And over the years, Amazon has improved the remote control that comes packaged with its TV sticks and boxes. In fact, the latest remote, bundled with the Fire TV Stick 4K, finally adds volume controls, giving you one less reason to reach for the TV remote.
But what if you'd rather not reach for a remote at all? What if you maybe lost the remote (again) but you're sure as hell not going to admit it. Fear not - your trusty smartphone is with you at all times, so why not use it to control your Fire TV instead? Luckily, you can.
Read this: Amazon Fire TV tips and tricks
1) Ensure your smartphone is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Fire TV. Open the app and allow it to search for Fire TV devices on the network.
2) Your Fire TV should appear under whichever name you gave it. When it does, tap it.
3) If this is your first time connecting the two, you'll be told to check the Fire TV for a four-digit code. Make sure the Fire TV device is connected and the TV switched on, then enter the code on your smartphone.
4) The two should connect. If you don't see your device listed in the app, try signing into your Amazon account. The app will then be able to search for your registered devices.
Once you've successfully paired the two, the app will switch to a control panel. Here you can use the big grey square as a directional touchpad for moving around menus. In lieu of the physical button, a tap on the grey touchpad will select items.
Top tip: when it comes to typing in text, the app has a keyboard you can use. This usually pops up automatically but if it doesn't (or you accidentally dismiss it), just tap the keyboard icon at the top right of the screen. Trust us, it's much less fiddly this way.
Second top tip: You can put the Fire TV to sleep from the smartphone app. Hit the cog wheel at the top of the control panel and simply tap Sleep.
How to use Alexa in the Fire TV smartphone app
At the top of the Fire TV smartphone control panel you'll see a microphone. Swipe down on it and Alexa will listen. You can speak into the phone's mic to give Alexa commands, but be aware that you need to keep your finger on the screen for the duration of the command - as soon as you take it off Alexa stops listening.
The benefit here, as with the Alexa button on the Fire TV remote, is that you don't have to say "Alexa" before each command, as it already knows you want it to listen.
More Amazon Alexa how-to guides
- How to change Alexa's name and voice
- How to control Amazon Fire TV using your Echo speaker
- How to use Alexa to control your lights and devices
- How to use your Amazon Echo with Alexa as the perfect alarm clock
- How to set up and use Alexa Routines for a smarter home
- How to set up and use Alexa Drop In and Calling on your Amazon Echo
- Alexa Brief Mode explained: How to turn it on and how it works