Amazon's Fire TV Is Powerful, but Voice Search Limitations Hamper User Experience

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this week, Amazon launched its Fire TV media streaming box, entering a crowded market with devices from Roku, the Chromecast from Google and the Apple TV. With the Fire TV delivering a number of features rumored for a future Apple TV, reactions to Amazon's new box have certainly been of interest to Apple fans.

    With an immediate launch for Fire TV, the device has already landed in the hands of reviewers and at popular repair shop iFixit, which promptly tore the device down. Early analysis of the Fire TV suggests the device has market-leading hardware that is hindered by less-than-perfect software.

    On the hardware front, iFixit confirms the Fire TV is a powerhouse with a quad-core, 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Krait 300 processor, Qualcomm Adreno 320 dedicated GPU, 2 GB LPDDR2 RAM clocked at 533 MHz, 8 GB internal storage, 802.11a/b/g/n MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Fire TV has the power to play back HD videos, with extra to spare for games.

    Though the hardware is impressive, early reviews suggest the device's blazing performance is overshadowed by a poor search experience that makes finding content on the Fire TV a chore, says Dave Smith in a review for ReadWrite. While Voice Search offers an improvement over typical manual input, its results are limited to Amazon services.
    Because of its high-end hardware, Amazon couldn't undercut its competition and had to release the Fire TV at a price point that is on the high-end of the market as noted by Leslie Horn of Gizmodo.
    Scott Stein of CNET
    focused on the gaming feature of the Fire TV, saying it isn't groundbreaking and doesn't offer a compelling alternative to existing smartphone, tablet, or console games.
    To help set it apart from its competitors, Amazon included an app store, gaming and wireless controller support to Fire TV. Earlier rumors suggest Apple will bring similar features to its next generation Apple TV, adding support for games and Apple's iOS 7 controllers to the media box. Other rumors point to a device with the router features of the AirPort Express as well as a possible cable TV tie-in with partners such as Comcast.

    Article Link: Amazon's Fire TV Is Powerful, but Voice Search Limitations Hamper User Experience
  2. Nunyabinez macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
  3. dumastudetto macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2013
    As I said days ago, there's a reason why Apple hasn't launched App Store on Apple TV: they still haven't figured out how to deliver the rich experience we demand. Fire TV is just a rush first to market type product that will fail epic style.
  4. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    While the hardware is there, it's the ecosystem that will ultimately determine if this is really better than a typical set-top box like the Apple TV.

    I have no doubt that opening an App Store for Apple TV would attract tons of developers, but I'm not sure if Amazon has enough mindshare to do the same.

    We might have another Ouya on hands.

    Personally I don't really care for now given that it's a US-only product.
  5. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Sounds like one person commented on Voice and yet MR is making that an "issue"

    The same comments about this device could be said by all of the streaming devices. None are perfect, none have all the features one wants and there's a lot of overlap.
  6. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Aug 13, 2012
    REALLY - Apple TV continues to be an EPIC disappointment to many of us.
  7. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    Agreed. This device looks like it is far beyond anything else currently on the market.
  8. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    2014 with no 802.11ac. Nice. If any Apple product gets launched without it this year... I'm going to be in shock.
  9. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Doubt it. Gaming may not take off exponentially - but as a streaming device alone, Amazon has plenty of customers and potential customers to do very well.
  10. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
  11. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Please explain how this product was rushed. This isn't the first time you've attempted to speak as if this is some fact.

    And how is Amazon first? There's already a market...
  12. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Voice is a big deal so it's unfortunate that it doesn't work across all apps. I hope whatever we get from Apple vastly improves the search capability on ATV. Don't bother releasing anything if they haven't been able to improve the UI and search functionality.
  13. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I'm still waiting for Apple to have on onscreen search or jump to letter when viewing my ~800 video library list of titles.
  14. bbeagle macrumors 68030


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    What is it with the word 'epic'? And 'epic fail'. Both are overused to the point of being meaningless. It's just something said to sound cool, even though it sounds just the opposite - stupid.
  15. realeric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2009
    United States
    I wish Apple would have unlocked the app store.
  16. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Apple needs to push the envelope to stay in the streamer competition. We can see where this is headed with the streaming and gaming systems. The competition is only going to get more extreme.
  17. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2002
    Planet Earth
  18. Yelmurc macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    Houston TX
    The user experience will be the key. I really don't think anyone has cracked it yet.
  19. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Yeah, my perception of Amazon is probably not the same as an American.

    In Canada, is nowhere as popular as in the US. They have a very poor product selection and prices aren't particularly good. We always get products like Kindles very late and I've yet to see a Kindle Fire in the wild, or find any person who subscribes to Amazon Prime.

    But from what I understand Amazon is really big in the US, so people might buy this set-top box just because they already have an Amazon Prime subscription.
  20. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    iPhone controllers? So which device are you meant to look at when looking to press that specific button? An app is no substitute for good old physical buttons.
  21. mclld macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2012
    If this thing can get xbmc and the video add ons I use(1channel, Icefilms, Project Free Tv etc) I will sell my jailbroke Apple TV 2
  22. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I, also, should have qualified my comment to be US biased.
  23. BigHonkingDeal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2009
    Miami, FLA

    I have been saying the same about SIRI for a long time.....
  24. jc46 macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009

    Several million Apple TV owners would disagree with you.
  25. Lazy macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Why? The 'n' (or even 'g') is more than fast enough for any streaming purposes, and 'n' has got all that MIMO goodness. What operational benefit do you think you'd get from having 'ac'?

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