Who needs remotes anymore? Now it’s getting easier and easier to control your TV-watching experience with just your voice. Most notably, you can now use Alexa to control more of your video apps on Fire TV!
Fire TV is offered by Amazon and gives TV watchers a way to stream videos through a number of different apps. The Fire TV Amazon page shows apps like Hulu, Netflix, and Sling TV. And Alexa, of course, is Amazon’s smart assistant found on devices like the Echo and Echo Dot. Give Alexa a command and you can complete hands-free tasks.
Alexa was already able to handle some TV controls with Fire TV—specifically, playing videos from the Amazon Prime Video app. You could also control Netflix and HBO Now with your Echo, as well. Users could pair their Echo with their Fire TV and control their videos with their voice.
The newest update expands Alexa’s ability to control video apps. According to the news release, you can now control “Bravo, CBS, Hulu, NBC, SHOWTIME, and Sony PlayStation Vue” with voice commands. For instance, you can ask Alexa to open any of those apps, or you can ask Alexa to play a certain episode from one of those apps. Of course, you also need to make sure you have the most recent update of each of these apps in order for them to work properly with your Echo.
This means that Fire TV’s video apps now work with a pretty decent number of apps, particularly compared to a device like Google Home. Google Home can control some video playback on Chromecast, but it only works with seven “partners” according to their page on Google Home Help. Hulu is not mentioned on their list, and it does not include some other video apps that Alexa can now control, though Google Home’s voice control does work with some video apps that Alexa doesn’t (like Crackle).
If you lose remotes often, don’t like having to rely on a device, or just don’t like having to move more than necessary, this new update will be great. It’s also a good sign, because it could suggest even more voice control options in the future! For more information on Fire TV, check out the Fire TV page.