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Several Fire TV owners report not being able to access the YouTube app
- Some people are reporting not being able to access YouTube on the Fire TV
- Google set a January 1 deadline for pulling YouTube support from the device
- Folks can side-load the YouTube app to get it temporarily working again
As ridiculous as the spat between Amazon and Google is, the bottom line is that, until talks between the two companies manifest into something, Fire TV and Echo owners will not be able to access YouTube starting January 1, 2018.
Unfortunately, that deadline seems to have been expedited for some folks, who have reported that they can’t access the YouTube app or are being redirected to YouTube through either the Silk Browser or Firefox.
With the former, a warning message pops up that reads as the following:
Starting on 1/1/2018, YouTube will not be available on this device. You can continue to enjoy your favorite creators and videos in many other ways.
The message also provides a link to a list of devices that people can use to access YouTube. Meanwhile, other people are seeing a different kind of warning message:
Access YouTube and millions of other websites by using a web browser such as Firefox or Silk. Click on one of the links below to access YouTube directly with the browser of your choice.
According to Cord Cutter News, the second warning message only shows up if you have either Silk or Firefox installed on your Fire TV. There is a bit of good news, however, as AFTVNews reports that you can side-load the YouTube app on your Fire TV and bypass whichever warning message you receive.
That workaround is only effective if Google doesn’t block access on its end, something the company said it will do on January 1. I’m not sure if Google is just being ridiculous, immature, or both, but no one looks good in this dispute.
This partially got started a few years ago, when Amazon stopped selling Google’s Chromecast and, eventually, Nest devices on its online storefront. That already caused things to sour between the two companies, but things were made worse by the Echo Show being able to play YouTube.
Amazon eventually enabled a workaround that allowed YouTube videos to play on the device through the Silk Browser, but Google nixed that and said it would pull YouTube support from the Fire TV and Echo Show starting January 1. The two companies have since entered talks in an effort to diffuse the situation, with Amazon agreeing to sell Chromecast devices again.
Even so, the deadline was not removed from the table, and we’re starting to see that Google is pretty serious about it. As I mentioned before, as ridiculous as the spat between Amazon and Google is, the only ones that are hurt are the consumers.