Amazon drops huge Fire TV software update and new voice remote

Amazon has announced that a major new software update is rolling out to Fire TV devices right now. The update brings a new home screen and support for six different individual users. There’s also a new Alexa voice remote with shortcuts to Disney Plus and Netflix.

The overhaul was originally announced in September but was limited to newer Fire TV devices. Now, those with a Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen), Fire TV Cube (1st and 2nd Gen), and Fire TV (3rd Gen) will get access to the upgrade.

Amazon says the “new Fire TV experience” makes it make it easier to access your favourite apps and that the new Find page now allows you to search by genre and other categories. There are also cooking classes with Food Network Kitchen and daily fitness sessions with Peleton.

Member of a large household? Separate user profiles now provide each person with recommendations for what to watch. And if you set up a voice profile, Alexa will recognise your voice automatically and switch to your individual profile. Nice.  

As for the new Fire TV remote, it looks a lot like a Roku remote. There’s now a button for accessing a live TV guide and a blue ‘Alexa’ button near the top, for users who want to search for TV shows using voice commands. Amazon has generously added four shortcuts to streaming services such as Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu.

The new remote will be available from 14th April in the US, with an option to buy it separately, for those who want to upgrade their existing Fire TV remote. There’s no news on when the remote will hit the UK but we’d expect a global rollout later in the year.

At this point, those with a Fire TV smart TV (2nd Gen) or Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen) might be wondering why they’ve been left out. Good news – Amazon has promised to roll out the new features “later this year” but there appear to be no plans to bring the software to older Fire TV devices. If you’re considering an upgrade, here are this week’s best Fire TV Stick deals.

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