Fire TV's new feature demonstrates Amazon's device strategy

It might not be a known fact but Amazon is actually an Android manufacturer. Not the traditional kind but its Fire line of devices, particularly the tablets, are based on a Google-less form of Android. Unlike other OEMs, though, it sells its Fire hardware almost at a loss. That's because it has a different strategy, one that focuses more on services and features for those services, as demonstrated by the new Live tab for Fire TV.

Unlike Google who sells its devices like any other premium manufacturer, all of Amazon's devices are pretty much gateways to its services, particularly its Amazon Prime subscription. In other words, what Amazon is really selling is Amazon Prime and Shopping. The cheaper the device, the easier it is to get into the ecosystem.

That's why most of the Fire devices' selling points are software features. Take, for example, the Fire TV's claim to fame is having almost all your streaming services under one roof, even those outside of Amazon's direct control. That even includes live TV programming, which is the focus of the new Live tab in the Home screen.

Sitting prominently beside the all-important Home tab, the Live tab surfaces the live programming dear to you, or at least the ones you watched recently. The most recent channels are shown on the very top row, no matter what source or subscription it came from. Then follows Live Sports, which is a hot topic right now, and then News.

Of course, these shows and channels don't appear by magic and you'll need to have installed and subscribed to the appropriate Live TV sources, be it the free Pluto TV or the monthly PlayStation Vue. The Live tab will go live for US Fire TV owners in the coming weeks.