Amazon's new Fire TV Stick adds voice control to your TV

Netflix is the first to provide such recommendations in the United Kingdom, but Amazon hopes to have similar recommendations from other third-party services such as the BBC's iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, which all have apps available for the Fire TV.

The all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is available for pre-order beginning today with it shipping to customers on April 6.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Amazon Devices International, said that the company's focus with the new Fire TV stick was on performance and speed, making it 30% faster than the old device, to provide a smooth, rich and voice-controlled experience in a package barely larger than a flash drive. It will also come with Amazon's new version of its Fire TV interface, which has been cleaned up, modernised and made faster. The Fire TV box, a more expensive device that can play 4K video, comes with the voice remote but in the United Kingdom is not at present compatible with Alexa.

First up is your recent watches.

Away from voice, Amazon's X-Ray skills remain, enhancing your viewing by letting you see which actors and actresses are in the current scene and get trivia on them.

And there's one other even more useful aspect to the voice-recognition facility on the new Fire TV Stick: the ability to pause, play and skip back and forth. Is it worth the increase?

Amazon's personal assistant Alexa has been integrated with cars, fridges, and smart watches.

Amazon has revealed it has given its Fire TV Stick a complete overhaul, adding Alexa Skills functionality and a completely redesigned UI.

For Mac and iOS device owners, it also lets you compare Alexa with Apple's own Siri, which comes as part of macOS Sierra. For people using Amazon's own Prime streaming platform, it will be possible to control each show.

The now-bundled voice remote makes the Fire TV Stick better value than before, and the addition of Alexa integration - plus faster, more capable hardware - means your extra £5 will be very well spent. Have a little patience, buy a voice remote for £10, and you'll eventually have all the same features for much less.

  • Carolyn Briggs