Let’s face it, the software on most of the so-called Smart TVs is still not good enough. Even though having an internet connected TV offers many benefits, the overall experience might be quite sluggish or it might not have as many apps, which limits its functionality. There are a few options to improve this experience, from set-top boxes running dedicated software designed specifically for the larger screen or more compact dongles with streaming capabilities. The popular online retailer Amazon has built a few devices as part of their Fire TV lineup. With these devices, users can watch their favorite TV shows and movies from streaming services and apps like Amazon Video, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, HBO Now and more. These devices are priced quite competitively, which made the Amazon Fire TV the best selling streaming media player in the U.S.
Now, Amazon is rolling out an over-the-air update for some of their products to make them even better. It is important to notice that even if the updating process is beginning today, it might take a few weeks to reach all of the devices. The most significant change is that the first generation Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will get Amazon’s digital voice assistant Alexa support. Let’s remember that Alexa has been getting better over time, now she could give advice on local businesses such as restaurants based on some information from Yelp, Amazon Choice and Re-Ordering from Amazon.com are also available, users can control some of their “smart” home components, get information about current traffic conditions, Audible digital audiobooks and even playing some games like Jeopardy and Bingo. Since Alexa lives in the cloud, Amazon will keep adding new features without requiring software updates.
All of the Fire TV devices will benefit with improvements to Amazon Video add-on subscription service, as it will now be easier for users to sign-up, discover and access their subscriptions. The Fire TV supports Bluetooth-connected headphones for a private (and wireless) listening experience while watching content, and after the update, users with a Fire TV Stick will also benefit from this feature.