Full web browsers on the Amazon Fire TV are an important selling point – but there’s some bad news this month: Firefox, the popular browser from the Mozilla Foundation, will no longer be supported on the Fire TV devices (though you can keep it if you hurry up – see below).
The Amazon Fire TV streaming devices (like the Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick) are very popular around the world – and in the UK in particular.
In addition to all the major UK (and global) streaming services, they also offer thousands of additional apps to run on your TV – from smaller streaming platforms, to weather apps, games, music and more (see our list of recommended Fire TV apps).
But sometimes, you want to see a site – or a video from a site – that doesn’t have an app. That’s where web browsers come in – they’re similar to the browsers on your PC and smartphone, and let you open pretty much any website.
And then, if there’s a video player on that website – you can usually play the video on your TV.
Despite this flexibility, most of the other major streaming devices don’t have a full browser. So you won’t get one on the Roku devices, the Apple TV devices, or even on the Google Chromecast with Google TV.
The Fire TV sticks, however, have had not one but TWO major browsers since 2017.
One is Amazon’s own integrated browser, now called “Silk”, and the other is Firefox, which is a special version of the Firefox you might know from your PC.
Firefox No Longer Supported
This week, the Mozilla Foundation (the organization behind Firefox) announced that they’re ending support for the Fire TV version of Firefox, as well as the Amazon Echo Show Firefox.
“Starting on April 30, 2021, we will no longer support Firefox on Amazon Fire TV or Echo Show”, says a message on their site.
“You will no longer be able to install the app on FireTV, receive security updates, or be able to reinstall the app if you uninstall it starting on April 30, 2021.
If you have Firefox set as your default browser on Echo Show, you will be redirected to Amazon Silk for web browsing starting April 30, 2021.”
If you run Firefox on your Fire TV stick, you will now see a message at the top, declaring the upcoming end of support:
At this point, you can still download and install Firefox on your Fire TV device – but will have to do so before April 30, 2021 – after which it will be removed from the Amazon App Store.
This is not advised, however, as without support and software updates, Firefox on the Fire TV might eventually become vulnerable to security holes and hacks.
Firefox for Fire TV Alternatives
As an alternative to Firefox, you can keep using Amazon Silk, which is the Fire TV’s built-in web browser.
Amazon Silk is likely already installed on your Fire TV device – but if it’s not, you can either install it directly via the Fire TV interface, or send it to your device via the web version of Amazon’s App Store.