Amazon Silk
Developer(s)Amazon.com
Initial releaseNovember 15, 2011; 12 years ago (2011-11-15)
EngineBlink, V8
Operating systemFire OS
Available inEnglish, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese
TypeMobile browser
LicenseFreeware, proprietary
Websitedocs.aws.amazon.com/silk

Amazon Silk is a web browser developed by Amazon. It was launched in November 2011 for Kindle Fire and Fire Phone,[1] and a Fire TV version was launched in November 2017.[2] The addition of Silk to the Echo Show was announced at an Amazon event in September 2018.[3]

The browser uses a split architecture where some of the processing is performed on Amazon's servers to improve webpage loading performance. It is based on the open source Chromium project that uses the Blink and V8 engines.

Architecture

For each webpage, Silk decides which browser subsystems (networking, HTML or page rendering) to run locally on the device and which to run remotely on its own Amazon EC2 servers.

Silk uses Google's SPDY protocol to speed up loading of web pages.[4] Silk gives SPDY performance improvements for non-SPDY optimized websites if the pages are sent through Amazon's servers.[citation needed] Some early reviewers found that cloud-based acceleration did not necessarily improve page loading speed, most notably on faster connections or for simpler web pages.[5][6]

Some privacy organizations raised concerns with how Amazon passes Silk traffic via its servers, effectively operating as an Internet service provider for those using the browser. The Silk browser includes the option to turn off Amazon server-side processing.[7][8][9] On July 26, 2016 it was reported that Silk prevents access to Google over HTTPS, but that bug has since been fixed.[10]

Silk runs with the Amazon user account of the Amazon device running Silk. To access resources from another web account, external utility apps are available, e.g. to use Chrome bookmarks from a desktop or mobile web account.[11]

Name

Amazon says "a thread of silk is an invisible yet incredibly strong connection between two different things", and thus calls the browser Amazon Silk as it is the connection between Kindle Fire and Amazon's EC2 servers.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Amazon's Silk Browser May Not Be Smooth When It Comes to Privacy". PCWorld. September 28, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  2. ^ Saba, Elias (November 28, 2017). "Amazon releases their Silk Web Browser for the Amazon Fire TV". AFTVnews. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  3. ^ Herrick, Justin (September 20, 2018). "Amazon Redesigns the Echo Show, and It's Very Sleek". TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Amazon Silk is hiring: Software Development Engineers – SPDY". Aws.amazon.com. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Amazon Silk: Assisted Web Browsing (Sort Of) : The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed". Tomshardware.com. November 24, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Amazon's Silk Browser Acceleration Tested: Less Bandwidth Consumed, But Slower Performance". AnandTech. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  7. ^ Keizer, Gregg (September 29, 2011). "Amazon's Silk browser raises privacy, security eyebrows". Computerworld. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  8. ^ Claburn, Thomas (September 29, 2011). "Amazon Silk Browser Prompts Privacy Worries". InformationWeek. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  9. ^ "Amazon Silk: One step forward, two steps back". CNET. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  10. ^ "Advisory: Amazon's Silk Browser on the Kindle Didn't Use SSL for Google Search". Nightwatch Cybersecurity. July 21, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Amazon Silk Bookmarks". chrome.google.com. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  12. ^ Amazon Silk—Amazon's Revolutionary Cloud-Accelerated Web Browser on YouTube