Amazon’s Fire TV Stick gets updated with faster hardware and an Alexa-enabled remote

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Slowly but surely, Amazon is incorporating Alexa functionality into its numerous existing hardware lines. A few weeks ago, the company announced an update that would bring its friendly voice assistant to its TV streaming hardware solutions, the set top Fire TV and its smaller dongle-based brethren, the Fire TV Stick.

A newly announced version of the latter will now ship with that functionality built-in, along with a newly elongated name. The Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (it’s a mouthful) hits the same nice $40 price point as its predecessor, bundling in a voice-enable remote (previously $30 as a standalone) that brings with it such voice commands as app launching, program search and channel selection.

When watching Amazon-based content, Alexa can also be invoked to fast forward and rewind videos. The assistant can also perform such Amazon Echo-esque tasks as checking the weather, ordering food, reading the news and checking local movie times when users feel the urge to watch something beyond their couch.

The dongle’s hardware has been ugraded as well, with the on-board processor getting the upgrade from dual- to quad-core. A software update, meanwhile, is planned for later in the year, bringing with it a newly designed Fire UI.

Pre-orders for the new TV Stick start today, with shipping set for October 20th. Amazon will also be tossing in $65 worth of free content from Sling TV, Hulu, and Amazon Video for users who pick up sticks before Halloween.

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