Amazon today announced new updates for its Fire TV and Fire TV Stick streaming devices, and they’re biggies.
The new updates, which will begin rolling out “in the coming weeks,” add captive portal support to both Fire devices. That means that they’ll be able to easily connect to Wi-Fi networks that require web authentication, like those found in some hotel and dorm rooms. Meanwhile, the Fire TV is gaining support for expandable USB storage and Bluetooth headphones, letting you enjoy content without making noise.
Amazon’s full list of changes for its new updates looks like this:
- Expandable USB storage on Amazon Fire TV—You can now use a connected USB mass storage device to expand your Fire TV storage for downloaded apps and games—this enables you to have more games downloaded for easy access.
- Connect to your hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi with captive portal support out of the box—Take your favorite movies, TV shows, games, and more with you away from home—Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are the first streaming media devices to enable you 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—Enjoy favorite movies and TV shows after the kids go to sleep, without worrying about waking them up. Support for wireless Bluetooth headphones to Fire TV lets you listen to your movie, TV show, or music without bothering others in your household.
- Browse and search Prime Playlists—Prime members can now take advantage of hand-crafted Prime Music playlists directly from Fire TV and Fire TV Stick—there are hundreds of expertly curated Prime Playlists to choose from based on your mood, activity or even artist or decade of choice.
- Hidden PIN entry—With the new PIN entry screen that hides the numbers selected, you can now make sure your kids (or freeloading friends) can’t see your device PIN as you enter it on-screen to confirm a purchase on Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.
- New shortcuts—Quickly put your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on your remote.
These are major updates for Amazon’s two Fire streaming boxes. Both of them become better travel companions or dorm roommates thanks to the captive portal support, and the Fire TV box can now gain quite a bit more storage for your games and apps. If you’ve got either an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, keep an eye out for these updates.