Tech

Amazon adds AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to two Fire TV Edition TVs

Amazon is adding support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to two of its Fire TV Edition TVs in a free update, the company announced on Wednesday. Both the 2020 Toshiba 4K UHD Smart Fire TV with Dolby Vision and the 2020 Insignia 4K UHD Smart TV will receive the features, before they arrive on Amazon’s less expensive Fire TV sticks and set-top boxes.

On these specific TV sets, AirPlay 2 should function the same on Apple’s own Apple TV, allowing you to send audio and video from your phone, tablet, or computer to the big screen and control playback from your device. Integrating with HomeKit, Apple’s smart home ecosystem, requires a little extra legwork: you’ll have to enable HomeKit in your TV’s settings under Display & Sounds > AirPlay & HomeKit > Set Up, and then add it as a device in the Home app. Once it’s added, you can use Siri to turn your Fire TV on and off, change the volume, or switch inputs.

Both AirPlay 2 and HomeKit coming to Fire TVs (and hopefully, one day soon, Fire TV sticks) should make using the TVs with Apple’s devices that much easier. Apple already has an in with Amazon’s devices — the Apple TV Plus app came to Fire TVs in 2019.

It’s a stark contrast to how these two companies were interacting a little over five years ago, Back then, Amazon had banned sales of competing hardware like the Apple TV (and Chromecast, and Nexus Player) in its marketplace because it claimed it was important to only sell media players that “interact well” with Prime Video. The companies have since reconciled, and reached a very favorable deal for Amazon that allows it to avoid Apple’s 30 percent App Store commission and use its own in-app purchase system. Now things are better. At least if you own an iPhone and Fire TV.

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