Back in 2010, Android 2.1 Eclair added voice dictation when the keyboard is open to let you use speech instead of hunting and pecking on your 3" display to type a few letters and characters. That function apparently never made it into Amazon's Fire OS Android fork on TVs (it's available on Fire tablets as far as I can tell). But that's changing now that Amazon is all about voice.
Fire OS 5.2.6 has been rolling to TV devices since September 13, but the official changelog was just posted and Amazon and says you can hold the voice button on the Alexa Voice Remote or the Fire TV Remote App (on your phone) when the keyboard is open to dictate text instead of typing one letter at a time. However, that won't work in all apps or forms, and username and password fields aren't supported. YouTube and Netflix for eg use their own keyboards and don't support voice dictation. Despite the limitations, I'm sure the feature will be welcome wherever it works.
New and Enhanced Features
- When the onscreen keyboard is open, you can use your Alexa Voice Remote or the Fire TV Remote App to enter text with your voice. Just hold the Voice button and say the words you want to type. You can’t voice type characters one at a time. You will still need to type any logins or passwords onscreen.Note: This feature is only available in English. Not all apps support the voice typing feature and it may not work with all forms.
- To zoom in onscreen, you can enable Screen Magnifier from Settings > Accessibility. Hold Back + Fast Forward to enable or disable Screen Magnifier from any screen. Press Menu + Fast Forward to zoom in or Menu + Rewind to zoom out. Press Menu + Up, Down, Left, or Right to pan in these directions. Press Menu + Play/Pause to quickly enable or disable zoom.Note: Most video content will not zoom.
- This software update includes general improvements and bug fixes.
Another notable change is the accessibility addition of a screen magnifier for those with vision impairment. That should help you view certain screens easily, but it doesn't work on most videos.
Those changes are common to all Fire TV devices, all Fire TV sticks, and Fire TV Edition television sets. However, the latter are also getting support for favorite channels and better display and sound settings.
Image credits: AFTVnews