(Pocket-lint) – Amazon is enabling full hands-free Alexa control of Fire TVs – that is, TVs that use the Fire TV interface. So you no longer have to press the voice button on the remote. The only catch is that you’ll need to have another Alexa-enabled device nearby like an Echo.
If you have a Fire TV Cube or use an Echo device with a Fire TV Stick, for example, then you have hands-free Alexa already.
Amazon says it has improved the search and navigation capability with Alexa so you can ask Alexa to find content or go to specific places like your Watchlist or open an app in the Fire TV interface. There’s also an improved interface on Fire TV for common Alexa requests like viewing your calendar or asking for sports score updates – these new screens reflect the display on an Echo Show. These will only appear if your Fire TV device is active at that time.
You can also pause or play content, of course, and also do the same with music such as saying “Alexa, play Madonna on Fire TV” to play music through your TV’s soundbar should you want to do that.
You can also ask for the things you might be used to with other Echo devices like ask to see your Ring video doorbell or camera, of course. You could already do all this with the Fire TV Sticks.
The Echo device needs to be paired to the Fire TV, but this is easy. If you ask Alexa to play something from Amazon Prime via the Echo you want to pair, Alexa will ask you if you want to join it up with the Fire TV. Usually, of course, you’ll want this to be the Echo device that’s closest to your TV. For Echo Show, it’s a slightly different process.
The update will be rolled out to users “over the coming week”.
Writing by Dan Grabham.