Amazon has a new version of its popular Fire TV Stick, and its latest party trick is voice control.
The Fire Stick may be one of the most popular streaming devices on the market, but it’s just been improved. The most significant addition is the integration of the Alexa voice assistant.
She’s controlled with Amazon’s Voice Remote, and she can do most of the things that your Amazon Echo can: tell you about the weather, update you on sport scores, or turn your Philips Hue lights off. If you’re watching a film or TV show, you can even tell Alexa to rewind or fast forward.
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Other software tweaks include a new UI, which loses the wall of text on the left. It’s more tile-based, similar to what Netflix and Android TV uses, and there’s a carousel of featured content at the top. Amazon says this will adapt to your tastes over time.
The search feature is now universal, which means you can ask Alexa for a specific show and it will show you which apps have that show. Asking for Breaking Bad, for example, brings up Netflix. Speaking of which, partner integration is a big deal in the new UI. No longer will you be beaten over the head by Amazon’s own content.
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It’s not just the software that’s been beefed up – the hardware has had an upgrade too. The 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage remains unchanged, but the dual-core processor has been replaced with a quad-core one. It has dual-band MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi – faster than before and on par with the Amazon Fire TV box.
What it doesn’t do is 4K or HDR (high dynamic range). For that, you’ll need the existing Amazon Fire TV box, although that’s twice the price and part of the Fire TV Stick’s appeal is its low price. Speaking of which – it will cost you £39.99. You can preorder today and it will start shipping on April 6th.
Buy now at Amazon.co.uk for £39.99
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Let us know what you think of the new Fire TV Stick in the comments.