Boxset bingeing is about to get a whole lot easier for Echo Show 15 owners. Amazon is updating its sizeable smart display with the same Fire TV interface found on its streaming sticks, putting a handful of big-name services just a tap or swipe away.
The 15.6in smart screen already let you stream content from Prime Video and Netflix, but through a UI that was more suited to being a digital cork board – weather updates, calendar appointments, music playlists, that kind of thing. After all, Amazon had the kitchen in mind when it launched the device.
Turns out there are plenty of users that use it for video, though. The free software update should be far more film-friendly, with easier access to third-party apps like Disney+. US customers will get Paramount+ and Showtime, too. You’ll be able to tap the screen to pick out content, use your voice, or pair a 3rd gen Fire TV Alexa voice remote.
The old interface isn’t going anywhere, either. A new Fire TV widget can be added to the layout Echo Show 15 owners are using already, putting recently watched content, streaming services and your personal watchlist front-and-centre.
It’s part of a wider update for Echo Show devices, which includes video sticky notes for the first time. Weather insights are being added to the calendar, so you don’t get caught off-guard when heading to a meeting, and Alexa can notify you when rain or snow is predicted as far as 10 days out. Smart home requests can be scheduled now, too – so Alexa can turn the lights off in ten minutes, or turn on a smart light switch at a specific time just by asking. Further additions are expected towards the end of the year, including being able to view multiple smart home cameras onscreen at once, rather than a single feed.
The update will be released in the coming months for existing Echo Show 15 owners, and eventually come pre-loaded on newly-purchased ones. It’s available from Amazon UK right now for £200, or from Amazon USA for $250.