Amazon Fire TV Stick is an Amazon home entertainment device that allows you to stream content from various streaming platforms. Fire Stick comes with pre-installed apps, but it allows you to download additional apps from the Amazon app store and install them to access entertainment content. However, sideloading apps on Fire Stick from other app stores is not allowed.
Fire TV is technically a customized variant of the Android TV. So, almost all the Android TV apps also work on the Fire TV stick with the only difference being that there is no Google Play Store on the Fire TV stick as Amazon and Google are competitors.
So, how can you install Android apps on your Fire Stick? The process is called sideloading. This post shows you how to sideload third-party apps on your Fire TV stick and access more content.
Table of Contents
Prepare your Fire Stick for third-party apps
1. Stable Internet Connection
Before installing any on your Fire Stick there are a few steps you need to follow to prepare your Fire TV stick for a smooth side-loading process. The first thing you need to ensure is to connect your Fire TV stick to a stable internet connection. A stable internet connection will ensure the first and most reliable sideloading of apps on Fire Stick. Whether you use a Wi-Fi or Ethernet adaptor make sure it offers a stable speed of at least 5 mbps.
2. Update to the latest software
To sideload third-party apps with ease, you should update your Fire Stick to the latest version. Updated Fire Stick’s are compatible with the third-party apps you want to install. To check the Fire TV updates go to the settings menu on your Fire Stick then click on About. If your Fire Stick is already updated, it will show the same otherwise you will see an option to update your Fire Stick or Fire TV.
3. Free some storage space
The third thing you need to ensure this has sufficient storage space. If you have unnecessary apps on your device you can uninstall them. You can free up the space by going to the “settings” and selecting the applications. Then select “Manage installed applications” and choose the apps you want to uninstall and free up some space.
4. Enable the Apps from Unknown Sources
Before you install any apps, enable the sideloading option in Fire Stick settings. Now you can sideload apps on Fire Stick from other app stores.
You may not need to do this on a jailbroken Fire Stick as it is already unlocked. You can install must-have apps for jailbroken Fire Stick to stream movies and TV shows that are not available on an unlocked Fire TV stick. But if you have a regular Fire Stick, you need to enable the apps from unknown sources in the settings.
Now visit the Fire TV home page and navigate to the “Settings” tab. First, go to the “Device” option and then the ”Developer” option. Select the “turn on” option under the “apps from unknown services”.
Here is how to do it:
- First, go to the settings and choose “device and software” or “my Fire TV”
- Next, select the About tab
- Click on your device name several times until a message of yours on the screen says “You are now a developer”.
- Now you can see the “developer options” menu under the “About” section on the My Fire TV or device and software screen.
- The menu is usually visible by default but now it resembles the process of enabling the “developer” options on other Android devices.
Also, turn on the ADB debugging as it allows you to install apps remotely.
So now you can sideload apps on Fire Stick from unofficial stores. Let’s start with the most well-known method of downloading apps on your Fire Stick using the “Downloader” app.
Side load apps directly from the web
The “Downloader” app allows you to download Android TV apps on your Fire Stick directly from the internet. To start with, visit the Amazon app store and search for the “Downloader” app.
You can also do it using the “voice assistant” key on your Alexa remote. Press the “Alexa voice assistant” and say “Downloader”. You will see the “Downloader” app and then press the Get app button. Once the app is installed, open it and go to the browse section.
For example, if you want to sideload the “Cinema HD” app on the Fire TV stick. You can search it on Google from the downloader app. Use the remote to move the cursor on your screen and use the On-screen keyboard to type the search keywords. Now search for the “Cinema HD” app and select the first official link to download the latest “Cinema HD” Android APK file.
Once you download the app the downloader will automatically open it in the installer window. Now select the APK file and the downloader will automatically start the installation process. Selected the install button to start and finish the process. That’s it and you will see the “Cinema HD” app appear on your homepage in the apps section.
Similarly, you can use the downloader app to search and install any Android APK on your Fire TV stick. The downloader app is safe to use and contains only legitimate APKs. So you can use the downloader app for sideloading apps on Fire Stick without any risk.
Sideload from your Android Phone
If you want to install some apps that are already installed on your Android phone you can do it easily. Before we install the apps from Android phone to Fire TV, you will need an APK to sideload. We recommend using your Android phone to do so.
Download the APK using any downloading tool on your phone. You can download APK files from the APK mirror website as it is a reliable source for downloading apps. You need to download only the APK files and not the app bundles.
You will be required to use an Android app known as “Apps2Fire”. This app sends an APK from your Android phone to your Fire TV stick and also installs the app. Download the “Apps2Fire” app from the Google Play Store on your Android phone.
Open the app and look for the three-dot button on the upper right corner of your screen. Tap on this button and you will see a ‘Network’ option. On this screen tap on the ‘network’ and wait for the scan to complete. Make sure that your Fire Stick is plugged into your TV and that your Fire Stick and Android phone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Once the scan is completed you see all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. Tap on the Fire Stick from the list and connect. You can check the IP address in the Fire Stick Settings >Device > About > Network.
Once connected, visit the Local Apps section on the “Apps2Fire” app. You will find the list of all the apps installed on your Android phone. Now from the list tap on the app on your phone that you want to install on your Fire TV. Select the app and tap on install and it will be sent to your Fire TV through the Wi-Fi network.
As you have given the USB debugging permission, it will automatically install the app from your phone to your Fire Stick. You don’t need to do anything extra and the app you selected will install itself automatically on your Fire Stick.
Sideload an APK from iPhone/Computer
In the above two methods, we learned the sideloading of apps on Fire Stick directly from the internet and an Android phone. Now if you already have the APK file of an app that you want to install on your laptop or Fire TV stick this method will help you to do so. You will need to use a cloud storage facility such as Dropbox, or Google Drive.
To begin with, download any file manager application on your Fire Stick. Install the application and open it. Now take your Alexa remote and use the “D-pad” button to navigate to the leftmost column. Now look for the “network highlight cloud” and click on it.
Login into your cloud storage drive and look for the APK file on your computer or iPhone. Copy the APK from your PC or iPhone and move it in the cloud storage folder whether it’s Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox.
Doing so will automatically upload the APK file to your cloud storage drive. Now when you go to your Fire TV stick you will find the APK in the cloud storage folder of your “File Explorer app”. Now from the File Explorer, you can download the app and install it on your Fire TV stick.
So these three methods to sideload apps on Fire Stick from unofficial stores. The first method, allows you to install apps directly from the web. The second method is good for installing apps already installed on your Android phone. The third method focuses on the installation of apps from an iPhone or computer. You can use any of these methods that seems best as per your requirements.