Try Out the Alexa Integration

Fire App Builder includes Alexa integration by default. You can use voice commands to control media playback, such as play, pause, stop, rewind, fast-forward, and so on.

Available Alexa Commands

You can say Alexa commands in two ways:

  • If your Fire TV device has a microphone button, you can hold down the microphone button to say the commands.
  • If you've linked your Echo or Echo Dot to your Fire TV, you can use the trigger word "Alexa" without pushing your microphone button to say the commands.

(If you're pushing the microphone button on your remote control, you don't need to say "Alexa," but you can if you want).

Play / Pause Commands

  • "Alexa, play"
  • "Alexa, resume"
  • "Alexa, pause"
  • "Alexa, stop"

Rewind / Fast-forward Commands

  • "Alexa, rewind 5 minutes"
  • "Alexa, fast forward 30 seconds"
  • "Alexa, fast forward" (default is 10 seconds)
  • "Alexa, rewind" (default is 10 seconds)
  • "Alexa, rewind 30 seconds / Alexa, fast-forward 30 seconds"
  • "Alexa, jump back 30 seconds / Alexa, jump forward 30 seconds"
  • "Alexa, go back 30 seconds / Alexa, go forward 30 seconds"
  • "Go to the beginning" (not supported with Echo integration)

30 seconds is just as an example. You can use any time period or measure (seconds, minutes, hours).

Next / Previous Commands

  • "Alexa, next"
  • "Previous" (not supported with Echo integration)
  • "Alexa, next episode"

Scope of the Alexa Integration

Internally, Fire App Builder uses Android Media Session methods to get the control commands from Alexa. The interactive voice commands are applicable when watching and playing media. (The Alexa integration in Fire App Builder does not use the Video Skills API.)

Note that the Alexa commands cannot surface specific media titles within your app through voice search. For example, you can't say "Alexa, play Gizmo movie" (or whatever your content might be called). Voice search for your app's content is only possible when you integrate your media into the Amazon Catalog.

However, if you've linked your Echo to your Fire TV, you can say "Launch the {Name of App} App" and the app will launch. However, this integration is not specific to Fire App Builder and works will all apps.

Disable Alexa Support

If you want to disable media session support (so that no voice interactivity with content is available), open your AndroidManifest.xml file (in app > manifests) and comment out this permission:

<uses-permission android:name="com.amazon.permission.media.session.voicecommandcontrol"/>

Note that if you're updating an existing app by adding this permission to your manifest, your app will not automatically update. Users who already have the app installed will need to explicitly give permissions to install the update. Afterwards, users with the installed app will get automatic updates as usual.

Creating Your Own MediaSession Integration

If you're looking at Fire App Builder's code as a model and you want to voice-enable media playback in your own app, see the instructions here: Implement Voice-enabled Transport Controls with the Android Media Session API.

Next Steps

Now that you're familiar with Fire App Builder, it's time to start creating your app. The first major setup task is to customize the project with your own package name and app folder.