Big, big news for anyone who purchased Amazon’s new Fire TV: the company’s TV streaming device will gain voice search support for Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime in a future update. Fire TV currently only searches through the company’s own catalog of content, to the dismay of users; it felt like Amazon was taking a stance and creating its own walled garden in a sense. But the company obviously took that to heart by opening up voice search to third-party apps.
Voice search for the Fire TV actually works really well—if it’ll listen to the deranged nonsense of Gary Busey, you know the technology is top-notch. In our review, we noted how effortless it was to find content—all it takes is a simple press of a button, which is right there on the Fire TV remote. It wasn’t clear if Amazon would make the decision to bring voice search to other apps, but our prayers have been answered. Netflix is notably absent, so hopefully we’ll see support for that in the future.
For Amazon’s first TV streaming effort, Fire TV is a terrific box that’s capable of a lot. Not only does it access tons of great content, but it’s a gaming beast and sports a lovely UI. It still has plenty of competition to go up against, such as Roku and Apple TV. But given that ship times have been fluctuating since launch, we’ll take that as a sign of huge demand for the Fire TV. Maybe wider support nudges HBO Go into releasing an app for Fire TV.
In addition to the expansion of voice search, Amazon also said more games are headed to the platform from developers such as Telltale Games, Halfbrick, Disney Interactive, and more.