The Cube has newer software, based off Android 7. Like before, you'll get a small, sleek black rectangle with a d-pad, a bunch of navigation buttons and a voice-search microphone. Instead, it wants you to thumb around a bit until a pleasant piece of poster art floats by, and you click it. The home screen of the app is mainly dominated by content from Prime Video, which is a streaming platform owned by. After that, it will only be a matter of minutes before you see a grid of icons taking over the large screen. And there still are so many questions.
To be fair, the Home screen gives you two whole rows of your own apps before it starts pushing Amazon content. Both the hardware and software are out of date. However, your mileage may vary. You navigate the device with six tabs at the top. It is so far ahead that there is now even Alexa baked into it. This is the most important setting, in my opinion, and one that you should not ignore. Most often, I find myself just having Alexa open whatever app I want and then controlling things with the remote from there.
On the other hand, the voice search is good at parsing what you say — unless you ask for 4K content. There's support for Dolby Atmos soundtracks, too, if you have the home audio gear to take advantage of it. The one common thing about all these devices is packaging. The Cube handles 4K resolution, the Stick does not. Or you can ask for content starring a certain actor.
You can use these commands to launch videos or music in supported apps, search for content, or control video playback, and you can use the remote like any other Alexa device for asking about the weather, looking up sports scores, or controlling smart home devices. And it does so absolutely beautifully. Interestingly, it works only with apps you have installed. If you have a kid at home then this feature will ensure they are not exposed to unsuitable content. I'm not sure that telling Alexa to play or pause a show, or jump ahead by 2 minutes, is any easier than just hitting a button — especially since you need to hit the mic button anyway, unless you have the system linked with an Echo speaker — but the option is nice to have. And in many ways it is.
PlayStation Vue had no such problems. If you have a small kid at home then the lack of YouTube app will hurt but Alexa does try to play those videos over the web version using Silk browser. The buttons feel tighter and more responsive. Amazon takes pretty much the opposite approach from Roku, eschewing a simple app launcher and instead splaying out row after row of content recommendations. That said, there are some notable technical differences between these streaming devices that will help you decide which one is best for you — we'll even help you keep score.
YouTube can still play 4K content and looks great, native app or not. Clearly, there is still some room for improvement here. Is there a better alternative? Remote If Amazon's search still has a ways to go, its remote is better than it's ever been. Above the buttons is a circular, clickable directional pad the center serves as a selection button , and almost adjacent to it near the top is a microphone button. When will this silly feud between Amazon and Google end? But you get what you pay for. Not quite what I asked for, Alexa. .
It depends on what you currently have. That depends on a lot of things, actually. To set up Alexa, you install a companion app on your phone, then use it to decide which Internet services Amazon can access on your behalf. As always, I would caution readers that this is often dependent on your wireless speed and setup. So what does all that mean in plain English? One miss here is the lack of a headphone feature within the app for private listening from your phone, one of the Roku apps best features.
While Amazon doesn't provide an exact figure, there are more than 5,000 available. You can simply say, Alexa play Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and it will understand it needs to be streamed from Prime Video. The holidays are nearly upon us, and iterative hardware updates abound. Instead, Amazon directs you to it through either its own Silk web browser or Firefox. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. The system immediately required a software update not unexpected for a brand-new device sent to us for review ahead of formal launch which took about five minutes, and — after quickly connecting our Amazon account — we had some issues getting apps to download or open. The only big thing that's missing is YouTube, thanks to Amazon's ongoing feud with Google.
The lack of a native app is a problem, but other Alexa works really well and is capable of understanding your commands and even controlling other smart devices at home. If you have wireless speeds in excess of 25 Mbps, though, you should theoretically get similar results to ours. But the actual Stick hardware does have its share of improvements. This is the kind of thing modern devices should do; remove friction but not add another device to control. With Alexa, you simply need to ask for something via the remote and it will take you just there. The Alexa functionality is very appealing. But the difference is that it outputs video from multiple sources and over the internet, which ties in with a modern lifestyle.