Firefox browser is leaving Amazon Fire TV and Echo Show at the end of the month

Mozilla has announced that they are ending support for their Firefox browser on Amazon Fire TV and Echo Show devices. The browser will be removed from the Amazon Appstore on April 30, so you will no longer be able to install it on new Fire TV devices or re-install it after that date, should you delete it from your Fire TV or factory reset your Fire TV. The Firefox app will not be removed from Fire TVs that already have it installed, but the app will no longer receive updates, including security updates.

While you can continue using Firefox on a Fire TV if you install it before April 30, the same is not true for Echo Shows. On Echo Show devices, if you try to use Firefox after April 30, you will be redirected to Amazon’s Silk browser. Amazon Silk will continue to be available on both Fire TV and Echo Show devices after April 30.

Firefox was first made available on Fire TV devices on December 20, 2017. It arrived less than a month after Amazon released their Silk browser on Fire TV devices. It was surely no coincidence that both browsers arrived within a month of Google’s impending deadline for blocking access to YouTube on Fire TV devices at the start of 2018.

Just a couple of days before the start of 2018 and Google’s blocking of YouTube on Fire TV devices, Amazon updated the Fire TV YouTube app, which it created, to act as a shortcut that loaded YouTube in your choice of Firefox or Silk. Since the actual YouTube app was always just a portal to YouTube’s web interface, the workaround of using Firefox or Silk to access YouTube was just as good as the standalone app.

It took a while, but Amazon and Google came to an agreement that brought an official YouTube app to Fire TV devices, as well as YouTube TV and YouTube Kids apps. Now that nearly everyone is accessing YouTube through the official app again, instead of a browser, I expect that Firefox for Fire TV is not getting nearly as much use as it once did. That would explain Mozilla’s decision to drop support.

When I asked Mozilla why they were ending Firefox support on Fire TV, a Mozilla spokesperson provided the following statement:

As of April 30, 2021, we will end support for Firefox for Fire TV and Firefox For Echo Show. In 2017, we recognized a void in the market, and a need from consumers to continue to access the content they wanted on Amazon’s Fire TV. By being nimble and working quickly, we met that demand with our browser, Firefox for Fire TV and later, Echo Show. Now, consumers have more options for accessing content on these devices. So, we decided to shift our focus and resources to building new experiences that bring value to people’s lives and continue to offer people alternative choices in the market.

Again, if you want to continue to use Firefox on Fire TV devices, you can as long as you install the app prior to April 30 from the Amazon Appstore. Even after that date, there is nothing stopping you from sideloading the app using my Downloader app and entering code 2131 (or aftv.news/2131) in the URL field. However, it’s important to understand that without security updates of any kind, Firefox for Fire TV will become less secure and more vulnerable over time, putting you and your device at risk, so you should probably switch to using the Silk browser, which is still being supported and updated regularly.

23 comments
  1. Gerard Pinzone says:

    Any way to get rid of the nag banner at the top?

    • There doesn’t seem to be a way to remove it. I’ve asked Mozilla if the banner is permanent but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. If you sideload the previous version of Firefox for Fire TV, v4.7.1, it does not have the banner.

      UPDATE: Mozilla got back to me. They say the banner is permanent in Firefox v4.8 (Downloader code 2132) but it does not appear when watching videos in full screen. So if you don’t want the banner, you’ll need to sideload Firefox v4.7.1 (Downloader code 2131).

  2. Charlie_ says:

    It was miles behind Silk so I don’t blame them.

  3. Nate says:

    Anyone happen to try sideloading the mobile Android version on a Fire TV to see how well it works? My ultimate hope was that we would see parity between that and the Fire TV version, but alas, here we are.

  4. Allegator says:

    Is there an effective ad blocker for Silk? Are there any other browsers available with as good a blocker as the built-in Firefox blocker?

    • Gerard Pinzone says:

      I don’t think the ad-blocker is built in. The FireTV version of Firefox didn’t have an option for addons, so you can’t add uBlock Origin. Even more a reason to get the non-FireTV version to work.

    • Nate says:

      The only ad blocker I have successfully tested on the Fire TV platform was Blokada. It was a system-wide blocker, not specific to Firefox or Silk. The only (major) caveat to Blokada was the fact that it relied upon establishing a VPN type connection (only local) to block ads. This would mean if you had a third party VPN platform to run (E.g. NordVPN), you could not run both simultaneously.

      • Gerard Pinzone says:

        I have my DNS set to the filtered AdGuard servers:

        94.140.14.14
        94.140.15.15

        https://adguard.com/en/adguard-dns/overview.html

        This is pretty much the same as using a pi-hole. I override my browser to use the unfiltered DNS servers and use uBlock Origin to filter ads. That way I have control over what sites I filter.

        • Jim says:

          I use adguard DNS as well from my router so every device I use like fire tv and shield tv will block ads but you lost me starting with “ I override…”

          Btw on certain movie streaming sites does using adguard DNS prevent some movies from playing it there were popup ads?

          • Gerard Pinzone says:

            I haven’t experienced an issue on an app like IMDB. However, the ads still play on the FireTV.

            Let’s say you use Firefox as your browser on Windows. I want control over ad blocking in case there are sites that don’t work properly. If your DNS is set at the router to be ad blocked, you need to override the DNS to a non-adblocked one for the browser. You COULD override the DNS settings in the Windows network configuration, but that would affect everything running on Windows. Instead, you can turn on DNS-over-HTTPS in Firefox and provide it with a different DNS server. I use the non-filtered AdGuard DNS: https://dns-unfiltered.adguard.com/dns-query

            That way I can control which sites are adblocked through uBlock Origin. I’m assuming there’s something similar in Chrome. Even Edge (which is now based on Chrome) has a DNS-over-HTTPS option.

          • Red says:

            So, Gerald, that override part is not applicable to browser of firestick? Just when on a (windows) computer?

          • Gerard Pinzone says:

            Correct However, AdBlock Origin isn’t an option of the FireTV, so you’re better off leaving the adguard DNS for the FireTV.

          • Red says:

            Yes, I use Blockada DNS at router currently. Works well, I have not noticed a site that was “broken” by it other than a few iPad/iOS app games that are not happy at times because they can’t serve an ad. I told the household member to relaunch or reboot and otherwise delete & forget about it.

            To answer Jim re movie streaming sites being messed up – I have not noticed it, also for instance use Silk on FTV stick to go to CBS site to watch “Sunday Morning” and it plays w/o ads just fine, the segments just follow on w/no “black screen” for the minutes that ads would be running. Another example not on firestick is a using ABC app on iPad, show plays w/o ads & just a sec. or two break between segments. I suppose someday they may “fix” this, hopefully there will be a solution in the never ending cat/mouse game.

    • Mike Smith says:

      Try pihole a quick try

  5. ika ika says:

    there’s an app called tv bro which gets more updates compared to firefox and silk. the latest beta was released a week ago with a much improved ad blocker.

  6. roman says:

    fire stick is junk it is so gltchy when used w voice commands !roku better

    • Tom Wooden says:

      except you can only download and watch what roku allows you to. FS and android boxes you can download , install , any apps you like and want. Bette r yet give your roku away and get a tivo 4k stick, they work real good.

    • Rik Emmett says:

      No browser on the Roku. Epic failure.

      • Jim says:

        Yeah I have looked to no avail other than using additional phone to beam it to Roku or something like that. I only use it for Airplay lol

  7. Rene Alvarado says:

    That is too bad because I really prefer using Firefox over google. To me it’s much faster and smoother than using Google to watch the trailers.

  8. Shay L says:

    I’ve tried using Silk and so far isn’t working as well as Firefox. I need this to work w/o the banner. It is the only thing that works for us. We have an electronic queuing system in our office and have the Fire Stick plugged into our TV. We use Firefox to display the next person in line. Silk works for a little bit but then starts to freeze. Firefox has been working for months without problems. Please don’t get rid of Firefox for the Amazon Fire Stick, there is still a need for it, Silk doesn’t last a full day the way we need to use it.

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