Amazon will offer an over-the-air software update for both the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick that will add new features to the streaming video devices.
The update will be released sometime "in the coming weeks" for the Fire TV set-top box and the Fire TV Stick HDMI dongle. Here's a look at what will be added to both devices:
- 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.
This news comes on the same day as Amazon's announcement that pre-orders for the Fire TV Stick have started in the UK, Germany and Austria, with shipments starting on April 15.