Amazon has started to add specific websites to the Universal Search results on Fire TV devices. Searching for a URL, either by voice search or using the onscreen keyboard search, will now display a new search result format for select websites that will load the website directly through Amazon’s Silk web browser.
Amazon first released its Silk Browser for Fire TV devices back in 2017, primarily as a way to access YouTube when Google decided to block the YouTube app on Fire TV devices. Silk did support voice search within the app from day one, but, of course, that still required you to load the app first. Later, Amazon added the option to, essentially, move your universal search query into the Silk browser with the addition of a Silk option in the Fire TV’s “Search In Apps” section of the search result screen. That made it a bit easier to go from a universal search to a website, but it still required several steps.
By adding websites directly into the Fire TV’s Universal Search results, it allows for much simpler one-click access from anywhere without the need to first open the browser or move searches from one place to another. This new feature also explains why, with a recent software update, Amazon made the Silk browser a system app that now comes pre-installed on all Fire TV devices.
The list of websites that bring up the new one-click Silk tile in Universal Search results is fairly limited at the moment, but could be expanded in the future. You can’t simply search for any URL and get an associated tile to load it directly. Large sites, like google.com, reddit.com, bing.com, and instagram.com are included, but there are plenty of popular websites not included.
It seems as though Amazon’s list of supported websites is tailored towards sites that you might expect to have official apps for Fire TVs, like Instagram or Reddit, but do not. You might expect Yahoo.com, as the nineth most visited website, to be included, but it is not. I suspect this is because there is already an official Yahoo app in the Fire TV appstore, so Amazon would rather funnel searchers to the official app than the website in Silk. The point of adding websites to the Fire TV’s Universal Search seems to be mostly about giving those that perform dead-end searches which don’t lead to an official app, like searching for “google.com,” a way to get to something meaningful.