Amazon’s digital brain Alexa Alexa can now control a variety of third-party apps like Hulu and Showtime on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices, the latest in a series of integrations with the virtual assistant.
That means anyone with one of these devices can use Alexa, either through the voice-enabled remote that comes with Fire TV devices or a paired Echo, to open apps, queue up shows and movies and rewind or fast forward. Amazon’s Heather Dawson, who describes herself as working on Fire TV product marketing by day and an “insatiable TV drama junkie by night,” wrote in a blog post that these capabilities extend to the following apps: Hulu, CBS All Access, NBC, Sony PlayStation Vue, Showtime and Bravo.
One big name is conspicuously absent from this list: Netflix. Alexa can search and open Netflix, which competes with Amazon’s Prime Video service, and AFTVNews noted that it’s possible to fire up a movie on Netflix via voice command on some occasions.
Amazon has ramped up Alexa’s ties with Fire TV over the last two years. It started small in 2015, when she could do voice searches for information like sports scores and weather updates. Then last year, she got the ability to open third-party apps via voice control and play movies and shows on Amazon Prime Video.
In September 2016 Amazon expanded voice search to 75 apps and channels, including Netflix, and added the ability to fast forward, rewind and pause shows on Amazon Prime Video through voice command. Those capabilities have now been extended to third-party apps.