HOWTO: Sideload Apps Onto The FireTV

Discussion in 'Fire TV' started by tensuke, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. tensuke

    tensuke Founding Member Founding Member

    Apr 5, 2014
    Hey all, so I got my Fire TV and game controller a few days ago and have been messing around with it a bunch. I've gotten a few useful things working, so I decided to post some tutorials here since they can sometimes get complicated. First up is just sideloading apps onto the system itself, which is really a very easy process. You can use this website or its Chrome extension to download free (not paid) APKs from the Play Store to your computer, or extract them from another Android device.

    Sideloading Apps:

    1. First go into settings>developer options and enable adb debugging so you can sideload.
    2. Install ADB (it's in the Android SDK, but that's 500MB, so get it from here). For Macs, download the OS X Android SDK and see this guide for further instructions.
    3. If you used the download I linked, you can use adb from anywhere (otherwise you'll need to find where adb is and open the command line from there)
    4. Connect your FireTV and PC to the same network, and get the IP of the FireTV. To do this go to settings>system>about>network and write down the IP.
    5. On your PC, open up command prompt and type these three commands

    adb kill-server
    adb start-server
    adb connect

    If all goes well, it should say something like

    connected to :5555

    Now you can do adb stuff. To install an app, just type

    adb install C:\path\to\app.apk
    Depending on the size of the apk it may be just a second that it takes to copy and install, or it may take a few minutes. But it should say success if it worked. If not, it'll tell you why.

    To access sideloaded apps, go into settings>applications and scroll through the list to find what you sideloaded.
    All apps aren't going to 'just work' by nature of not being written to support the Fire TV's custom Android version. Some apps won't load at all, some will load for a second or two then quit out, some will load sideways and squished, many will not support button navigation, etc. For the ones that open sideways, sometimes it will get fixed if you back out of it and open it again (like Dropbox), others will just stay sideways (like Spotify). For ones that don't support button navigation, you'll need to plug in a mouse (it'll give you a cursor) and select stuff that way. There are some mouse/keyboard bluetooth/usb devices that work as well.

    **Also note that currently the only way to install apps is through adb over the network. APKs can't be run/installed directly on the device because of security settings that can't be changed yet.
    Jory and GeorgeB like this.
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  3. GeorgeB

    GeorgeB Staff Member Community Manager

    Oct 23, 2012
    Fantastic stuff tensuke. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this with us!
  4. ScishFottman

    ScishFottman New Member

    May 3, 2014
    This is terrific. The device is already so,I'd, but this opens even more doors.
  5. alg35536

    alg35536 Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    You can install Kodi on it
  6. FireAndi

    FireAndi New Member

    Jul 4, 2016
    There is a new windows based tool for automatically loading your Amazon Fire TV with Apps, Addons, Kodi and Kodi Builds. The FireTuner was build to be easy, intuitive and fast.

    Download the tool here.

    It's free. Enjoy!

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