Gadgets

Amazon Fire TV update adds improved voice search, better recommendations

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Amazon announced new features that will be rolling out to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick users. The new features will be enabled automatically as part of a free, over-the-air software update currently being delivered to customers starting this week.

The update should be a welcomed addition to the already popular device, allowing customers to easily use their voice to search for favorite content, find the best subscription deals, and see recommendations for popular programming from apps including Netflix, HBO GO and, coming soon, HBO NOW.

“Customers have told us they love having access to the wide selection of apps, games, and Alexa skills on Amazon Fire TV, and they love how easy it is to find their favorite shows with universal voice search,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Fire TV. “Now, we’re making it easier than ever for customers to find their favorite content with universal voice search across 75 apps and channels, and a new, simple way to see recommendations from Netflix, HBO GO, and HBO NOW right on the home screen.”

The new Universal Search will be expanded over 75 apps and channels, customers can use their voice to search across popular apps like Netflix using the Amazon Fire remote. In addition, if a TV show or movie is available on multiple apps, Fire TV will now show you viewing options – watch, stream, rent, or purchase – so you can choose an app or channel based on convenience and value.

Customized content is also getting an upgrade now users won’t have to launch multiple apps to see what’s new or get recommendations from their favorite apps. Whether you prefer Netflix, HBO or both, you can quickly see personalized recommendations in custom rows available directly from the Fire TV home page. Fire TV gives customers a fast, easy way to access content they want with custom rows for popular apps and channels, including HBO, Netflix, and more in the coming months.

Alexa voice control for Amazon Video will let you control the video watching, just say “skip ahead 2 minutes” to jump past the opening credits of a screen or commands like “rewind 30 seconds” to jump around whenever you want to. Alexa can also give you sports updates, just say “give me my sports update” to see the latest scores and game info from your favorite sports teams right from your Fire TV. To select your favorite sports teams, simply go to Settings within the Alexa app, using a browser or your Fire tablet, iOS or Android device.

“At Netflix, we are always seeking new ways to help connect people with stories they’ll love,” said Scott Mirer, Vice President of device partner ecosystem at Netflix. “Now, Fire TV customers have more ways to discover great TV shows and movies on Netflix through personalized recommendations available in a custom row right on the home page or through universal voice search – making it more convenient for them to find their favorite show on Netflix.”

Amazon Fire TV is still the #1 selling streaming media player in the US across all retailers, and Fire TV Stick is the most reviewed product in Amazon history with more than 100,000 customer reviews. You can find more information on both devices at amazon.com/firetv.