Amazon announces new Fire TVs and a brand new home screen that makes it easier to find stuff to watch

Amazon announces new Fire TVs and a brand new home screen that makes it easier to find stuff to watch

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

Amazon

Amazon introduced two new Fire TV merchandise throughout its huge on-line {hardware} occasion on Thursday. Amazon’s Fire TV devices compete instantly with Roku and Apple TV, providing individuals entry to in style apps like Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and extra. 

Amazon says individuals are spending extra time in entrance of TVs than ever earlier than due to the unfold of coronavirus. It sees the TV as a the middle of the family and needs to get much more options in entrance of customers to maintain them coming again. The new options might assist it compete extra aggressively in opposition to Roku, which nonetheless has a 50% market share of world related TV streaming hours with robust progress alternatives, in accordance to an analyst observe from Deutsche Bank in August.

The new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite would be the first of Amazon’s streaming devices to provide a redesigned home screen once they launch subsequent week, though the adjustments will come to current Fire TV gadgets starting within the first quarter of 2020, too.

Here’s what you want to know.

Easier to find stuff to watch, new person profiles

The new Amazon Fire TV interface, which incorporates person profiles.

Amazon

Amazon’s vp and normal supervisor of Fire TV, Sandeep Gupta, instructed CNBC that Amazon obtained suggestions from customers suggesting the home screen was too cluttered. Amazon labored on a redesign to make it easier to find stuff to watch and to shortly bounce into stay TV.

“Today, you can search for comedies, or stuff by Tom Cruise, but we’ve tried to make a landing spot for when you don’t know what you want to watch. This shows you stuff that’s free, movies and TV shows, broader categories, apps and more,” Gupta stated. Gupta stated the fast entry to a TV information will present a acquainted expertise for individuals transitioning from cable TV to streaming.

The new software program helps up to six person profiles. That means you possibly can log into your profile and see the reveals and films Amazon recommends to you, whereas your important different can use a separate account for their very own customized suggestions. You may also create profiles for kids that will solely present kid-friendly content material you’ve got authorized. Previously, you’d have to change profiles inside every app, like Netflix or Hulu, to see content material really useful to you inside these apps.

The newest software program supplies a new possibility to see your Ring or Alexa-ready video cameras in your TV by way of picture-in-picture — type of like seeing a small window in your screen — whilst you’re watching films or TV present. 

Finally, Amazon is increasing its Alexa voice assistant on Fire TV. Gupta instructed CNBC that there are billions of requests to Alexa and that it has seen an 80% progress in requests on Fire TV during the last 12 months, though he didn’t present particular figures.

“It’s a good indication people like Alexa and are using it more to manage shopping routines, recipes, whatever it is, in a centralized place,” he stated. Alexa’s responses now pop up and cowl simply a small a part of the screen so you possibly can maintain watching or doing what you had been with out being interrupted.

Video chat for Amazon Fire TV Cube

The Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon

Separately from the Fire TV sticks, although nonetheless a part of the new software program that will roll out to different Amazon Fire TV devices in the course of the first quarter of 2020, is new video chat assist.

People who personal the second-generation Fire TV Cube will quickly have the opportunity to add a Logitech webcam for video chat by way of Fire TV. It’ll assist Alexa video calls and, later, Zoom. It will not work on the Fire TV sticks since it requires a USB port that’s solely discovered on the Fire TV Cube.

New Amazon Fire TV Sticks worth and launch date

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon

The Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick are comparatively comparable. They’ll value $39.99 and $29.99, respectively. The Fire TV Stick presents assist for newer applied sciences, like HDR and Dolby Atmos in case your TV and audio system assist them. Neither assist 4K video and are capped at 1080p, so, do not buy them if in case you have a 4K TV and need the very best quality doable.

If you want 4K, have a look at the Fire TV Stick 4K, which prices $49.99 however does not ship with the new software program. The Fire TV Stick Lite is extra primary with out Dolby Atmos and among the extra superior Wi-Fi assist for extra secure streaming. Both are stated to be 50% quicker than the last-generation Fire TV Stick, nevertheless, and each include voice remotes that you should utilize to communicate with Alexa to open films, TV reveals, apps and extra.

Pre-orders for the new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite start on Thursday and they’re going to start arriving to prospects on Sept. 30.

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