Fire TV has started rolling out new features today, including a new Smart Home Dashboard, Alexa Shortcut Panel, and Alexa Home Theater. The updates are coming to Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Fire TV Omni Series, and Fire TV 4-Series TVs and will continue rolling out over the coming weeks.
Here are the new features and what to look for, from Amazon:
- All-new Smart Home Dashboard: Now you can view and control connected devices throughout your home. Just say, “Alexa, show me my smart home dashboard” and Fire TV will display any smart lights, plugs, and switches you’ve connected, which you can check the state of (on/off) and control with the remote. A new row is specifically dedicated to smart cameras as well, which you can view feeds of. You can also check smart devices you’ve favorited from the Alexa companion app. Early next year, support for smart home Groups and Thermostats will be added.
- Alexa Shortcut Panel: With the remote, a simple press of the Alexa button will now slide out a shortcut panel at the bottom of the screen for quick access to smart home controls, weather, news, and your video library. Alexa Shortcut Panel will be available broadly on Fire TV devices in the United States.
- Alexa Home Theater for Fire TV Omni Series, Fire TV 4-Series, and 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Max: Wirelessly connect Echo speakers like Echo Studio for Dolby Atmos audio or other Echo smart speakers for immersive sound. With Fire TV Omni Series and 4-Series televisions, audio will output when streaming on Fire TV and across any compatible device that’s connected, including cable boxes, gaming consoles, and antenna sources. Fire TV Stick 4K Max can now do the same, so long as it’s plugged into your TV’s HDMI eARC port, which means you can broadcast audio to Echo speakers, even when you’re enjoying content on inputs other than Fire TV. Set-up instructions are here.
- Airplay 2 and HomeKit on Fire TV Omni Series and 4-Series TVs: Fire TV Omni Series and 4-Series users can stream, share, and control content from iPhone, iPad and Mac right to their Fire TV, including videos, photos, music or podcasts. HomeKit lets you use Siri for TV controls like turning power on/off or changing volume.
- Zoom Video Communications for Fire TV Omni Series (Coming Soon): In the coming weeks, you will be able to place and receive Zoom Meetings from the biggest screen in your home. After downloading the Zoom app through Fire TV, simply plug a compatible 720p-1080p webcam into the USB port and say, “Alexa, find Zoom.” Once everything is set up, join a meeting using your remote, or simply say, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting.”