Looks like Google and Amazon can’t get enough when it comes to putting each other down. The two tech giants have been involved in an ugly fight over YouTube and Chromecast support for several months and Google is now heading straight for the kill. Today, Fire TV users have lost support for YouTube app on their device. Of course, it was slated for the removal on January 1st itself, but a report from TechCrunch states that for some Fire TV users, YouTube disappeared before that.
Not all Fire TV users are redirected to browser though
Several Fire TV users took to forums such as Reddit and also Twitter to report that YouTube app on their Fire TV now redirects them to a web browser instead. It’s worth noting that not all Fire TV users are being redirected to a browser, some reports suggest that the users who don’t have any browser (Firefox or Silk) installed, they are still able to access the YouTube app. While a report from AFTVNews states that Fire TV users can continue using YouTube app if they don’t update to the latest version of the app or sideload the previous version.
Google vs Amazon: The backstory
For those who are not aware of what’s going on between Amazon and Google, well, it all started with Amazon not supporting Google Cast on Prime Video and allegedly using hacked versions of YouTube app for its Echo Show and Fire TV devices. Citing these issues, Google eventually decided to pull YouTube support from Echo Show and Fire TV devices subsequently. After the issue came under the light, Amazon tried to reconcile by promising to bring Chromecast to its retail lineup, but things did not turn quite as expected when Amazon took a U-turn and added Firefox and its proprietary Silk browser to all Fire TV devices. By adding support for browsers, Fire TV users could still access YouTube web version.
Not just browsers, Amazon reportedly went a step ahead and registered for a few domain names hinting that it may launch its own YouTube rival, probably named AmazonTube or OpenTube. Apparently, Amazon failed to show any creativity here by using the subtly incorporating Tube in the name and thus making its motive clear.