Google has not yet blocked access to YouTube on Amazon Fire TV devices

The new year is here and Google has not done anything to block access to YouTube on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television. Despite so many news outlets incorrectly reporting that Google already blocked YouTube on the Fire TV last week, it was actually Amazon that updated the YouTube app early and made it redirect customers to a web browser for YouTube access. It’s unknown if Google forced Amazon to update the app or if Amazon decided to preemptively change their YouTube app themselves, but if you install the old version of the app, it is still fully functional.

Despite saying that access would be blocked in the new year, it’s 2018 and, so far, it does not look like Google has done anything to prevent YouTube from loading on Fire TV devices. The official way you’re supposed to access YouTube on a Fire TV device is to do so through the Silk Browser or Firefox apps. Loading YouTube in a web browser is working fine, but surprisingly, loading YouTube through the original app for Fire TV devices is also still working fine.

If you install the YouTube app in the Amazon Appstore on the Fire TV, it now does nothing but prompt you to select which of the two available browsers you want to use to load YouTube’s television optimised website. While accessing YouTube through a browser works pretty well on the Fire TV, since the old YouTube app was essentially doing the same thing behind the scenes, it’s not as good as the old app because you lose certain features, like 4K video support.

As long as Google doesn’t actually do anything to block access to YouTube through the original version of the Fire TV YouTube app, sideloading the old app is currently the best way to access YouTube on a Fire TV device. That’s because you still get access to all the additional capabilities and features with the old app that are not available when loading YouTube in a web browser. The old app may stop working at some point, either because Google blocks it or it breaks from not being updated, but for now, it is the best app to use.

To use the old YouTube app, you’ll need to disable automatic app updates on your Fire TV device and sideload the old app. This can be done by entering into my Downloader app. Here is a full guide if you need more specific instructions.

  1. clocks says:

    Honestly, I have not noticed any differences from using the Youtube app vs silk/firefox.

  2. Jerry says:

    Funny I ran my first gen AFTV today since atleast a few months and ran youtube just to see what would happen. I got a message saying that the app would not work after Jan 1 but gave me a goog.le link to look at other devices that would work. Not sure if that app was the native firetv app or another app I DLed at some point but regardless worked fine still. Found it interesting that the message was different.

  3. tech3475 says:

    Would it be possible to block updates for this specific app by resigning it or changing the app id, similar to the Google Play Store?

  4. Y314K says:

    Glad I always change my FTV’s to manual updates. Ready for either way.

    Elias, any update on getting RBox the update links for FTV1’s ?

  5. Adam says:

    I’ve moved on to Smart Youtube TV.

    I don’t see myself coming back to the native app at this point, even if Google and Amazon ended up making up.

  6. Michael says:

    I don’t think the blocker here should be making the title for this as a “matter of fact.” My Youtube app on Fire TV Stick gave me a pop up asking me if I wanted to visit youtube with Silk browser or Firefox. So don’t say “Google has not yet blocked” just because it is working for you.

    • Michael says:

      Blogger* I meant.

    • Jeff says:

      You should re-read the post

      “If you install the YouTube app in the Amazon Appstore on the Fire TV, it now does nothing but prompt you to select which of the two available browsers you want to use to load YouTube’s television optimised website. ”

      You need to install the old app

    • AFTVnews says:

      Amazon makes the Fire TV YouTube app. Not Google. It is Amazon that has updated the app to now display a message to use a browser. It’s possible that Amazon and Google came to an agreement where Google would not actually block access as long as Amazon agreed to essentially disabled the app. But the fact remains that Google has not blocked access through the old version of the app or any other means.

  7. Dave says:

    I installed a third party YouTube app on my Fire TV last week and love it. It even blocks advertisements somehow. I’d share the name of it but I’m at work and forgot. It’s much better than the original app though.

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