The Amazon FireTV Stick is an amazing little device, so let’s see how to get the most out of it. I compiled this list of the Top 10 (or more) Fire TV Hacks. You might be surprised at the capabilities of this little $40 Android-based streaming stick, so check out the list!
Top 10 Fire TV Hacks & Alternative Uses
1) Stream TV & movies all day long with Kodi
- This Fire TV hack is a given, but some people still don’t know about it, so here it is. And many of the people who already know about Kodi, but don’t know about the cool extras like Ares Wizard, Config Wizard, and even the streaming music capabilities Kodi has to offer.
Some of those “cooler” Fire TV Hacks we can do with Kodi are:
– Have Kodi all setup for you using the Ares Wizard (the “Ultimate” setup method) to auto-install the best TV Addons. Perform this method by installing Kodi “Builds” using the Ares Wizard (See our VIDEO Tutorial)
– Get your Kodi installation set up with the best TV Addons using the Config Wizard (this is the “I want all the TV Addons without tons of extra clutter” setup method) all at once using the TV Addons Config Wizard
– Install the top TV Addons individually using the AddOnInstaller. This is the “barebones” or minimalistic TV Addons setup method. The Addon Installer can also be used to re-install single addons that are misbehaving.
– Play streaming music such as iTunes podcasts, SoundCloud, and others.
2) Use Emulators to Play Classic Retro Games
Use a Bluetooth gamepad with your FireTV and play great classic emulators like N64 and SNES – Mario Kart your face off! This is by far the funnest Fire TV hack on the list – so be sure to give this one a try (especially if you were born in the 80s, like me).
I’ve successfully tested some great SNES games on the Firestick, and even some N64 games, too. We can play Mario Kart 64 on the FireStick & FireTV, as well as every SNES game I’ve tried. I’m pretty sure all SNES games work on Firestick emulator SNES9x. So get a great Bluetooth gamepad, install some emulators, and start playing classic retro games on your Android / FireTV!
3) Use Regular Android Apps on Fire TV
Yes, you can install Android apps onto your Fire TV that weren’t meant for FireTV at all. Just sideload them! Some apps require that you use a software or hardware mouse or keyboard, but that’s just a matter of downloading a Mouse app.
- Sideloading is a simple process where we use a 2nd device to transfer, or “sideload”, an application’s installer file from the 2nd device to the 1st device (which is usually your Fire TV / Firestick!). We have video tutorials and written guides on how to sideload apps to your Fire TV (for both Android and iOS). Sideloading is one of the biggest, most impactful Fire TV hacks you can perform.
4) Browse the Web with Firefox on Fire TV
Sideload Firefox web browser to your FireTV to surf the web (do people still say that?). After you install Firefox, you’ll probably need to use a Bluetooth keyboard and/or Bluetooth mouse to get around the browser.
5) Stream your Massive Movie Library to your FireTV using PLEX
Some people, like me, have been collecting Movies on an external hard drive for years. If this sounds like you, you can get those movies to be available for streaming on your Firestick / Fire TV simply by using an app called Plex. Plex will stream all those awesome HD movies you’ve been collecting for years.
6) Use Fire TV as a Digital Photo Frame / Screensaver / 24×7 Live Stream of Anything
Play any 24/7 stream in Kodi on your FireTV for a non-stop, constant video experience. Sideload a digital photo frame Android app to make an instant digital photo frame, or use a screensaver app (like a classic Fish tank aquarium screen saver). You can also download an IPCam viewer app that allows you to view public webcams from famous places in the world (Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, etc).
7) Combine your FireTV with a Mini Projector to project HD movies anywhere!
Some mini projectors have batteries built-in. And you could use a power bank to power the Firestick. So why not bring the mini projector and FireTV out on the lawn one evening for a night-time movie showing with friends or family? It’s a great, simple, easy, small, portable setup. I’ve done it!
8) Monitor Home Surveillance using Fire TV
9) Use your Fire TV as an awesome thumb drive / media center
Your Firestick has at least a few gigs of usable internal memory. So why not (in a pinch) use it as a thumbdrive? Or store a few HD movies on it and take it to a friend’s house, plug it into their TV and start watching instantly without having to mess with any hard drives or rely on their P.O.S. streaming device ;)
10) Play Android games on your Fire TV
11) Install ES File Explorer to make adding things easier
+ 1 Non-Hack “Honorable Mention”
#1) Use the Fire TV’s Built-In Apps for “Standard” Content
Of course, you could just use the FireTV’s built-in apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. But let’s be honest – the way Amazon executed the Fire TV’s home screen layout and content selection could use some work. Otherwise, people wouldn’t have spent hundreds of hours developing better solutions (like Kodi).
So, you can use YouTube without modifying your Firestick. And you can use Amazon Prime Video if you have an Amazon Prime account. Netflix is always an option too! To see the latest movies on Netflix, Kodi, and Amazon Prime go to http://ClawTV.com.
Hope this helps! Any suggestions? Let us and everyone else know in the comments so we can all enjoy it ;) Cheers, mates!