Amazon revamps Fire TV UI and announces two new Fire TV sticks
Just a few days after we first saw a leak of an upcoming affordable Fire TV Stick, Amazon has unveiled the next-gen Fire TV Stick, a new low-cost Fire TV Stick Lite, and a completely redesigned Fire TV user experience. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Fire TV Sticks and the redesigned interface:
Next-gen Fire TV Stick
The latest update to the Fire TV Stick packs in an enhanced 1.7GHz quad-core processor, making it 50% more powerful than the previous generation. The device is capable of streaming 1080p video at 60fps with HDR compatibility, and it features a new dual-band, dual-antenna design with support for 5GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Amazon claims that the updated Fire TV hardware will ensure that users have a more stable streaming experience with fewer dropped connections. Furthermore, the updated hardware reduces power consumption by 50% than the previous generation. Along with the hardware updates, the new Fire TV Stick now also features Dolby Atmos support for a more immersive audio experience with compatible content and speakers. The Fire TV Stick comes with an Alexa-enabled Voice Remote with dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons.
The new Fire TV Stick is priced at $39.99 (₹3,999) and it starts shipping in select countries next week. Customers in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States can pre-order the new Fire TV Stick starting today.
Fire TV Stick Lite
As seen in the previous leak, the new Fire TV Stick Lite is an affordable version of the Fire TV Stick which is also capable of streaming in Full-HD resolution. Much like the new Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick Lite is 50% more powerful than previous-gen Fire TV Sticks and Amazon claims that it’s the most powerful streaming device under $30.
Despite the ‘Lite’ moniker, the Fire TV Stick Lite includes HDR support. It comes with a Lite version of the Alexa-enabled Voice Remote. While the remote features the same design as other Fire TV remotes, it doesn’t include a couple of buttons that you’d find on other versions. However, it still features support for voice commands.
The Fire TV Stick Lite is priced at $29.99 (₹2,999) and it starts shipping in select countries next week. Customers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States can pre-order the Fire TV Stick Lite starting today.
Redesigned User Experience
Along with the new Fire TV Sticks, Amazon has also unveiled a completely redesigned Fire TV interface. With the new interface, Amazon expects to make it easier for users to find what they want to watch on their Fire TV and offer a more personalized experience to discover new content on the platform.
The updated Fire TV interface includes a revamped Home Screen, which has been designed to help users find all their favorite content in one place. At the center of the redesign is the new Main Menu, where users will be able to simply scroll over their apps to get a preview of the content and jump directly into their favorite shows on supported streaming services.
The new Main Menu makes it faster for users to get right to the content they want to watch. The menu also serves as a single destination for all of Fire TV’s popular features like Find, Live TV, Library, and pinned apps.
The Find experience has also been revamped to make it easier for users to browse through popular categories like movies, TV shows, free ad-supported content, and sports. It now includes a couple of filters to help users shortlist content based on the genre. Additionally, users will also be able to use the feature to discover other experiences on their Fire TV, like cooking classes with Food Network Kitchen, daily fitness with Peloton, and more.
In case you share your Fire TV with others, you’d be glad to know that the new UI includes support for personalized streaming profiles. With this new feature, you’ll be able to set up different profiles for each user. The streaming profiles will ensure that your personalized recommendations don’t interfere with those of other users. The feature supports up to 6 personalized profiles, each with their own recommendations, viewing history, watch lists, preferred settings, and more. On top of that, you’ll also be able to set up a Kids Profile with Amazon Kids to ensure that your children can only access family-friendly content.
Alexa on the Fire TV has also been updated with new experiences and improved voice controls. It now supports commands like “Alexa, go to Live TV” and “Alexa, go to News” to help you quickly jump from one category to another. There’s also an optional Alexa Voice Profile feature, which is designed to recognize your voice and automatically switch to your user profile when you say, “Alexa, switch to my profile.”
Additionally, Amazon has also introduced Video Calling with Fire TV, which will allow users to connect a Logitech USB webcam to their Fire TV Cube and call friends and family right from their TV using Alexa. Amazon plans to add support for Zoom, but the company hasn’t revealed a launch date yet.
The new Fire TV experience will be available globally on the next-gen Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite. Amazon plans to roll it out to additional devices early next year.