Amazon has debuted a new streaming service app, specifically for Fire TV users.
Called the News app, Amazon described it as a "reimagined news experience". It basically serves up news content from multiple providers, but it is completely free to use and is fully customisable. Here's how the service works.
When will News be available?
The News app is now rolling out. It's simply called News. When available, it'll show up on the home screen in the ‘Your Apps and Channels’ row. There is also a dedicated News row on the Fire TV homescreen. Simply scroll down a few rows, and you will see a row titled News, complete with Live news and short news clips from different providers. This row is ordered by recency.
The News app will arrive first for US customers starting in October 2019, so if you don’t see it right away, have patience.
How much does News cost?
It’s a free experience that's supported by ads. There is no download or subscription required to try it.
How does News work?
When you first open the News app, you will be given the option to select the news channels and content categories that you most want to see. You can even place everything in the order in which you would like your news to play. For example, if you place CBS News in the first spot and Reuters second, you will always see news auto-play from HuffPost first and Reuters second.
You can see all your channels under ‘My News’ in the order you selected. You can change your settings any time by going into the preferences section at the top - where you can further customise by adding, removing, or re-ordering channels.
Whenever you want to watch content in the News app, you can simply say, “Alexa, play the news", and then your Fire TV device will automatically open the News app and play content from your specified channels and categories. You can see what’s coming up, skip ahead, and more. Just click the down-select button on the remote, and you will see a carousel of stories.
You can also use your voice to skip to the next story, pause, rewind, or fast-forward. Just say “Alexa, next story” or “Alexa, rewind 10 secs.” You can ask Alexa either by holding down the microphone button on your remote, speaking to a paired Echo device, or speaking to Fire TV Cube.
Which channels/publishers support News?
Currently, Amazon has partnered with CBS News, Bloomberg, HuffPost, Yahoo, Reuters, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, and others. That means you will see news clips and live feeds from these publishers. Other expected publishers include People, Cheddar, Sports Illustrated, Al Jazeera, and Yahoo, according to Engadget.
Which Amazon devices offer News?
The News app will be automatically downloaded to all Fire TV devices, including the Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Cube. Amazon said the News app will eventually come to Fire tablets too.