Fire TV Will Soon Read Your Kindle eBooks to You

AmazonFireTVHomeScreenOn Tuesday Amazon announced plans to add new Alexa voice features to the Fire TV. Soon you will be able to talk to your set top box and have Amazon's virtual digital assistant play videos, search for info on local businesses and restaurants, launch apps, check the weather, and more.

And it's that "more" more which has me interested today. At the bottom of the new features list is a mention that you will be able to have Alexa read your Kindle ebooks to you through the Fire TV.

All you have to do is use the command "read", followed by the title of an ebook in your library, and you will soon be listening to Alexa.

You can find a list of voice commands for reading Kindle books with Alexa on the Amazon website.

Strange, isn't it? Amazon is showing no interest in adding a standalone TTS feature to its Kindle ereaders, but they have added a similar feature to first the Echo, and now the Fire TV.

Although, this is as much an accessibility feature as it is straight TTS.  It almost makes more sense for the visually impaired or the blind to use Alexa’a voice command features with the Fire TV or an Echo than use a Kindle.

The latter has a 6 hour battery life and requires plugging in a dongle to a Kindle, while the Echo can read ebooks to you from across the room. Assuming, that is, that you're in the same room as the Echo. If you're on the go then the Kindle wins by default.

About Nate Hoffelder (10619 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on Fire TV Will Soon Read Your Kindle eBooks to You

  1. I know they included this feature in the announcement about being able to launch apps, movies, and TV shows with voice control, but the FireTV has always had the ability to read your kindle books to you via text to speech. To make sure I wasn’t going crazy, I just tried it on my 1st gen FireTV and it worked as expected (reading Heart Shaped Box from my kindle library using text to speech).

    • To clarify – I meant it has had this ability since the Alexa update – but to be honest, I am not sure if it was available since day 1 of that update or came along later. I really just know that it can already do this.

    • Well that’s weird. Why was this in the announcement then?

      I’ll go ask.

      Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. I think as Alexa develops the question with functionality on a particular device is going to be “why not” for any feature supported by Alexa.

  3. ‘If you’re on the go then the Kindle wins by default.’

    If you have wifi, oe wireless tethering, you can take Amazon Tap with you. I had Alexa read a Kindle book to me on an out of town drive last week. Worked great.

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