Is there a new Fire TV model on the way? The Amazon Fire TV box and dongle are big sellers for the retail and video company but with the recent announcement of an Android 5.0 or “lollypop” update coming for Amazon devices we wonder if there will be a new Fire TV model on once the update is ready. Amazon has given no indication that one is on the way but the topic came up on a recent episode of The Cord Cutting Show, a weekly podcast focussed on cord cutting and streaming prompting the question what could be added to an already powerful and popular device family. Long before the Fire TV launched or was even more than a flicker of a rumor the Streaming Advisor speculated on what an Amazon device could look like. We were spot on a number of features. See our after the fact comparison here. Today we project new Fire TV model features to hope for.
New Fire TV Featuring Better game support
The Amazon Fire TV box was the first set-top box to push support for Android gaming along with media apps. Since the debut of the Fire TV we have seen the rollout of the Google Nexus Player Razer Forge console and most recently two models of the Nvidia Shield console. With a ram increase and a more powerful processor a new Fire TV could support more advanced titles. Were it to also support game streaming from services like Steam or allow streaming directly from PC’s the company might open an entirely new front for games on an inexpensive media device. The Shield console currently has two top 20 spots on Amazon’s best selling Streaming media devices and is ranked number 1 in the HD DVD Player category (which is littered with items that like the Shield do not play DVDs) with the Nexus Player sitting at #20. Could Amazon combine their current game support with a new game based interface app and take the market for itself? We will see.
New Fire TV Featuring More USB support
When the Fire TV burst on to the scene it like the Roku only featured one USB support with limited support for the port. It was not used to access personal media nor did it support external hard drives. If Amazon chooses to step up its game with a new Amazon TV model an expansion of USB capabilities could be a selling point. Most of the generic Android boxes feature multiple USB ports. Support for hard drives, game controllers, hubs and other items could be a popular addition.
Could new Fire TV feature expanded Google Cast capabilities?
A new Fire TV could differentiate itself if it were to offer expanded media playback capabilities. Already capable of supporting mirroring from the Fire HDX Tablet, miracast/wifi direct from Android and Windows 8.1 machines an expanded role for Google Cast would make the device the ultimate media sharing device. Users can already launch YouTube and Netflix seamlessly. But most other chromecast/google cast apps lack support on Fire TV, while Android TV devices utilize the service to allow for expanded app support. Amazon could offer customers more app support this way without having to approve or develop new apps and interfaces.
New Fire TV Featuring Improved Voice Search
Amazon was the first set-top box to offer voice search. This feature earned praise early and set a standard for its competitors. Since its rollout though others have come along to offer the same type of features and more. Android TV devices for instance allow for some app specific voice search results, Roku’s voice search returns results from multiple sources without a bias towards any one service. At times the Amazon voice search can be a bit inaccurate. But this can be fixed and tweaked.
New Fire TV Featuring Browser
No TV centric set-top box has a full browser. The closest thing to set top box browser support right now is from systems built on a mobile version of Android. In that case an airmouse or wireless keyboard is needed for an optimal experience. With a little by sideloading the Fire TV If Amazon were to develop a fully interactive experience that could be easily accessed with with a standard remote the device’s capabilities would increase exponentially. Were a remote to feature an optional cursor and integrate voice search into the browser watch out.
New Fire TV Featuring Shopping
Amazon is the leading online retailer in the US. Considering how much emphasis the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick interface puts on Amazon content it is stunning that there is not a simple way to shop Amazon’s full product catalogue. Emagine if it were to include an Amazon Shopping channel option akin to QVC whereby customers could use one-click buying to order their entire christmas list.