Amazon has kept its promise to turn the Echo Show 15 smart display into a fully functional Fire TV. The update, which was made available yesterday (7 December), brings the Fire TV interface to the smart home device. That means you can stream from Amazon's own Prime Video as well from other big names such as Netflix and YouTube.
As Engadget reports, while the core interface is very familiar there are a few twists here. You can take advantage of a virtual remote on the Echo Show itself, and you won't need a separate controller for apps that weren't designed with touchscreens in mind.
To mark the update, Amazon is offering a little discount on the Echo Show 15: it's down £20 to £219.99 on Amazon UK, while in the US the usual $250 is down to $185 or $195 if you want an Alexa Voice Remote too.
Don't buy the Echo Show if all you want is a TV
As lovely and clever as the Echo Show 15 is, it's still small: 15 inches is big for a smart home device, but in the world of TV it's positively titchy. That makes it a good option for a kitchen TV, enabling you to watch your favourite cooking shows or keep yourself entertained as you cook, but it's a bit small for TV or movies to be its main purpose.
If you've got or were planning to get an Echo Show 15 anyway, though, it's a worthwhile update: it adds Disney+ and Now TV, and the improved interface makes navigating to and through YouTube better. And because it supports multiple user profiles each household member can see their own personalised content instead of sharing it with everybody else.
It's worth mentioning one downside, which will only affect a few people: you can't use Developer Settings to enable sideloading of apps like you can with a Fire TV stick. That's most likely because on the Show, Fire TV is just an app rather than the entire operating system.