Amazon is extending its Fire TV Stick line of inventory with two new products: new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite. These new products will be the first to see a home-screen makeover.
The new home-screen will now support the user-profile feature allowing multiple users of the device to have their own profile. The new home-screen is also more user-centric and displays more useful features on the front.
Amazon intends to make Fire TV devices more competitive with Roku, which currently holds the lion’s share of the streaming-devices market worldwide.
Amazon stated that people have started streaming and watching more because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is important to introduce features that make users keep coming back.
It is important to note that the new features will not be available even on these newly announced devices at the time of shipping. The changes will be rolled out somewhere in December 2020. The existing Fire TV devices will also see the home-screen redesign but not until early 2021.
Apparently, the new Fire TV home-screen will be neater and do away with the existing clutter. It will also make it easier to find content. Users who are switching from traditional cable TV to online streaming will find the redesign much easier to get accustomed to.
Users will be able to create up to 6 profiles. Each individual in the house with their own profile means the recommendations will be more personalized based on the viewing history and chosen preferences.
The new design also allows you to create a separate profile for kids. This profile will only display the content appropriate for children without you having to set up password-protected parental control universally for all users.
There will be some changes to the Alexa interface as well. The responses from Alexa will now appear as popups and take up only a small part of the display as opposed to currently where it covers your entire screen. This means that the Alexa will not interrupt your existing activity on the screen.
The new software update will also allow you to make Alexa video calls if you own a Fire TV Cube. You will be able to attach a Logitech camera to the USB port of the Cube. Amazon also indicated that Zoom video call support will also be added in the coming time.
The new FireStick will cost you $39.99. This device supports Dolby Atmos as well as HDR (if you have a compatible TV set). The new FireStick Lite does not include these features. Therefore, it costs less at $29.99.
Please note that both these devices support the maximum resolution of 1080p. None of them are 4K compatible. If you are looking for 4K streaming, you would still need to buy Fire TV Stick 4K or Fire TV Cube.
The pre-orders for both these devices have already started. Amazon will start shipping them from September 30, 2020.
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