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Fire TV gets new Alexa voice features, including app launching and restaurant searches

TechCrunch TechCrunch 17/05/2016 Brian Heater

Amazon is giving TV viewers a few more, not-crazy reasons to talk back to their TVs. After bringing the functionality to various properties, opening it to third-party hardware and letting developers get a crack at it, the Pacific-Northwestern retail giant is rolling a out a bunch of new Alexa features for its set top box.

Using the home assistant, Fire TV users can launch HBO and Hulu via Fire TV remote and play content from subscription services including Starz and Showtime using commands like “Watch Veep.” Alexa can also help Fire TV owners find show times for theaters, when you want a bigger screen and more popcorn rustling noises as part of your entertainment experience.

Other non-TV watching Fire TV Alexa features include local business and restaurant searchers and Kindle e-book access. So, you can tell Fire TV to read a book to you and Fire TV will read a book to you. So much for television rotting your brain.

Amazon has also bundled the addition of YouTube 4K access via the YouTube app into the announcement for when your Fire TV finishes reading you The Pelican Brief. The new features will start hitting boxes today and will continue to roll out over the next couple of weeks.

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