Amazon is reportedly working on its own version of a Continue watching row for Fire TV and it could be the best version yet. Google TV, aka Android TV, already comes with its own Continue watching row, and Apple’s tvOS features an Up Next row. However, it would seem Amazon plans to make its version even better by drawing on more accurate app data.
One of the limitations of Google TV’s version is the accuracy. This is slightly less of an issue with Apple TV due to Apple’s more seamless integration between devices. Then again, for those not heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem, third-party device support is a major Up Next hurdle.
Amazon’s solution will reportedly fix many of these problems by drawing on more data from streaming services. According to AFTVNews, Fire TV’s version will be smart enough that it will know what the person has watched even if they watched on a different device.
Fire TV devices do already feature a Recently Watched row for quick access to previously watched shows and movies, but Amazon only knows to place a title here if it was watched on the Fire TV device. If, for example, an episode or movie was partially watched on a phone or a non-Amazon streaming player, the Fire TV device wouldn’t know.
Google TV’s Continue watching feature is a little bit better in this respect. For example, if you start watching something on Prime Video on a Fire TV device, and have the Prime Video app installed on a Chromecast with Google TV, the Google TV device will know what you’ve watched and be able to suggest you continue watching the same show or movie.
While Google TV’s version works, it only does to some degree, and is largely dependent on the device, and the streaming app supporting the feature.
Amazon’s version will reportedly work along the same lines, but is said to be more intelligent. In other words, it will better know what the user has watched on other devices and display a more accurate and up-to-date list of shows and movies that the user might be interested in watching.
Furthermore, what a Fire TV device learns about the user might not be limited to what they’ve watched. For example, the report suggests that the data Amazon gets form apps could include DVR recordings, titles that have been added to a watchlist, and also digital purchases that were made within the app.
In a bid to reassure users concerned about privacy, there’s also the suggestion that some or all of this tracking will be optional. Specifically, users will have the ability to opt in or out of sharing data on a per-app basis. Kids profiles are also understood to be automatically excluded from the increased level of data tracking.
Of course, when, or even if, this feature will launch remains to be seen. Not to mention, it will also rely on apps opting in and maintaining support to work. Considering developer support is one of the issues with Google TV’s Continue watching feature, it also remains to be seen how quickly Amazon’s version could become as universally clever as it seems designed to be.