Amazon has unveiled its next-generation Alexa Voice Remote, available now for compatible Fire TV streaming devices. This new remote features dedicated shortcut buttons for quickly launching popular apps like Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.
The Alexa button has also been redesigned with a distinctive blue color and Alexa logo. These changes build on the voice control and ease-of-use offered by Fire TV’s leading remote.
Dedicated App Shortcuts
The most notable addition on this 3rd generation Fire TV remote are the four preset buttons for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu. With a single press, users can jump directly into these apps rather than navigating on-screen menus.
The specific apps mapped to each button vary by region. For example, in Germany and Canada one of the shortcuts will launch Amazon Music instead of Hulu.
This approach mirrors what we see on certain Roku remotes, which often feature dedicated buttons for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. It streamlines the viewing experience by putting your favorite streaming apps a click away.
According to Roku, the use of app shortcut buttons reduced the time to launch apps by up to 8 seconds compared to manual navigation. Given the frequency that apps are accessed, these seconds add up to meaningful time savings.
Research by Nielsen indicates that viewers open an average of 8 different apps during a typical streaming session. By eliminating navigation steps to open apps, dedicated shortcut buttons make Fire TV usage markedly more efficient.
Live TV Integration
In addition to app shortcuts, the new remote includes a Live TV button present on Fire TV Stick Lite models. For subscribers of live TV streaming services such as Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and Sling TV, this button enables instantly jumping to whatever content is currently airing.
According to Amazon, the dedicated Live TV button makes it easier than ever to “watch live TV, sports and news at a moment’s notice” without fussing with menus or inputs. It’s a handy inclusion for cord cutters embracing live TV options.
Refined Alexa Controls
Amazon has also refined the microphone button on the remote, replacing the printed mic icon with a blue background and Alexa logo. This better promotes Alexa voice control capabilities on Fire TV with clearer branding.
Recent Alexa updates allow hands-free voice commands without needing to press the mic button. Users can simply say “Alexa” to launch requests like:
- “Alexa, play Modern Family”
- “Alexa, tune to ESPN on Hulu Live TV”
- “Alexa, find action movies”
- “Alexa, fast forward 3 minutes”
According to Amazon, Alexa can now understand requests that include actor names, genres, scene descriptions, time-based commands and more. Voice control on Fire TV keeps getting smarter.
Fire TV Remote Generations
|Basic infrared remote with microphone button
|Added volume/power controls and programmable app buttons
|Dedicated app shortcut buttons + new Alexa button design
The latest Alexa Voice Remote will be bundled with new Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) devices and sold separately for $29.99. Amazon has confirmed compatibility with the following products:
- Fire TV Stick Lite
- Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen and newer)
- Fire TV Stick 4K
- Fire TV Cube (all models)
- Fire TV (3rd Gen)
The remote is not compatible with 1st generation Fire TV products or Fire TV Edition televisions. To verify compatibility, consult Amazon‘s detailed compatibility guide.
If attempting to pair the remote with an existing Fire TV device, follow these steps:
- Press and hold the Home button on the remote for up to 10 seconds
- Press and hold the Home button on Fire TV device for up to 10 seconds
- The remote will sync and control the Fire TV
If issues pairing, try power cycling both devices and ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your Fire TV. For additional help connecting the remote, visit Amazon‘s setup support page.
Customizing the Remote
Under Settings > Remotes & Bluetooth Devices on your Fire TV, you can customize the app shortcut buttons to your preferences. Any installed apps with Alexa voice control can be mapped to the dedicated buttons.
For example, if you subscribe to HBO Max instead of Hulu, you could swap that shortcut. The same menu allows remapping the Live TV and Guide buttons if desired.
If an app you want isn‘t available, double check that you have the latest Fire TV software update. New app integrations are added regularly.
Pro Tips for Voice Control
Here are some pro tips for getting the most out of Alexa voice commands on your Fire TV:
- Speak naturally in sentences, not just single words
- Use names of movies, shows, actors, directors, and genres
- Add phrases like "on Hulu" or "starring Tom Hanks"
- Utilize time-based commands like "fast forward 1 minute"
- Enable Whisper Mode under Alexa Voice settings to quietly issue commands
Fun voice commands to try include "Alexa, play rock music" or "Alexa, open TikTok" to discover some hidden features!
The Bottom Line
Amazon‘s latest Fire TV remote sets a new standard with instant access to your favorite streaming apps. Dedicated Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ buttons reduce navigation friction.
The signature Alexa button also makes voice commands more intuitive. With easier access to content and control, the 3rd generation remote helps Fire TV maintain its edge in the streaming world.
Have you upgraded to the new Fire TV remote? Which features are you finding most useful so far? Let us know in the comments below!