Fling is Amazon’s forgotten answer to Google’s Cast protocol used by the Chromecast. It allows apps to send video and other content from a mobile device to the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. My buddy Jared Newman just published a good article about Amazon Fling that you should read, where he examines the current state of the service and talks to streaming companies, like Plex, CBS, and Pluto TV, and asks them why they don’t support Amazon Fling. The consensus seems to be that they either see no point in supporting Fling when they already have a native Fire TV app, or that they just aren’t aware of Amazon Fling.
It would be great if all major streaming service providers supported Amazon Fling so that we had the option to use a mobile device to start playing content on the Fire TV, but I understand the focus on native apps first. I guess it’s not too bad of a problem to have that Fire TV apps are good enough that developers feel they don’t need their mobile apps to support the experience. If the app ecosystem on the Fire TV was insufficient, then Amazon Fling would certainly be a much more important service for Amazon to push.
However, Amazon Fling allows developers to send much more than just streaming video to the Fire TV. The app Karaoke Party, for example, uses it to turn a smartphone into a Fire TV microphone. It’s those types of uses of Fling that interested me the most, but unfortunately, other developers haven’t come up with any other unique uses of Fling.
With so many other ways to link a mobile device to a TV, I guess it’s no surprise Amazon Fling hasn’t taken off. Do you care about using a mobile device to select content for your Fire TV? Let me know in the comments.