It’s happened to all of us. You’re sitting on the couch, watching TV and you want to look up something on the Internet.
But your phone is way over there…
If there was only a way to get the Internet on your streaming device.
Well now there is.
In this tutorial, I’m going to help you set up a Fire TV web browser in just a few seconds. I’ll break it out for both Google Chrome and Firefox, as well as show you an even easier option using the Downloader app. UPDATE 11/28/2017: Amazon just released their official Silk browser for the Fire TV, so there’s an even easier option as well. Scroll down for my quick installation guide.
Note: I’m going to use the term “Fire TV” in this article to refer to both the Amazon Fire TV box and the Fire Stick. It’s just as easy to install a web browser for Fire Stick as it is for the Fire TV. The same rules apply.
Ready? Let’s get started.
This is the easiest web browser to put on your Fire TV, because you probably already have it installed anyway.
The Downloader app for Amazon Fire TV is a “must have” app for any Amazon device. If you haven’t already, go check out my article on how to easily sideload Fire TV apps, which will run through the setup of the Downloader app.
One of the cool features of Downloader is that it has a web browser already built in. It’s designed to be used with the Amazon Fire Remote, so you’ll get fairly easy navigation around the web.
It doesn’t have as many features as a full-featured browser, but it’ll get you surfing the web quickly without having to install anything extra if you don’t want to.
More browser options
If you’re looking for more, then let’s install Google Chrome and Firefox, two of the most popular web browsers in the world.
You can use the Downloader app above to search the Internet for a Chrome apk for Fire TV, but that’s a lot of work. APK files are installation files designed for Android devices, much like an EXE file is for your PC. If you know where a particular APK is, you can just type it in the URL box of the Downloader app and it’ll install right away. The trouble is finding the apk you want.
Even if Google Chrome isn’t in the Amazon App Store, we’re not out of luck. The Aptoide App Store has it for us.
If you haven’t already checked out my article on Aptoide: the better Firestick App Store, go do that now and get it installed on your Fire TV. Both Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox can be found there.
Fire TV web browser #2: Google Chrome
The first step to installing Google Chrome is to open Aptoide and click on the Search icon. You can either search for “web browsers” as I did in the image above, or just type in Chrome.
You’ll see a couple of different results. The one’s we’re interested in are the first two: Chrome and Chrome Beta. You’re probably familiar with Chrome, but you may not have heard about Chrome Beta.
Chrome Beta is the public testing version of the Chrome browser for Android devices. Any new cool features that the Chrome team is just about ready to release will be included in Chrome Beta, so they can get a broader testing base. I prefer it because it let’s me play with the new features, while still being stable enough for daily use.
I’m going to install the Chrome Beta app on my Fire TV, but the process is identical for the full version of Chrome. I’ll let you decide which is right for you.
Click on the icon you want to install.
Aptoide will go through the installation process, which may include asking for any additional permissions that the app requires.
Once the installation finishes, the new Chrome icon will appear in the Your Apps & Games tab.
Even though the image below shows a “smartphone size” window, don’t worry. The window will adjust to full-screen after the permissions screen.
Chrome works better with a wireless mouse or trackpad. If you happen to have an Bluetooth keyboard connected to your Fire TV, it’ll definitely come in handy here.
Fire TV web browser #3: Firefox
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser is installed in much the same way as Chrome. Inside Aptoide, search for Firefox.
Here, there are Beta versions as well, but I prefer the official release version. Go ahead and click on that icon below.
Once inside the app page, just click on the Install button, as you would with any other app.
Aptoide will check for any additional permissions and ask for your approval. In this case, Firefox doesn’t require any additional access, so click on the Install button on the lower right hand corner.
Here’s what Firefox looks like once it’s opened. If you’re a fan of the desktop version, you’ll feel right at home.
No matter which browser you choose, they’ll appear in the Your Apps & Games tab at the bottom. You can move them to a higher position if you find you’re going to be using them more often.
Fire TV web browser #4: Amazon Silk Browser
Here’s the strange part: the official Amazon Silk browser is the last web browser to become available. I’d think if anyone would have the ability to make a web browser for Fire stick and Fire TV, it would be Amazon themselves.
But here’s the trick: at the time of this writing, Silk is only available on the Fire Stick and older Fire TV boxes – not the new 3rd Generation Fire TV. I expect that to change soon though.
To install the Amazon Silk Browser, just search for Silk Browser on the main tab.
There aren’t many options for the Silk Browser in the Amazon App Store.
Once you’re in the app’s description page, click on the yellow Get button to download the app.
Once it’s installed, it’ll show you a (very) brief tutorial, but otherwise look like a familiar web layout. You’ll be able to use the menu button on the Fire TV voice remote to enter in web URL’s.
Your homepage will also pull up what’s trending on the web and your bookmarks with Bing. Something tells me that Google won’t be the default search engine anytime soon. 🙂
And that’s it. Have you used a web browser for Fire stick or Fire TV? Which do you prefer? Leave a comment below.