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Although there are signs of Amazon and Google’s petty dispute fizzling out, Google is still threatening to yank its YouTube app from Fire TV devices at the end of 2017. So how can you continue to watch YouTube on an Amazon Fire TV?
Fear not fans of piglets falling down stairs, as there’s now an easy way to get around Google’s strop: the Firefox browser.
Firefox is one of two browsers that are now available for Fire TV devices, the other being Amazon’s own Silk browser. They both work in a pretty much identical fashion, but Firefox has a large bookmark for YouTube plastered in the top slot of its homepage, making it dead simple to access the video service.
Better still, it lets you log on with your YouTube account. Firefox gives you a URL to enter on your phone and then a unique passcode, and within a few seconds all your YouTube subscriptions, favourites and recommendations will be on screen. The experience is identical to accessing YouTube via its own app.
The browsing experience on the Fire TV is actually much better than I thought it would be. Firefox autocompletes URLs as you type them using the onscreen keyboard, saving the hassle of laboriously typing out long addresses. A large blue dot appears on the web page, which you can control with the Fire TV’s remote, allowing you to select links on a page or to scroll down to continue reading.
Unless you’re some kind of masochist, there’s no way you’re going to be using a Fire TV as your day-to-day browser, but it’s fine for quickly watching a web video or checking a football score (although Amazon’s Alexa is still probably the fastest way to do the latter).
Now read this: is it legal to download YouTube videos?