Users with an Amazon Fire TV device and an Alexa-enabled product (like the Echo speaker) will be soon get new hands-free features to transform their TV into a more Amazon Show-like device. Amazon says that through a software update that will rollout in the coming weeks, users able to view calendar, weather, and even traffic routes directly on Fire TV-connected TV with simple voice commands. Until now, users had the option to view these updates on the TV screen with voice commands but it had to be activated with the Alexa button on the Fire TV remote. Amazon is yet to share more details about the update’s availability and it is unclear whether the new hands-free features are coming to users in India as well.
With the new update, the Alexa-enabled speakers will further be able to play movies directly on the TV without requiring users to browse through content manually with Fire TV remote. Once the feature arrives, users will simply need to say, “Alexa, play this movie" and can even ask the smart speaker to play/pause or skip ahead or backwards. Currently, users can manage their TV (connected with the Amazon Fire TV) for instance switch it on/off or manage volume, with an Alexa-enabled speaker but with several limitations. For example, with the connected Alexa-speaker, users could open apps but not play content with their voice commands directly on the TV screen. A report by Verge claims that the new update would also enable users to play music directly from a TV’s speakers in case they are not satisfied with the Alexa-speaker’s sound output. However, Amazon has not shared any details regarding this hands-free feature coming to the Fire TV device on their website.
So far, the Fire TV Cube, which is not available in India yet, is the only Amazon streaming device that provides hands-free controlling experience with its inbuilt microphones. Some of the hands-free features like viewing calendar or weather on the screen lies with Amazon Show products.