Amazon is rolling out new features to its streaming boxes — the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick — via an “over-the-air software update,” the company announced today, introducing expanded voice search across a number of Fire TV apps, new Alexa features, and recommended shows and movies from Netflix and HBO on the Fire TV’s home screen.
Amazon boasts that the Fire TV “is the #1 selling streaming media player in the US across all retailers,” but we don’t actually know how well it’s selling.
Like Apple and the Apple TV, Amazon never discloses sales for its often discounted Fire TV (currently $85) and Stick ($35). While Amazon may in fact be in first place (and Apple in fourth — after breaking records), we can’t tell how far ahead Amazon is, and we don’t know how much of those sales were discounted or when they occurred. Amazon likes leaving hardware sales in the dark.
With today’s updates, Amazon says more than 75 apps now support voice search on the Fire TV and Stick. Alexa can also now control Amazon’s Video app (say “rewind 30 seconds”) and provide updates on sports teams and scores (“give me a sports update”).