Amazon‘s Fire TV has been available for over three years, but one app that has been missing is the retail giant’s in-house Silk Browser. The usefulness of a web browser on your TV is debatable, but what is not up for debate is Amazon making the Silk Browser available for Fire TVs.
When you open the Silk Browser for the first time, you are met with Bing.com. The good news is you can go into the app’s settings to change the default search engine from Bing to either Google or Yahoo. Better yet, even though there doesn’t appear to be an option to set a home page, Silk Browser remembers the last page you visited and reloads it every time you open the app, even when you force close it.
In other words, if you’re not a fan of Microsoft‘s search engine, you’ll only see it once at most. Begone, Bing.
Moving right along, you can either use the on-screen keyboard or your voice to enter a URL, but it appears that voice recognition within the browser is not that great yet. Bookmarks, articles that are “trending on the web,” and some settings are horizontally organized, but the real winner is when actually browsing, since web pages take up the entirety of your TV screen.
Also interesting is availability. Amazon says that the Silk Browser is available on the 1st and 2nd generation Fire TV, 2nd generation Fire TV, and the Element- and Westinghouse-manufactured Fire TV televisions. The browser is not available for the 1st generation Fire TV Stick and, surprisingly, the latest 3rd generation Fire TV.
We assume the Silk Browser is not available for the 1st generation Fire TV stick because of its processor’s lack of oomph, though Amazon did say the browser will make its way to the most recent Fire TV sometime in December.