Mozilla has announced that its Firefox web browser is now available on all Fire TV devices in all countries, joining Amazon’s own Silk browser. Navigating web browsers on big-screen TVs isn't the most user-friendly experience, but for Amazon Fire TV users it could soon be the only way to access YouTube.
Though there’s no explicit 'hey, this is a convenient workaround' section in Mozilla's announcement of the news, there is a section of the blog post which states that users can "go to YouTube and other sites directly from the Firefox for Fire TV home screen" and another which promises access to videos from "YouTube and other popular sites".
This will be good news for Amazon Fire TV users, whose access to YouTube has been threatened thanks to the current feud between Amazon and Google. The problems started when Amazon decided to pull Google’s Chromecast devices from its stores, leading to Google blocking YouTube access on Amazon’s Echo Show. Although Chromecasts are now once again available on Amazon, the feud is apparently not over.
Amazon did start selling Chromecasts again earlier this month, but this only came about after Google threatened to pull YouTube access from Amazon’s wider Fire TV streaming range and blocked access to the site via the Silk browser.
While the companies are currently in talks to resolve their disagreements, Google’s threat to pull YouTube access from the Fire TV line on January 1 2018 is still hanging over Amazon. This threat is, however, now carries slightly less menace if Firefox browser access remains a workaround.
How Google will respond to this new access route is unclear, but Fire TV users will be glad to know that they have another path to take if YouTube is indeed pulled from their devices on January 1.