Amazon’s third-generation Alexa-enabled Fire TV remote has added dedicated shortcut buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu.
It’s the first time Amazon has featured these dedicated buttons, which have been used by Roku remotes for several years. They’re designed to take users directly to their respective streaming platform.
Suffice to say not everyone sees the utility.
“They turn your remote into a canvas for permanent advertising for services you may not even use, and they take up space that could be used for buttons that take you to services you do use,” wrote The Verge. “If you, say, don’t subscribe to Disney Plus or Hulu, then the buttons are, at best, useless to you and, at worst, waiting to be accidentally pressed, leaving you to back out of an app that’s begging you to subscribe.”
The Verge suggests setting a programmable button or two aside for users to program in what services they do subscribe to.
This makes sense to us, especially in a volatile, fast-moving era in which operators like AT&T are still taking wild swings in the video business.
Looking at the Roku remote on the 55-inch TCL TV in our Los Angeles office, a semi-recent 2019 model, there’s a big DirecTV Now button right underneath the Hulu, Sling TV and Netflix digits. We’re not sure what that’s for anymore.
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