The Amazon Echo reigned supreme in the smart speaker market for two years until its first major rival, the Google Home, was released late last year. When we compared the two devices, we found that the Google Assistant was smarter but Alexa had more talents and skills.
But there was at least one thing that the Google Home could do that Amazon’s devices could not. People who owned Chromecast (Google’s streaming gadget) could use their Google Home to control their TV. After almost three years on the market, Alexa-enabled devices will soon be able to do that too.
Until now, people who owned Amazon streaming gadgets (the Fire TV of the Fire TV Stick) had to press the voice button on the device’s remote to give voice commands. The latest Fire operating update that will be rolling out means that they can now use their Echo, Dot, or any other Alexa device to give hands-free commands.
Psst: Are you only using your smart TV to watch movies and shows? Click here for 7 things you didn’t know your smart TV can do.
Your voice is now the remote control. Just use your wake word, followed by a playback command, such as pause, fast-forward or skip an episode. You can also tell Alexa to search for a specific video and open other apps on your smart TV.
Before you can take advantage of this new feature, you need to get the Fire TV software update and then link your Fire TV to your Echo or the Alexa device of your choice. Amazon hasn’t announced this new feature yet on the Fire TV software update page and but Android Police said it will be available for every Fire TV model soon.
By the way, Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast aren’t the only two streaming gadgets. Apple TV is also a contender. (Click here to see our complete list and comparison chart.) Maybe when Apple’s Home Pod is released, voice control for Apple TV will be a feature.