In the most recent updates to Firefox and the Silk Browser, both apps have added support for media playback control by voice. This allows customers to use voice commands to play videos, pause videos, and more while watching something, like YouTube, in a web browser on a Fire TV device.
It’s not listed in the release notes, but the new update to Amazon’s Silk Browser, version 68.3.x, has added partial voice control for media playback. While watching web videos, you can now play and pause the video by asking Alexa. While this does work through the voice remote, it makes more sense to use the new capability with hands-free voice commands, like are available with the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Unfortunately, rewinding and fast-forwarding by voice are not yet implemented in Silk.
The new version 2.2 update to Firefox takes voice command a little further than Silk. Not only can you play and pause web videos by voice, but you can also rewind and fast-forward. While watching a YouTube video, for example, you can say “Alexa, skip ahead 5 minutes” or “Alexa, rewind 10 seconds” and the video will jump directly to the requested point. You can even say “Alexa, restart” to begin the video from the start.
Firefox also supports next and previous commands. If you’re watching a playlist on YouTube, or even just watching something in your subscription feed, you can now say “Alexa, next” to start playing the next video in a playlist or the next feed in a feed. Saying “Alexa, previous” will start the video that was last played in a list.
Unfortunately, Firefox has decided to only push this latest version of their browser to newer Fire TV models. The Fire TV 3 (pendant) and the Fire TV Cube will update to version 2.2 of Firefox with the new voice control features, but the Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, and both generations of the Fire TV Stick only have access to the previous version 2.1 of Firefox. If you sideload the new 2.2 version of Firefox onto an older Fire TV model, the new voice commands do not work.