Amazon has added the new Silk Browser as an option for voice searches through Alexa on Fire TV devices. When you use Alexa to perform any kind of voice search, you can now scroll to the bottom and pass that search query directly to the Silk Browser. If the query is a website address, the URL will be automatically loaded in the browser, otherwise, a web search will be performed instead.
When you speak to Alexa on the Fire TV, through a voice remote or the Fire TV Remote App, if the request is not a voice command it will perform a universal search that brings up movies, shows, channels, apps, and games. At the bottom of the search result screen is a list of apps that the search query can be passed into, in order to easily search within those apps. Depending on the phrase you speak, you may need to press the Menu button on the remote in order for the list of apps to appear.
The first app to accept this type of search hand-off was the Amazon Music app. Amazon later added this capability to the Fire TV’s YouTube app, which they make themselves. The newly released Silk Browser for the Fire TV is now the third app that is capable of receiving a voice search query.
When a search query is passed to the Silk Browser by Alexa, the browser will use the search engine you’ve configured to bring up a web search for your query. The Silk Browser uses Bing.com by default, but you can change it to use Google, Yahoo, Ask, or AOL in the browser’s settings.
One great use of this feature is to use it as a fallback for when Alexa doesn’t have an answer to your question. If you ask Alexa a question that it treats as a search query because it doesn’t know the answer, just press the Menu button on the Fire TV remote to bring up the option to pass the query to Silk.
If what you say into the Fire TV’s voice search is recognized as a website, when you select to pass it into the Silk Browser, the website is automatically loaded instead of bringing up a web search. This is a very handy way of using your voice to load websites on the Fire TV. It’s more convenient than opening the browser, selecting the search field, and then using your voice to enter text in the onscreen keyboard.