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