Amazon Silk Browser for Fire TV update adds Casting support for YouTube

Amazon’s Silk Browser for Fire TV has just been updated to version 67.5.x and with it comes the ability to cast YouTube videos directly to the browser. With the Silk Browser installed on any Fire TV, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition television, Google’s official YouTube app for Android and iOS devices will now see the Fire TV as a valid casting destination. You don’t need to have the Silk Browser open or even have the Fire TV awake for the new YouTube casting feature to work.

When Google threatened to block YouTube access on Fire TV devices, it forced Amazon to switch from a standalone YouTube app to using the Silk Browser for YouTube access on Fire TV devices. One of the conveniences lost with that switch was simple system-wide casting support for YouTube. That switch made it necessary to first link your phone to the browser YouTube session via a TV code before you could cast videos from the YouTube app on a mobile device to a Fire TV device. This extra step made it slightly more cumbersome to cast videos.

YouTube in Silk Browser for Fire TV showing a linked mobile device without needing to use a TV code or any prior setup.

This new update to the Silk Browser for Fire TV devices makes the browser a DIAL casting receiver for YouTube, which is exactly how the old standalone YouTube app used to behave. Google’s official mobile YouTube app, for either Android or iOS, will see any Fire TV with Silk installed on the same network as a casting destination, just like a Chromecast. There is no need to link the two devices with a code or even be logged into a YouTube account.

Casting for YouTube in the new version of Silk is very seamless and simple. Selecting a YouTube video to cast from a mobile device will cause Silk on a Fire TV device to automatically launch and immediately begin playing the YouTube video. You don’t need to have the Silk Browser open or already loaded to YouTube. The Fire TV device itself doesn’t even need to be awake, as it will automatically wake from sleep when you cast a video, so you never need to pick up the Fire TV remote. Silk will also automatically exit and return to the Fire TV home screen when you stop casting.

It doesn’t appear as though this update to Silk has any other new features. The new version does, however, now require permission to “Allow installation of home screen shortcuts.” You might think that this means you can add a Silk bookmark directly to the Fire TV home screen, but that’s not the case. This new system permission is very likely just being carried over from the mobile/tablet version of Silk, which shares a common code base with the Fire TV version. If you want to jump directly from the Fire TV home screen to a website in Silk or Firefox, your only option is my free Bookmarker apps.

Many people likely don’t know about YouTube’s own TV linking settings that allow casting, so this Silk update will be restoring a capability that they probably thought they lost when Amazon switched from a standalone YouTube app to using a browser. Either way, it’s a great feature that makes casting YouTube to a Fire TV device as simple as can be.

ShareTweetShare+1

24 comments
  1. clocks says:

    But….but……..but…..you can’t get Youtube on the FTV! (cough SmartYoutubeTV, Firefox, Silk, etc..)

    • AFTVnews says:

      Haha, yeah, bravo to Google for somehow making everyone think that they blocked YouTube on the Fire TV without actually doing it. The original YouTube app for the Fire TV still puts up the message saying the app will stop working on 1/1/2018 yet is still fully functional. Maybe I’ll throw together a crappy post titled “Google has still not blocked YouTube on the Fire TV.”

  2. sean says:

    I wonder if they will update the silk browser in the echo show…so we can cast youtube playlists to it? So miss youtube on echo show. Bing just doesn’t cut it. No Colbert repeats…

  3. Lvmykyds says:

    Do you know if we can cast from our fire tablets or is it just for phones?

  4. Gene says:

    When is this update rolling out and how do you get the update? I’m still on version 66.3.13359.158.10.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The update is out already. Highlight the Silk icon, press the menu button on the remote, and select More Info. THere you should see an option to update. If you don’t, you can just uninstall the app and then re-install it to get the latest version, but be aware that you’ll lose any configured settings and bookmarks you’ve saved.

    • Jim Carter says:

      Thanks to this article I tested with success today.

  5. Philip says:

    I wonder if it’s possible to cast google photos through the silk browser now.

  6. BobR says:

    Cool but I still prefer the old pre 1/1 app. If the newer app didn’t force the browser choice every time and went straight to Silk I would update. I like to say “launch/search YouTube” instead of Silk

    • Gene says:

      Yes I’ve been wondering that too if there’s anyway to set default browser to Silk because mine keeps coming up with prompt for choosing between Silk and Firefox.

    • BobR says:

      For the record, this has now been updated and after making an initial choice, the YouTube app goes straight to the Silk browser. Kudos to Amazon!

  7. Chris says:

    Guys i have an issue i have a gen 1 fire tv box. Silk updated but when i try to cast from my cell to the box, my firetv does not appear in the list.

  8. Michelle says:

    Someone tell me how to exit out of YouTube on the Silk browser since it updated!!
    Silk only displays YouTube and nothing else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Get notified of new posts

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.