There’s an interesting development in the feud between Google and Amazon over YouTube on Fire TV. Earlier this month we reported about Google Pulling YouTube support from Fire TV and Echo Show. Now, if you want to use YouTube on your Fire TV, you are pointed to open the web version in a web browser.
YouTube on Fire TV in Firefox or Silk Browser
Earlier this month, when you would launch the YouTube app on Fire TV or Echo Show, you would see the following message indicating that the change wouldn’t take place until January 1st.
However, if you launch the app today on your Fire TV, you will see a message prompting you to open YouTube.com in a browser. You get a message saying, “Access YouTube and millions of other websites by using a web browser such as Firefox or Silk” and provides two options. You can choose either Amazon’s own Silk Browser or the recently added Firefox which was made available shortly before the holiday break.
If you haven’t installed either one, you’ll be brought to the app store to download.The experience is annoying and clunky at best. Each time you want to use the YouTube app, you will see the message above and need to pick the browser to open it with. The first time you choose either browser, you will also need to sign into your account (annoying if you have multiple accounts) on a separate device to see your playlists and recommendations.
A few days ago, it seemed like an agreement between the two companies could have been reached. Amazon announced it would start selling Google products like Chromecast again (although none are listed yet). And the feud with Apple seems to be over, at least for now. Amazon is already listing the new Apple TV 4K — which it stopped doing for two years — and Amazon Prime Video arrived on the platform earlier this month.
This change looks to be a preemptive move by Amazon and not by Google pulling the plug early according to a report by TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez. “It would be unusual for Google to actually pull the YouTube app ahead of its deadline, which indicates this change – to point YouTube users to web browsers instead – may have come from Amazon’s side,” writes Perez. Whatever the case, it’s always us as customers who are inconvenienced by tech giant squabbles such as this.
What is your take on this ongoing spat between the two companies? What do you think about the experience of using the web version instead of the app? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.