If there’s one thing voice-powered artificial assistants like Amazon Alexa have proved, it’s that everything is better when you can control it using just your voice. That’s why using an old-fashioned method of navigation like a plain old remote control to navigate through Netflix feels like you might as well be living in a cave. Thankfully, if you’re an Amazon Fire TV Cube owner, you don’t have to as the device now supports voice navigation in third-party apps.
This functionality has actually been in the wild for a while, as it was first spotted by AFTVnews last week. In the meantime, the functionality has slowly been rolling out to Fire TV Cube devices everywhere. The new commands essentially replicated the buttons on your remote control, letting you navigate through complex menus by using phrases like “Alexa, go up” or “Alexa, move left” to move, and then “Alexa, select this” or simply “Alexa, select” to press a virtual Select button.
As you might imagine, this can be somewhat cumbersome if you’re trying to move any sort of distance. To help solve this problem, the “scroll” command lets you move several menu items at a time, so you don’t need to repeat “Alexa, go left” over and over. Despite how it sounds, this can actually be faster than using the remote, so it’s not simply something to help you out in a pinch if you don’t feel like pressing buttons on a remote.
There are a total of 17 apps supported, including mainstays like Netflix and Hulu, with the rest of the list filled out by ABC, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, The CW, CW Seed, DramaFever, ESPN, FilmStruck, Fox Now, FXNow, Hallmark Movies Now, HBO Go, HBO Now, Red Bull TV, and Tubi TV. This appears to be just the beginning as Amazon says it will add support for even more third-party apps and services in the future. Unfortunately, how this functionality is handled differs slightly from app to app, so you may find the behavior to be unpredictable in some apps.
Since this has been rolling out for some time, your Fire TV Cube should already have the functionality.