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