticks from the US to use in Germany were suddenly able, for the first time, to access the German Amazon appstore with their imported Fire TV Sticks. Being Amazon’s fastest selling product, the Fire TV Stick is bound to be released international; the only question is when. If history continues to repeat itself, we’ll find out the answer to that question tomorrow.
When the Fire TV Stick was announced, Amazon made no mention of a European release even though the Fire TV has been a success in Germany and the UK. We always assumed the Fire TV Stick would eventually make its way overseas, but until a few days ago, there had been no indication of when that would happen. German tech blogger Arne Hess is reporting that the Fire TV Stick he has been using in Germany, which he imported from the United States, has begun displaying content from Amazon’s German website. Previously, using a Fire TV Stick with a non-American Amazon account would not allow access to Amazon’s video library. Hess says that changed this week and he can now browse and play content from Amazon’s German video library. He also says German specific apps are now present within the Fire TV Stick’s appstore, but trying to install them results in a message about using an incompatible device.
A few days before Amazon announced the release of the Fire TV in Germany and the UK, I was able to predict the announcement by noticing an uptick in new German Fire TV apps. This news about Amazon’s servers suddenly delivering content to non-American accounts on Fire TV Sticks is a pretty strong indicator that a European Fire TV Stick release is just around the corner.
A UK reader has chimed in to let us know that he is seeing the same new behavior with his Fire TV Stick in the UK. He says he can now play videos and browse apps, which he couldn’t do before.
Early adopters overseas who have imported American Fire TVs can rejoice as the latest Fire TV software update, version 126.96.36.199_user_513011520, which is rolling out now has added full compatibility for UK and German Amazon accounts. Prior to this update, an American Fire TV purchased from Amazon.com would not work with foreign Amazon accounts. That has changed because, if you’re running the latest software version, you can now login with either a UK or German Amazon account and have full access to region specific content, including each country’s unique Prime Video selection and appstore content. Even the Fire TV timezone gets updated to each countries local time. You just need to go into the Fire TV settings, login with a UK or German account, and select the “Sync Amazon Content” option. This news is yet another hint that American and International Fire TVs will likely be identical and interchangeable.
If you are rooted and want UK or German compatibility but don’t want to lose root, I recommend you do not update. A pre-rooted version of 188.8.131.52 that you can install manually is in the works. Stay tuned.
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