Amazon Fire TV 4K HDR Streamer Now Includes Firefox Browser For TV
Stephan Jukic – December 21, 2017
If you happen to own an Amazon Fire TV 4K HDR Streaming dongle or one of Amazon’s other older streaming media devices, the pile of content and media apps built into its smart OS now also includes the latest version of the Mozilla Firefox browser for web browsing on your 4K TV display. This is what Mozilla and Amazon announced yesterday and it might just be a handy feature for users of the Fire TV dongle who aren’t entirely happy with Amazon’s own native Silk browsing app.
Firefox is a highly regarded and widely used PC/Mac/device web browsing application that’s fully open source and, since it’s most recent release, faster than ever in terms of memory use. It’s also crammed with all kinds of user privacy protection features that browsers like Amazon’s Silk or Google rival Chrome might not fully include. Mozilla itself is no strange to 4K TV technology either since the foundation has partnered with 4K TV manufacturers like Panasonic to include its software as a key part of these brands’ smart TV interfaces. The inclusion of Firefox in the Amazon Fire TV ecosystem –which is plug-and-play compatible with pretty much any 4K or HD TV on sale today—makes the Fire TV all the more useful as an alternative streaming media platform for your 4K TV in case you’re not happy with its native smart TV platform or selection of baked-in apps.
According to Mark Mayo, senior VP of Firefox, in the recent announcement:
“Bringing Firefox to Fire TV is an exciting new way to reach our users and serve up more of the full web to everyone. 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.”
Amazon’s own press release on the arrival of the Firefox browser is, unsurprisingly, not quite as enthusiastic since the company spends more effort promoting its own native Silk browser and its optimization features for Fire TV. However, from what we can tell, the Firefox alternative is a well-entrenched alternative web navigating option and Mozilla has apparently put a lot of effort into making it run smoothly through the Fire TV phone app and remote control.
Some of the key features of the Firefox browser include:
- Easy viewing of YouTube and other online videos
- Quick access to key sites like YouTube directly from the Firefox app on the Fire TV home screen
- Easy web navigation through Firefox with the Amazon fire app or remote control
- Complete web browsing right through the Firefox app on any 4K TV with your Fire TV dongle plugged into it
One further thing worth noting is that YouTube in particular will be disappearing as a native app from Amazon devices as of early January, 2018 due to ongoing disagreements between Amazon and Google, so the Firefox browser makes for an easy alternative way of accessing the video site through Fire TV.