Good news to Fire TV owners as it is getting its very own version of Silk browser. If you have a Fire tablet, you’re most likely familiar with Silk browser. It’s the built-in browser provided by Amazon for its line of tablets.
Besides the Fire TV, the Fire TV Stick will also be getting the Silk Browser. Despite the lack of a touchscreen for most TVs, a clear answer is built-in for the job without needing a touchscreen or a mouse. The Fire TV’s Silk browser also allows you to control embedded webpage videos for video playback by using the buttons on the Fire TV remote.
Having a web browser for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick gives it a competitive advantage against its competitors like Apple TV, a device that do not offer, at least not yet, an official working web browser. Although users found a way to circumvent this by using Apple’s AirPlay technology to stream whatever is on your Mac directly to your TV, which can be your browser.
Using Silk Browser on your Fire TV
Sideloading the tablet version of Silk browser presents you a tutorial made specifically for your Fire TV. With it, you are instructed on how to use it with your Fire TV.
Amazon also included a tutorial on how to use your remote to navigate through the webpage in a unique way. Although this requires more effort and more clicks as the remote does not have a built-in touchpad, it still beats not being able to browse on the internet using your TV.
They also took consideration that the user’s experience will focus mainly on videos and gave special attention to watching embedded videos on webpages. If you play a video on the webpage, Silk Browser will play it in full screen automatically. Given that it will most likely take longer to click the “full screen button”, it’s nice that Amazon was able to add this feature. Of course, while watching any video, you can now use the remote’s media buttons to control its playback.
The Silk Browser also incorporates voice command to search the web using Alexa. This seems to be the only way to search the internet (for now) as all options start with a voice search. Although it is understandable considering the lack of a keyboard, mouse, touchpad or touchscreen with which you can click the onscreen keyboard with. We will see in the future if Amazon has a unique solution to this as there are people who prefer to not use the voice command. They could possibly add a small touchpad for the remote’s newer versions like what Nvidia did with their Shield controller.
Since it is still currently in its beta phase, Fire TV’s Silk browser is not officially out yet.
Besides the Silk browser, Amazon will also be adding a recommendations area to the home screen similar to YouTube. It is however unclear if it analyzes the shows you watch and recommends similar shows or if it will just recommend new or random shows to the user.