Amazon Is Testing a Web Browser for Fire TV (Report)

Amazon’s Fire TV could soon get a full-fledged web browser, if new findings from gadget enthusiast blog AFTVNews are any indication. Amazon’s Silk browser, which the company developed for its Android-based Fire tablets, reveals a number of TV-specific tweaks when installed on the streaming device, according to the report.

The browser isn’t officially available for Fire TV just yet, but AFTVNews was able to “side-load” the application, which involves installing it from a USB drive.

Upon doing so, the browser launches a navigation tutorial that explains how to use it with the Fire TV’s remote control, and make use of its integrated microphone for voice search. The browser also allows users to pick videos embedded in a web page, and then play them back in full screen mode.

Users who side-load the app aren’t currently able to use it out of the box, since voice search doesn’t work yet, and there is no way to enter website addresses. However, AFTVNews published a separate app on Friday that actually allows users to pick web pages they want to visit, and then launch the browser with those sites. It’s a bit of a complicated work-around, but at least it lets users experiment with the new browser until it is officially released.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on when that may be.

Amazon wouldn’t be the first company to add a browser to a streaming device. In fact, some of the features discovered by AFTVNews this week are very similar to the browser developed for the original Boxee Box, which launched all the way back in 2010.

Back then, many TV networks responded by blocking the device from accessing their web-based content. It’s possible that publishers are going to respond with similar means this time around to make sure that their content only gets accessed through their own TV apps.


Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Tiger King

    'Tiger King' Ranks as TV's Most Popular Show Right Now, According to Rotten Tomatoes

    Netflix has a tiger tale that has punched into the zeitgeist with “Tiger King,” stocked with a cast of real-life bizarre personalities and sinister plot twists. “Tiger Tale,” a true-crime-style docuseries that debuted March 20 on Netflix, ranks as the most popular current TV show, according to Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 97% critic’s rating [...]

  • Alex Jones

    Google Removes Infowars Android App From Online Store Over Coronavirus Misinformation

    Google on Friday removed the Android version of the Infowars app from the Google Play online store, after comments made by Infowars founder Alex Jones about the COVID-19 pandemic were deemed false and harmful. Google Play was that last major internet platform that provided an outlet for Infowars, which trades in right-wing conspiracy theories and [...]

  • Van Weezer

    Weezer Debuts Online Video Game as Throwback to Simpler Times -- And Album Promo

    Eight-bit diehards, get your thumbs ready: pop rock darlings Weezer have launched a nostalgia-heavy online side-scrolling action game, playable via web browsers.  The “The End of the Game” game has users playing as one of the band’s four members and jumping and shooting their way in a (surprisingly difficult) boss fight against an oversized, beanie-clad [...]

  • Google-Mountain-View-Calif

    Google Commits $800 Million, Mostly in Ad Credits, to Coronavirus Relief Efforts

    Google and parent Alphabet are pitching in to help small businesses, health organizations and governments dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet company has earmarked more than $800 million for coronavirus relief, about three-fourths of which ($610 million) is in the form of Google Ad credits to small and midsize businesses and governmental orgs, Alphabet [...]

  • Why Are Music Streams Down If

    Why Are Music Streams Down If Everyone's Stuck at Home? Experts Weigh in

    While it might seem counterintuitive that music streams would decline at a time when so many Americans were ordered to stay home, data-savvy label executives were neither startled nor concerned by the 7.6% drop in plays that happened in the March 13-19 tracking week. Simply put, they say it’s down to focus on news and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content