Amazon announced plans to expand voice commands on its Fire TV media player. The uprgade will allow users to command other streaming services like Hulu, YouTube and HBO Go. The new software roll-out will significantly broaden voice-search capabilities allowing 59 content partners including Showtime, Starz and others to be controlled by a user’s voice. Amazon already has its Alexa-based voice features on Fire TV units so that users can peruse Amazon Prime content.
The updated software will be delivered free through over-the-air software updates in the coming weeks.
“Customers have told us they love having the convenience of Alexa on their Amazon Fire TV,” Tim Twerdahl, General Manager, Amazon Fire TV, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We’re excited to add new Alexa features to Fire TV, making it easier than ever to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies, and apps.” The new features will also include the ability to control playback of Amazon Video and Add-On Subscription content, launch apps, access local movie show times, search local businesses and restaurants—all just by using your voice.
New features coming to Amazon Fire TV in the coming weeks
Launching apps using Alexa — Say “Open HBO Now” or “Launch Hulu” into the Fire TV Voice Remote to instantly open the app.
Playing Amazon Video and Add-On Subscription content from Starz, Showtime, and more using Alexa — Say “Play Interstellar,” or “Watch Veep” and get even easier access to your favorite TV shows and movies.
Finding local movie show times via Alexa by asking “What movies are playing nearby?” or “Where is The Jungle Book playing?” to find out what movies are playing in theatres near you or specific movie times
Playing YouTube 4K Ultra HD — Access YouTube’s full 4K library via the YouTube.com app on Amazon Fire TV when connected to a UHD-compatible TV
Searches for local businesses and restaurants using Alexa — Ask “What Mexican restaurants are nearby?” to find restaurants around you or ask “What time does the nearest bank close?” to get convenient information on businesses nearby
Accessing Kindle e-books via Alexa — Say “Read The Nightingale” to listen to text-to-speech enabled books from your Kindle library through Amazon Fire TV.