Amazon is bringing the next generation of its excellent Fire TV Stick to the UK, updating the device with Alexa, expanded voice search capabilities and a new user interface.
The addition of Alexa support is undoubtedly the most notable upgrade.
The artificial intelligence assistant is widely recognised as the best in the game, powering Amazon’s Echo speakers, and is set to land on a range of new product categories in the near future, including cars, phones, fridges and TVs.
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Users of the new Fire TV Stick will be able to search for TV shows, films, games and apps by speaking to the voice-controlled remote.
“Just say ‘find suspense thrillers’ or ‘open Netflix’ and Alexa will respond,” says Amazon. “For Amazon Video content, you can also control playback with just your voice; just ask Alexa to ‘go back 30 seconds’ or ‘jump ahead two minutes.’”
Customers will also be able to ask Alexa for information on news and weather, check their commute, get sports scores, create shopping lists, play music, order a car from Uber and get a takeaway from Just Eat through the Alexa Voice remote.
Amazon has told The Independent that the Alexa remote can only be used to control the Fire TV Stick, and not other internet-connected devices around the home, “at present”.
“The all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick has been completely redesigned with incredible performance, powerful voice search and the included Alexa-powered remote to deliver instant access to a vast selection of movies, TV shows, games and Alexa skills,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, the vice president of Amazon Devices International.
Amazon also claims that the new TV Stick is 30% faster than the last version, and says its new UI, which appears to be more image-heavy yet cleaner, “makes finding what to watch even easier and more enjoyable”.
The Fire TV Stick, which plugs into the back of a television through the HDMI port, offers a wide range of entertainment services to users via an internet connection, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 and Amazon Prime Video.
The new Fire TV Stick is available to preorder right now for £39.99, and will begin shipping on 6 April.