Although overshadowed by smart speaker hardware like Google Home and Amazon Echo devices, manufacturers like Google and Amazon first started deploying apps to go along with content on their hardware via the television and their streaming devices like the Chromecast or Fire TV boxes. While it may not seem like the most intuitive app to try to use natively on a TV, especially if you have a smartphone or tablet nearby, Amazon is adding their Silk browser to the portfolio of apps that can run on most of their Fire TV devices.
The Silk browser was originally designed by Amazon to run on their failed Fire Phone and on Kindle Fire tablets. The browser is a bit unique in that it makes use of Amazon’s servers to handle some processing in an effort to speed up the loading of web pages.
For the new Fire TV availability, Amazon says the Silk browser will work on the first and second generation Fire TV, the second generation Fire TV Stick, and the Fire Edition TV. Earlier this year Amazon launched the third generation Fire TV, but the Silk browser does not currently work on it. Amazon says an update will roll out in December to correct that shortfall.
The browser itself can use a combination of an onscreen keyboard or voice commands issued to the remote to navigate the web. Amazon also mapped some of the buttons on the Fire TV remote to handle things like a back button or to call up the browser’s menu.
Amazon has configured the Silk browser to use Bing as the default search engine, which launches the first time a user fires up the browser. After that, the browser will open on the last page a user visited. Amazon says users will not be able to download images or other content via the Silk browser.
If you have a Fire TV or other compatible device, you can visit the Amazon Appstore to install the Silk browser.