Amazon, on Wednesday, announced the rollout of Mozilla’s Firefox and its own Silk browser for its Fire TV streaming platform. Both browsers will be available for Web browsing on all devices in the Fire TV line-up, including the regular Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick.
Amazon’s Silk browser was made available for some Fire TV users, back in November, under a silent release. Wednesday’s announcement, however, makes it officially available for all Fire TV users in over 100 countries and territories. Amazon claims that its Silk browser has features like home screen bookmarks and customised control buttons on the Fire TV remote.
“With full Web browsers on Fire TV, our customers’ entertainment and information options are greatly expanded. We want to make it easy for customers to access the Web from the comfort of their couch,” said Marc Whitten, vice president, Amazon Fire TV and Appstore. “We’re excited to bring web browsing to customers on every Fire TV device in every country where they’re sold.”
The addition of Web browsers to the Fire TV comes in the wake of Google’s decision to pull YouTube support on the Echo Show and Fire TV. YouTube, the biggest video-sharing platform in the world, is one of the major sources of content for a lot of Fire TV owners. Just in time for the deadline of January 1 when Google pulls the plug on the official YouTube app from Fire TV platforms, Amazon has jumped in with a temporary solution – accessing YouTube through any of the two browsers released.
This move, however, might not prove to be effective as Google is blocking access to YouTube on Amazon’s built-in Silk browser. Amazon had been using this as a workaround on the Echo Show that recently lost rights to the YouTube app.
Mozilla, on the support page for the Firefox Fire TV app, however, mentions that “you can launch popular video websites, like YouTube, load any website address, and search the web for videos to play full screen on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.” It remains to be seen if Google will block Firefox access – at least on Amazon Fire TV devices – to YouTube as well. The entire feud may be thing of the past however, as Amazon has confirmed it will start listing Google Chromecast and Apple TV streaming devices – the primary reason for the whole spat.
To install the browsers, from Amazon.in, log into your account. From the search bar, select Apps & Games, and then search for “Firefox Browser or “Silk Browser. Select the preferred browser from the search results. Next, select Deliver from the right side of the page and click on the Get option to get the app delivered to your logged in Fire TV device.
Alternatively, you can install Firefox browser from the Fire TV by selecting the search icon in the upper left, and searching for Firefox. Select Firefox for Fire TV from the search results and press the Get button to install it on your Fire TV.
“Bringing Firefox to Fire TV is an exciting new way to reach our users and serve up more of the full web to everyone,” said Mark Mayo, Sr. Vice President of Firefox. “Firefox has always been about bringing the web directly to people no matter what device they’re using. Starting today, we will be able to expand the already great Fire TV experience by enabling viewers to surface a multitude of web content — including videos — through Firefox.”