The battle of the dongles and streaming boxes rages on, this time with Amazon upgrading its Amazon Fire TV Stick and its streaming set-top box, Fire TV.
Amazon said new features will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks, and include:
- Expandable USB storage on Amazon Fire TV—Users can now use a connected USB mass storage device to expand their Fire TV storage for downloaded apps and games.
- Connect to authenticated Wi-Fi with captive portal support out of the box—Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will enable users to connect to Wi-Fi that requires web authentication—this includes Wi-Fi at most major hotels, as well as some universities.
- Private listening on Fire TV—Support for wireless Bluetooth headphones.
- Browse and search Prime Playlists—Prime members can now take advantage of curated Prime Music playlists directly from Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, allowing users to choose based on mood, activity or even artist or decade of choice.
- Hidden PIN entry—The new PIN entry screen hides the numbers selected as users enter it on-screen to confirm a purchase on Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.
- New shortcuts—Quickly put Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on the remote.
Amazon also announced that Fire TV Stick is now available in the U.K., Austria and Germany, joining the streaming media box, Amazon Fire TV.
“Customer response to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has been overwhelming—we’ve been working hard to build more of both as quickly as possible, and we’re excited to be adding new features we think customers will love,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “In the UK and Germany, Fire TV is already the best-selling streaming media box on Amazon. We think millions of customers in the UK and Germany are going to love this product.”
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