Amazon fire stick free download - Amazon Fire TV Remote, Remote for Amazon Fire TV, Get Amazon Fire Phone, and many more programs. Install Fire Stick YouTube App: How to Watch YouTube on Fire TV YouTube is not just the online repository for entertaining videos but you will also get to watch educational content, updated news information, game guides, DIY guides and more. Our favorite, most reliable VPN service for streaming media on Fire Stick and Fire TV is IPVanish. For more information about protecting yourself with VPN as well as an instructional video on how to install IPVanish on your Fire TV please see our article here.
Although it’s not a particularly well advertised feature, the Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick allow for sideloading of Android applications. With a little effort you can easily load apps on your Fire TV that aren’t available in the Amazon Appstore.
Note: This tutorial covers the sideloading of Android applications on Fire TV devices and not Amazon’s line of Kindle Fire tablets; if you’re here looking for a way to sideload apps on your Kindle Fire please refer to this guide.
Why Do I Want To Do This?
The Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick are both robust Android-based streaming devices that pack a lot of power into a small footprint. Make no doubt about it, however, that Amazon designed the devices to be very Amazon-ecosystem centric and there is a strong push toward you only using apps from the Amazon Appstore.
In this walkthrough, I will show you how to download YouTube TV on Fire Stick. Keep reading! Pro Tip: Get a VPN for Fire Stick to bypass online surveillance, ISP throttling, and geo-blocking of content on Netflix / YouTube. The Amazon Fire Stick is a useful streaming tool, which connects to your TV via USB. Once set up and running it allows you to connect to Amazon’s services via its overlayed Android skin. Meaning you can watch movies, download and use apps, and pretty much anything else.
While the Amazon Appstore has a wide selection of applications there are two big issues Fire TV owners bump into. First, despite the size of the Appstore it doesn’t compare to the Google Play store and there are many, many, apps only available via Google Play. There are many developers who simply haven’t opted to port their apps over to the Appstore (or the apps contain some element that Amazon vetoed).
Second, even when the app you want is available in the Amazon Appstore if it isn’t approved for use on the Fire TV line then you can’t download it. Kodi, the media center software formerly known as XBMC, is a perfect example of this. It’s in the Amazon Appstore as a general Android download but you can’t download and install it onto the Fire TV devices (but those devices can in fact run it).
Fortunately for you, us, and anyone else looking to load apps on their Fire TV we can take advantage of the developer options included with the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to load any Android application we want.
What Do I Need?
There are two approaches for sideloading apps onto your Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV stick both of which rely on different implementations of the Android Developer Bridge (ADB).
The first technique involves using the command line interface on your computer to send Android installation files (APKs) right to your device. This approach is handy if you’ve archived APKs on your computer and/or you’ve download an APK from a developer’s website and wish to load it directly from your computer to your Fire TV.
To follow along with the command line technique you’ll need a copy of ADB installed on your computer. To install the developer kit, which includes ADB, and the appropriate drivers check out our tutorial How to Install and Use ADB, the Android Debug Bridge Utility.
RELATED:How to Install and Use ADB, the Android Debug Bridge Utility
The second technique is a rather clever and convenient one: using a helper application on a device running Android to shuttle installed apps right from your device to the Fire TV. From a convenience standpoint you really can’t beat the ease of just picking the app right from your phone or tablet and installing it onto your Fire TV.
There are a handful of applications in the Google Play store that offer Android-to-Fire transfer, but we had the best luck with the application Apps2Fire; you can download it here. Although you never see it directly in action, Apps2Fire and similar applications are just wrappers for ADB.
Both techniques get the job done it’s just a matter which technique works best for your situation. If you already have the app ready to go on your phone (or you can easily download it from the Play store) it makes sense to use Apps2Fire and transfer it right from your device to the Fire. If you downloaded the app from the developer’s website or a development forum like XDA Developers, it makes more sense to fire up ADB and transfer it over from your PC.
Let’s look at how to prepare your Fire TV for sideloaded apps and then at how to use the two techniques. All the steps in this tutorial are completely interchangeable between the Amazon Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick; the only difference between the two is that the Fire TV has more processing power than the Fire Stick and will offer superior performance for any CPU-hungry applications you send over.
Preparing the Amazon Fire TV
Although the ability to sideload apps onto the Fire TV devices isn’t particularly promoted in anyway, it’s not difficult to enable the ability to do so. Boot into your Fire TV and navigate to Settings -> System.
Within the System menu, scroll down until you find the sub-menu entry labeled “Developer Options.” Note that the subtext highlights exactly what the Developer Options are for “Enable ADB connections over network.”
Inside the Developer Options menu you’ll find two toggles that need to be set to On: “ADB debugging” and “Apps from Unknown Sources.”
The first option turns on the ADB link so that you can remotely bridge the Android debugging client to your Fire unit. The second toggle allows for the installation of non-Appstore applications (all apps you transfer over the ADB link will be treated as from “Unknown Sources” regardless of whether or not they are one-off apps you made yourself or approved apps from conventional Android application stores).
Finally, before you leave your Fire unit you’ll need to check the IP address of the unit. The easiest way to do so is to navigate to Settings -> System -> About and then select “Network.”
Getting Youtube On Amazon Fire Stick
Make note of the “IP Address” entry as this is the address you’ll need for both of the following techniques. Also note that if you restart your Fire device and you have not specified a static IP address for it, this address may change if the DHCP server assigns a new one. Any time you’re pushing new applications over to your Fire device make sure to check this section and confirm the IP address.
After you’ve toggled both of the above settings and identified your device’s IP address it’s time to turn to loading applications. Let’s look at the two methods in detail.
Sideloading with ADB
If your application is located on your computer it’s easy to sideload it with ADB. Let’s look at using the command line to start up the ADB server, connect to the Fire unit, and remotely deliver the APK payload. All the following steps presume you already have ADB installed (and if you do not, please refer to our guide here).
Load a command prompt in the directory where your APK is stored (e.g. /Documents/Downloads/) and enter the following commands where X.X.X.X is the IP address of your Fire unit on the local network and someapp.apk is the actual filename of the APK you wish to install on the device.
adb connect X.X.X.X
adb install someapp.apk
Note, if you get the error “Error: more than once device or emulator,” which occurs if there is more than one device connected to the ADB (such an Android phone tethered to your computer) you can narrow down the command like so.
adb install -s X.X.X.X:5555 install someapp.apk
Once you issue the command, sit back and relax. It can take anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes or more depending on the size of the file. When the process is complete you’ll get an echo-back of the APK name, the average transfer speed, and a “Success” message.
If you receive the error message INSTALL_FAILED_OLDER_SDK this is because the APK file you attempted to install on the Fire device is for a higher version of Android than the Fire is running. As of this tutorial the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick are still running Fire OS 3.0 (which has app compatibility with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2).
Before we take a look at what to do next on the Fire side of things, let’s look at how to accomplish the same thing by transferring an app from your Android phone or tablet to your Fire.
Sideloading from Your Android Device
One of the biggest complaints we hear is that people already have an app on their phone or tablet and they want to have it on their Fire device. The whole parallel Amazon Appstore/Google Play store paradigm certainly is frustrating and this trick allows you to easily shuttle an app right off your phone to your Fire.
First, download and install Apps2Fire from the Google Play store here. Launch the app and then tap on the menu button in the upper left corner.
Within the menu select “Setup” and on the follow screen enter the IP address of your Fire device.
Once you click save you’ll have two options for transferring apps. First, you can click on the + symbol in the upper right corner of the screen and select any APK file on your Android device via the file browser. The APK you select via this method does not need to be an application already installed on your device which means any APK you downloaded and saved to your device is fair game.
The second method involves selecting an app you’ve actually downloaded and installed from the Google Play store. To do so tap on the menu button again and select “Upload Apps.”
Select any app by tapping on it and it will transfer automatically.
Unfortunately unlike the command line ADB tool the Apps2Fire app has no feedback mechanism for version failure; if you upload a new app that isn’t compatibility with Android 4.2.2 there is no error message and you only know the installation failed because the app never appears on the Fire device.
That said, it’s a really easy way to transfer apps with no command line work necessary. Let’s take a look at where to find your apps once you’ve transferred them to the Fire device.
Launching Your Apps on the Fire TV
Once the apps are installed on the Fire TV it’s just a matter of finding them. Alas they don’t appear in the top-level “Apps” category in the main Fire TV menu. Instead they in the Settings -> Applications menu.
Once there select “Manage Installed Applications” to pull up a list of all installed apps. Browse to the application you pushed over (either via the ADB command line or the Apps2Fire app) and select it by pressing the center button on your Fire TV remote (or enter on your keyboard if you’re using one).
From the application submenu, select “Launch application.” Your application will launch just like it would on any other Android device.
That’s all there is to it! Not every application makes the jump smoothly from a touch-based device like a tablet to the TV-centric Fire TV system but many apps work just fine without any adjustment (while others require the use of a controller or keyboard for full functionality). It costs nothing to try an app you already have out, however, so if you’d like the app on your TV via way of the Fire give it a shot.
Have a pressing question about the Fire TV, Chromecast, or other streaming media device? Shoot us an email at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help.READ NEXT
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It’s no secret that Amazon and Google are two of tech’s biggest competitors today. Despite begrudgingly working together for years, the two companies now work to regularly undercut each other at almost every corner. Amazon has pulled devices like the Chromecast and Google Home from their digital storefront, while Google has pulled apps like YouTube from every Fire OS device, including the Fire Tablets and Fire TV. It’s hard to say where all this began, with the conflict likely dating back to the Amazon Appstore unveil in 2011. Regardless of how the fight started, the real victim between the two companies hasn’t been Amazon or Google, but the users who purchase devices from both companies.
Amazon’s Fire TV devices, including the Fire Stick and the Fire TV Cube, used to come with YouTube preinstalled on the device, but unfortunately, YouTube was removed from the device back in November of 2017. Over a year later, however, and both Amazon and third-party developers have worked hard to make it easy to watch YouTube videos on your television. There’s three different methods for watching YouTube on your Fire Stick, and no matter which you choose, you’ll have a great time watching your favorite creators on the big screen. Let’s take a look at how to install and watch YouTube on the Amazon Fire Stick.
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Update: On April 18th, 2019, Google and Amazon announced in a joint press release that YouTube would be coming back to Amazon Fire TV devices, while Amazon will be adding Chromecast support to the Amazon Prime Video app. That said, outside of a vague “later in 2019,” there’s no date on when exactly YouTube will be coming back to the Amazon Fire Stick and its sibling devices, so for now, our guide will still recommend the three main options available today.
Pre-installed Web App
When Google removed YouTube from the Fire TV in November of 2017, Amazon scrambled to find a workaround they could use to defend their platform against missing one of the web’s most important apps today. When YouTube was re-added to the apps list of every Fire TV device, it was done so without a YouTube logo. Instead, fans of the web’s most popular video site were greeted with a blue tile that simply read “YouTube.com.” Amazon had found their workaround: using the open web against Google to provide users a gateway to YouTube.
For most people, this is the most straightforward method to accessing YouTube on their Fire Stick, since Fire OS will walk you through accessing the platform. Open your apps list on your device by holding the Home button on your remote for several seconds and selecting the Apps shortcut from the quick launch menu. Find the blue YouTube.com tile and select the app. This will launch a menu within your Fire OS device that lets you know you can access YouTube and other services on the web by installing a web browser. Fire OS gives you two options to pick from: Amazon’s own Silk Browser, and Firefox, the browser from Mozilla. For YouTube, you’ll need to select Firefox, as Google likes to block YouTube through the Silk Browser.
With Firefox selected, you’ll be brought to the Appstore page for the app. Download the app on your device and wait for it to install, then open Firefox on your Fire stick. The main page in Firefox has some quick links for you to select from that allow you to automatically launch a website. In the future, you can hit the blue YouTube.com icon to launch right to YouTube, but for now, select YouTube from this quick links panel. When YouTube loads, you’ll be redirected to the TV-friendly website, which looks exactly like the old YouTube app on the Fire Stick. You can sign into your YouTube account to view subscriptions and recommended videos, and the app works almost identically to what we’ve seen on other platforms.
Unfortunately, since you are using a browser, the app isn’t quite as slick and fast to load as dedicated applications, but for most people, this is one of the fastest ways to get YouTube up and running on your device. However, if you’re more interested in having a dedicated app instead of using a browser to view your favorite YouTubers on your television, two dedicated apps exist that allow you to do just that.
If you aren’t interested in using the pre-installed web app alongside Firefox, you also have the option to install a third-party app available on the Appstore. The app, Tube Videos, allows you to watch YouTube videos with the same interface as the web option, but without having to deal with Firefox being installed on your device. It’s a simple installation process, even easier than using the blue browser link in the method above, and it works about the same as the Firefox version.
To install Tube Videos on your device, use your Alexa remote to search for Tube Videos. Searching for YouTube also brought up the app in our Appstore. Install Tube Videos on your Fire Stick, then launch the app by hitting the menu button on the installation screen. Tube Videos is, essentially, a browser gateway right into YouTube, without the need for a separate browser on your device. Like with the browser method, you can sign into the app to view your subscribed content, liked videos, and so much more.
Smart YouTube TV
This is a Fire OS device, of course, so your options don’t end at the Amazon-sanctioned tools. Using sideloading on your device, you can install a third-party YouTube app that works nearly-identical to the older app removed more than a year ago. This app doesn’t require a browser like Firefox, and of the three methods on this list, was by far the easiest to use. However, you’ll have to be willing to put up with the set-up instructions that come with sideloading apps within your Fire Stick. If you already know how to do that, or you don’t mind diving into the settings menu of Fire OS, read on to find out how to install Smart YouTube TV, the third-party YouTube app designed for smart streaming boxes.
Turn on Unknown Apps
To sideload applications like Smart YouTube TV on your Fire Stick, you’ll need to start by turning the option on within the settings of your device. Start by opening up your Fire TV display by waking up your device and holding the Home button on your Fire TV remote to open the quick actions menu. This menu has a list of four different options for your Fire TV: your list of apps, sleep mode, mirroring, and settings. Select the settings menu to quickly load your list of preferences. Alternatively, you can head to the home screen of your Fire TV and scroll all the way to the right along the top list of your menu, selecting the settings option.
Press the down arrow on your remote to move to the settings menu of your display. Fire OS has its settings menu set up horizontally rather than vertically, so scroll through your settings menu from left to right until you find the options for “My Fire TV.” (In older versions of Fire OS, this is labeled as “Device.”) Hit the center button on your remote to load the device settings. For most users, these options are mostly there for restarting or forcing your device to sleep, as well as viewing the software settings for your Fire Stick. However, there’s one option here we need to change before we can move forward. Click on Developer Options from the Device settings; it’s the second down from the top, after About.
Developer Options only has two settings on Fire OS: ADB debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources. ADB debugging is used to enable ADB, or Android Debug Bridge, connections over your network. We won’t have to use ADB for this (a tool included in the Android Studio SDK), so you can leave that setting alone for now. Instead, scroll down to the setting below ADB and press the center button. This will enable your device to install applications from sources other than the Amazon Appstore, a necessary step if we’re going to sideload YouTube on our device. A warning may appear to let you know that downloading apps from outside sources can be dangerous. Click OK on the prompt and click the Home button on your remote to head back to the home screen.
With the ability to install apps from unknown sources now enabled, we just have one more step to go. We’ll need to install an application from the Amazon Appstore in order to properly download and install these APK files, since out of the box, your Fire Stick can’t actually do it. While there isn’t a specific browser application available for download inside the App Store, there is an app that allows you to download content directly to your device.
Using the built-in search function or using Alexa on your Fire Stick remote, search for “Download,” “Downloader,” or “Browser”; all three will bring forth the exact same app we’re looking for. That app is, appropriately, called Downloader. It has a bright orange icon with a down-facing arrow icon, and its developer name is “AFTVnews.com.” The app has hundreds of thousands of users, and is generally regarded as a great application for your device. Hit the download button on the Amazon Appstore listing for Downloader to add the app to your device. You won’t need to keep the app on your Fire Stick after we’ve used it for this installation process, so don’t be afraid to uninstall the app if you’d rather not keep it around.
Once the app has finished installing, hit the Open button on the app listing to open Downloader on your device. Click through the assorted pop-up messages and alerts detailing updates to the application until you’ve reached the main display. Downloader includes a bunch of utilities, all neatly outlined on the left side of the application, including a browser, a file system, settings, and more. That said, the main aspect of the application we need is the URL entry field that takes up most of your display inside the application.
Downloading the APK
With Downloader installed we can finally move forward with actually installing YouTube. To do this, all you’ll need is the proper APK download link for the application you want to install, and thankfully, we have a direct link to YouTube for you to plug in. Using your Fire Stick remote, type the following URL into the field provided, then hit Go on your Fire Stick.
That link will provide you with a recent version of YouTube, and thanks to the auto-update built into the application, you can update the application once it’s been launched. With the Smart YouTube TV APK now downloaded onto your device, all that’s left to do now is install the app directly onto your device. When the installation display for Smart YouTube TV appears on your screen, you’ll be greeted with a display that alerts you to the information YouTube can access. For anyone who has installed APKs on Android devices previously, this screen will immediately look familiar; though it’s the Amazon-themed version of the installation screen, it’s still very ‘Android.’ Use your remote to highlight and select the “Install” button and your device will begin to install the app.
Once you’ve finished installing the app, Smart YouTube TV will give you the option to pick from four different options for displaying the app. The app has four different “launchers” for YouTube, and the one you pick should depend on your model of Fire Stick and your television. If you have a normal Fire Stick or a 1080p television, make sure you select the 1080p or 1080p Alt option. For those with 4K hardware, select the 4K option to make sure you get the most out of the installed application. There’s no difference between the two settings outside the app selections, so make sure you select the one that fits your device the best.
Unlike most sideloaded apps, Smart YouTube TV doesn’t require an extra piece of software, like a VPN, to be used legally. Unlike with some apps you can install on the Fire Stick, it’s perfectly acceptable to sideload YouTube onto your Fire Stick, and though it takes a few minutes to accomplish, we wholeheartedly recommend installing Smart YouTube TV on your Fire Stick.
How To Download Youtube On Amazon Fire Stick
With three different ways to watch YouTube on your Fire Stick, there’s no shortage of options for anyone looking to watch their favorite content creators on their television. Let us know in the comments which version of YouTube for the Fire Stick you’re using, and check back at TechJunkie for more Fire TV tips, tricks, and guides!