12 Amazing Amazon Fire TV Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Hidden Features

Amazon Fire TV Tips, Tricks and Hidden Features: 12 secrets you may not know about the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, such as all of the best hacks that you will need to take advantage of your new streaming gadget.

Amazon’s Fire TV has rapidly become among the most effective ways to make a dumb TV smart.  The inexpensive Fire TV Stick, which recently got a 2017 upgrade, makes any HDMI-enabled television considerably more capable than #2,000-plus sets concerning services and programs, while the Fire TV box may take the place of a console and is currently capable of 4K streaming.

There is more to those ultra-accessible gadgets than you will appreciate when you remove the cellophane and dip from the distant’s AAA batteries, however.

Here are 12 tips, tricks, hacks and key features you may not know about the Fire TV family.

Fire TV vs Fire TV Stick — choosing the right device for you

First of all, let us explain the important differences between the Fire TV box and its affordable sibling, the Fire TV Stick.

While the Fire TV box might be twice the cost, it is much more powerful and has access to more games consequently.

You will see some slow-down in 3D games occasionally with the Stick, by way of instance, as it utilizes a curative dual-core CPU.  It is fine if you would like a cheap media system, but it’s no console-replacer.

The Fire TV Box is far more powerful, using a 64-bit MediaTek 8173C CPU that includes two Cortex-A72 cores and 2 Cortex-A53 cores — equal to the energy of a very good mid-range mobile.  Additionally, it has more links, with an Ethernet interface, optical audio output, and a USB.  In the end, it can lead to 4K in which the Stick’s maximum resolution is 1080p.

The “all-new” 2017 Fire Stick includes a far more powerful processor and is completely fine for streaming TV shows and movies.

But if you have not yet purchased a Fire TV device and would like to play games, you are better off using the box version.  It supports a lot more games as it has that additional power on tap — the likes of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Asphalt 8 and many others just don’t work on the dual-core Fire TV stick, even in case you sideload them.

More on that later, but now it is time to take a look at how you can get the most out of your Fire TV.

1) Find shows on Netflix and iPlayer with voice control

Whenever the Amazon Fire TV with microphone launched, it would only look up Amazon goodies: films from Amazon and programs from the Amazon Appstore.

This was annoyingly limited, but today it is really quite useful as it will look videos up on Netflix and iPlayer, also, and we would expect Spotify support to be incoming shortly.

2) Make gambling better with a gamepad

Some titles do not work all that well when gambling with the Fire TV’s remote.  It is just too simplistic for console-style games, but you can find a Fire TV gamepad which makes these names considerably more fun.

Here are a few of the games that actually benefit from a gamepad — a few of these won’t work with you, actually.

  • GTA: San Andreas (gamepad required)
  • Minecraft: Pocket Edition (gamepad required)
  • Asphalt 8
  • The Bard’s Tale (gamepad required)
  • RipTide GP2
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (gamepad required)

3) Adding voice assistance to non-mic TV sticks

As we have explained, Amazon’s Fire TV games control is much like the pads that you get with an Xbox One or PS4.  However, it’s one additional special feature.

In addition to mirroring the controllers seen on the Fire TV remote, such as playback buttons, there is a mic which lets you speak to the media box right.

Get a gamepad and you can pretty much relegate the remote to a drawer if you prefer.

4) …Or purchase a voice remote separately

In case you bought one of the cheaper Fire TV Sticks and repent it, it is worth knowing that you could purchase a voice remote separately.

In addition to having an inbuilt mic, the higher-end distant is more and more ergonomic.  It only feels better-made in general, as where the entry distant is made from cheap-feeling plastic, the voice remote has a wonderful soft-touch complete and higher-grade buttons.

5) Third-party controls that operate with Fire TV

You do not need to purchase the official #40 (RRP) Fire TV games control to have a whole gaming experience with the Fire TV, as lots of third-party pads are supported.

Many wired remotes work with the full-fat Fire TV by simply plugging them into the box USB port.  The most intriguing of the lot are console controls, as most of you might already have one of those lying around.  The PS4’s DualShock 4 functions, as do cable and wireless (using the USB adapter accessory) Xbox 360 pads.

Xbox One pads do not work without hacking the Fire TV.  We wouldn’t suggest this as you will void your warranty in the best, and brick your Fire TV at worst, but if you are intent on rooting your device, you’ll find instructions over on the XDA Developers Forum.

6) Sideload programs for greater choice

Fresh from the box, the Fire TV’s program library can appear limited, especially in case you’ve got the TV Stick instead of the bigger Fire TV.  However, it is possible to sideload programs, so to install them manually.  It is easy too.

Go to Settings > System > Developer Options and enable ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.  Then download Apps2fire on your mobile phone.

This allows you set up APK documents directly on your Fire TV from the cell phone.

Large apps take quite a while to load, so it is ideal to place your phone’s display to dim just after about 10 minutes to prevent the app closing.

7) Alexa is here!

Amazon’s smart voice helper has landed UK Fire TV devices, meaning you can now do loads of things without lifting a finger, like asking for the weather, getting read info from Wikipedia, and hearing sports outcomes.

We are hoping that in time we will have the ability to control our smart house equipment too — things like Philips Hue lights — directly in the Fire TV remote or matches control.

But when Amazon actually wants you to purchase an Echo or Echo Dot in addition to a Fire TV, so we’ll have to check if that pans out.