When it launched, Amazon Fire TV Cube promised hands-free navigation from start to finish, a first for any streaming device. And while that certainly turned out to be the case if you stayed within the confines of Amazon’s own content library, navigating around third-party apps like Netflix and Hulu still required the remote.
But, starting today, that all changes.
A new update, which is currently rolling out to Amazon Fire TV Cube devices, will allow you to use voice commands like “Alexa, scroll up” or “Alexa, move right” in lieu of the remote to move around the aforementioned third-party apps.
Even better, when you find something you want to watch, you can use the command “Alexa, select this” to start any content that’s highlighted on the screen.
These commands will be supported on 17 of the Amazon Fire TV platform's most popular apps starting today including ABC, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, The CW, CW Seed, DramaFever, ESPN, FilmStruck, FOX Now, FXNow, Hallmark Movies Now, HBO Go, HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, Red Bull TV and Tubi TV, with more to be potentially added later.
While this sounds like something that should’ve been functional right out of the box, due to the complexity of Alexa’s command structure it simply wasn’t possible - and, according to AFTVNews, still isn't possible across the board because of the way some apps are laid out.
That said, thanks to some clever coding, Amazon has taken another step toward a completely remote-free experience and fixed one of the Amazon Fire TV Cube's big drawbacks. That's 17 apps down, only a couple thousand more to go.
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Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.