Amazon announced yesterday that it will be upgrading first generation Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks to Android 5.1 Lollipop and adding my favorite virtual assistant, Alexa. This is nothing new for users of the current generation devices, who have had this functionality from the outset. The update will be slowly rolled out over the coming weeks.
Alexa’s functionality is the same across all Fire TVs. Pressing the microphone allows users to ask Alexa for information, to search content, to play music or audio books, or to get weather, traffic and sports updates. If you have only Fire TVs in your house, this will be the extent of Alexa’s functionality and you will not be able to control connected devices like you can with an Echo. BUT…..if you are fortunate enough to own an Echo, your Fire TVs can be paired from the Alexa app, giving you the ability to control connected devices with the Fire TV remote just as you would with your Echo! This is a very important point that most sites have not been reporting.