Amazon recently made it easier to access the most-used features on your Amazon Fire TV device by launching the Alexa shortcut panel. The new features started rolling out in mid-December 2021 and make it easy to review the content currently saved in your Library or to check the weather in your area, among other features. With that in mind, we've put together this handy how-to that explains how to access the shortcut panel on Amazon Fire TV devices.
How to access the shortcut panel on Amazon Fire TV devices
The Alexa shortcut panel is one of the latest features to roll out on Amazon Fire TV devices, including Amazon Fire TV Sticks. While the new shortcut panel functions similarly to the quick access shortcut screen, which is launched by holding the Home button, there are some key differences. Here's how to access the shortcut panel on Amazon Fire TV devices via your Alexa Voice Remote.
- Tap and release the Alexa or microphone button at the top of your Fire TV remote.
- The shortcut panel will feature buttons for Smart Home, Weather, Library, and News.
- Select whichever shortcut you'd like to use and get started.
The shortcut panel should appear at the bottom third of your screen no matter what you are doing on your Fire TV — whether you're in an app, browsing the Fire TV interface, or in the Fire TV's settings.
How to use the Alexa Shortcut Panel
As mentioned above, the Alexa Shortcut Panel includes four options to choose from: Smart Home, Weather, Library, and News. It's worth pointing out that the Smart Home dashboard was recently revamped on Amazon Fire TV devices, which means it might look slightly different from what users are used to. Currently, the Smart Home dashboard gives you access to and control of any of the smart home accessories you've synced to your Amazon account, including smart lights, plugs, and security cameras.
Selecting the Weather shortcut will bring up Alexa's standard forecast card for whatever location you've configured in your Fire TV settings. The Weather shortcut also is the only one that does not navigate you away from whatever Fire TV screen or app you are viewing at the time. Instead, a bar appears at the bottom of your screen and displays the current temperature, as well as the week's current weather predictions.
Meanwhile, choosing the Library shortcut will take you to your Prime Video watching hub, and clicking on the News shortcut will launch the Fire TV News app.
The premier streaming stick
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is the best streaming stick currently offered by Amazon. In addition to providing access to your favorite streaming apps, the Fire TV Stick 4K supports 4K playback, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Audio.
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Keegan Prosser is a freelance contributor based in the PNW. When she's not writing about her favorite streaming apps and devices for Android Central, she's listening to a true-crime podcast, creating the perfect playlist for her next road trip, and trying to figure out which fitness tracker she should try next. You can follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.