Web browsing comes to Fire TV!

Web browsing comes to Fire TV!

Well, well, well!

That’s not what WWW usually means…that’s “World Wide Web”, but both are relevant. 😉

I was quite surprised to see on our

Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote (New Pendant Form Factor) | Streaming Media Player (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

that I could download either (or both) Amazon’s Silk Browser and Firefox!

That takes care of Google pulling the YouTube app starting January 1st. 😉

That was the first thing I tried on the Silk browser…and it worked just fine.

I didn’t find the controls quite intuitive, but they worked. You use the Fire TV remote…and if you have the Voice Remote, you can enter search terms by speaking.

You an add bookmarks, and you can request the desktop version, but I didn’t find that necessary.

You can turn off safe searching…I wasn’t sure that would be an option on this device. It does appear you can also delete history and other “evidence”. Hey, some people are going to want to know!

You can sign into Silk.

The settings seem quite extensive.

It basically defaulted me to Bing as a search engine, but by going into the Advanced settings, I could also choose Google, Yahoo!, Ask, or AOL.

You can use parental controls.

This is honestly a complete game changer! It’s going to take a lot more exploring than I have time for right now, but with the current sale price of $54.99, I could actually do away with a computer for some consumption uses. Creation would be more difficult without a keyboard, but that might even be an option with a Bluetooth keyboard (haven’t tried that yet).

I’ll have to see if it works on our Fire TV stick as well…but well done, Amazon!

Update: it does work on our Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile*) (currently on sale for $34.99). I also tested it with the Fire TV app on my phone…voice input, no voice remote needed. Importantly, that also does give you an onscreen keyboard, and you can tie a Bluetooth keyboard to a phone. The Firefox app has YouTube right on the home screen, so it’s an easy click to get there.

I’ve seen this pooh-poohed by tech writers…I don’t think they get it. It does give Amazon an end around on Google turning off the YouTube app on the Fire TV on January 1st, and quite an effective one. That’s just one small piece of it, though. I haven’t tested it, but I could definitely see attending a Webex meeting (where I was mostly observing on my TV…and still being able to work on my laptop.

I think some tech writers (many are excellent) think average people want more than they do from innovations…but I may also sometimes overestimate adoption, I’ll admit.

Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think about it by commenting on this post!

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

6 Responses to “Web browsing comes to Fire TV!”

  1. Phink Says:

    I watched a news clip yesterday about the Amazon and Google battle. They said Amazon has started selling the Apple TV and the Chromecast on their site once again. I have not confirmed this but my source is the ROKU news section but forget what outfit the story actually came from.

    They said this goes a long way and first step to maybe preventing Google from yanking You Tube from Amazon’s Fire TV and stick.

    If I were Jeff Bezo’s I’d be worried about this. I know a couple people who watch hours of You Tube at a time on a normal basis. I watch I’m guessing an average of 10 minutes of You Tube a day. Many days I watch none but many days, if thinking of a new car for instance, I watch hours of it in a few days. An example is I have been researching plug in hybrids and many people are getting 100 or even 200 MPG on their Chevy Volt’s or Ford Fusion blah blah blah (whatever their plug in is called, I forget). Just threw that out as an example.

    I could not have watched those reviews and videos on a Fire stick. I don’t use one anyway. I much prefer the ROKU but that’s just me. Plenty like their Fire sticks and TV’s very much.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      With the browsers, Bezos doesn’t have to worry about the FTV. It’s really easy to watch YouTube with the Firefox browser on a Fire TV device. The Echo Show (and upcoming Echo Spot) are collectively a different thing. I’d be surprised if they got browsers…

      • Phink Says:

        Oh that’s right (You tube in a browser thing). I read that in the post and I guess immediately forgot you said it. Sorry you had to repeat yourself.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Not too worry! I’m a trainer: I’m really good at repeating myself. 😉

  2. Sheryl Painter Says:

    Bufo, thank you for letting us know. My grandson watches youtube videos on playdoh, kinetic sand, etc. for ideas. I watch the old b/w Charlie Chan movies you can’t find so many places. I’m glad we can continue with the fire stick! I appreciate all your time and effort to keep all of us updated on all the topics. So many years I’ve been reading your books and blogs, etc….and learned so very much! Please have a Merry Christmas (or which ever holiday you celebrate), and know you have made a tremendous difference in my Kindle world. I am now a Kindle and Fire junkie, and it’s all thanks to your teaching

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sheryl!

      That’s so nice of you to say! I watch a lot of old movies on YouTube on my Fire…and some not so old. 🙂 In some cases, commercial movies are there through the auspices of the rightsholder, and I tend to assume that infringers will get caught in short order.

      I hope you and yours also have a great time, and thanks again for making my day. 🙂

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