What looks and works like a TV is now a real TV. With a new software update, the Echo show 15 now supports Amazon Fire TV so you can watch your favorite shows from various streaming services.
Platforms like YouTube, Disney Plus, and Paramount Plus have a new home on the Show 15 interface. If you don’t mind smearing the 15.6-inch Full HD screen, you can use the newly developed virtual remote control to navigate the menus. This is especially useful as not all video apps are touch sensitive. However, if you plan to use the display in your kitchen or if you already have the display in your kitchen (Amazon already knows you do (opens in new tab)), it does work with the third-generation Alexa Voice Remote, so you can keep it smudge-free. Or you can use the Fire TV app; it’s all the same.
In addition to the Fire TV support, the Echo Show 15’s audio is getting an update, adopting the company’s “custom spatial audio processing technology” from Echo Studio. That doesn’t mean the Show 15 itself will get spatial audio, as the screen probably isn’t capable of that. Still, any improvement is worth it if it means a more immersive sound. The device’s audio performance, including lackluster bass, is one of its major drawbacks.
None of the smart home features are being dropped in any way. You can still use the Echo Show 15’s original smart home functions, such as controlling other devices or tracking packages.
A look into the future
What’s interesting about the Echo Show 15 is that Amazon revealed that back in September more than 70 percent of device owners (opens in new tab) use it to watch anything from Prime Video. With that in mind, you could argue that Amazon has given the display a more sustainable purpose amid tough financial times for the company.
If you’re not aware, Amazon’s Worldwide Digital unit, the part of the company that manages Alexa and Echo devices, is on track to lose $10 billion, according to a Business Insider report (opens in new tab). Apparently the devices are not selling well enough. They are popular with their audience, but not enough consumers are interested outside of that core group.
These trials don’t mean Alexa or Echo hubs stop working overnight. Far from it. If anything, we can see Amazon pulling out all the stops to ensure these devices continue to receive support or potentially new buyers. More people can pick up the Echo Show 15 because of its Fire TV support. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for Alexa and the devices that support it.
If you’re interested in an ultrasound, be sure to check it out Best Product’s recent roundup of the cheapest Amazon Echo deals for the month of December.