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Amazon Fire TVs will make it clearer what you can watch for free in search results

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The latest Fire TV update seems to have had a rocky start, but it does bring some worthwhile improvements – and it sorts out a minor but annoying niggle that's been one of our pet hates for a while. A change that Amazon calls "transparency" makes it much easier to see whether a particular TV show or movie that you searched for, or that's being recommended to you, is included in your subscription offer or if it's a video-on-demand title instead. This is coming to Amazon's Fire TVs, as well its Fire TV Sticks, including the latest Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

You'll see the change on a show or movie's mini detail page, which is the page that tells you more about the title. Underneath the show or TV title and above its synopsis you'll now see a new indicator that tells you whether that particular title is included in one of your current subscriptions, if it's available as a free with ads option, or if it's a rental or purchase-only option. 

That's a very welcome change, and there are more improvements too.

What's new in the latest Fire TV update

In addition to the improved transparency, Amazon has made some upgrades to other parts of the user interface. There's now a new Top Results row that will show the five most likely results when you search, so for example if you search for comedy movies you'll see five recommendations based on a mix of your own viewing and searching history, plus what's trending, and what's popular.

The Continue Watching row has been expanded too. That was added last year and included content from a range of streaming apps including Prime Video, Freevee, MGM Plus, Max and STARZ. Hulu and Tubi have been added to that selection, and Amazon promises that Disney Plus integration is coming soon.

Last but not least, there's a new browser-based virtual keyboard and remote that enables you to type and control your TV from your phone: whenever the on-screen keyboard appears it'll also show a QR code that you can use to call up the browser-based keyboard on your phone. It's a similar feature to the one in the Apple TV 4K when used with iPhones, albeit slightly less slick and automatic, but it should still makes text input considerably faster.

Some of Amazon's Fire TVs are great value – we especially like the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, which ranks among our best gaming TVs – and we're always pleased to see cheaper products get constant improvements, since in a lot of cases they can be forgotten.

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