Amazon has quietly issued an update that allows users to control their Amazon Fire TV with Alexa, or vice-versa. Rest assured, Echo can control Fire TV.
The update went without a press release, but the Amazon help page for Alexa was recently updated describing how to use Amazon Fire TV with Alexa. Click here to check it out. Or read our detailed How-To article here.
All you need is a new Fire TV or one updated to Fire OS 5 and an Alexa voice remote.
Unfortunately, the first generation voice remotes for Fire TV don’t work with Alexa. But at just $40, a brand new Fire TV with Alexa Voice remote bundle is pretty affordable. And seeing as how an Alexa Voice remote alone is $30, if you need the remote, it’s totally worth it to just spring for the a brand new bundle.
The ability to tell Alexa to play Music, or display Wikipedia on your TV seems somewhat underwhelming and perhaps explains why Amazon neglected to publicize this update. However, the other side of this coin presents new (money-saving) potential for the Amazon Echo, and may hint at Amazon’s future plans for the future smart-home market.
In addition to displaying shopping lists, or playing audio books on your tv, the new update allows your Fire TV voice remote for controlling Alexa. This provides relief for many people who keep their Echo in a different room from where they typically spend their home time, or who live in a multi-level home. Using your Fire TV remote to control Alexa saves users from having to buy the Echo remote separately. This new functionality also provides the potential for Alexa to be easily accessed from any virtually any room in the home.
With Alexa’s budding utility as a smart home hub, this ability to remotely control your smart-home’s connected devices from any where might end up being the most important feature of this update. While the Fire TV and Alexa combo are poised to be a pretty powerful paring, the more interesting possibility of using the Fire TV remote to control Alexa would be a non-issue if Amazon would just update the Alexa mobile app to support voice control!