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.
This…is very strange. I find it interesting that Reddit is one of the included websites as it functions horribly with Silk…and it’s getting worse by the day.
Reddit as some may know is really pushing users towards using their app exclusively, by making their website almost non-functional. They are keeping the website going, because “eyeballs=$$$”.
I know there was some talk of an Amazon Reddit app years ago but my understanding was because Reddit contains adult content, Amazon had no way to filter it out and wanted the Fire OS to remain family friendly.
Reddit is the one app I truly miss having on my Fire TV.
i wonder why they still call that results row as “apps and games”.
I hate to break the trend of ranting and raving in the comments, but this is a much welcomed feature! I’d be surprised if they don’t expand the offering.
You hate to break the trend of ranting in raving by raving about this feature?
No “Ranting” or “Raving” but true facts. I take no issue with the website search feature, it’s fine by me.
But Amazon utilizing Reddit as one of the first websites in their pilot program for this feature, the very company whose app they refused to allow on their own app store a few years back is a very interesting choice.
Is this probably an US exclusiv feature? Because I don’t get any of the above mentioned websites in search results.