So you’ve bought yourself, or been gifted, a rather impressive Amazon Fire TV Stick and are wondering what wonderful things you can do with it. Well, Amazon has done a fairly solid job of ensuring that owners of the hardware can have a fairly positive experience right out of the box. In addition to the native installed apps, the hardware also offers access to all Amazon Prime content for subscribers, as well as the ability to install very accomplished apps from an array of big name providers directly from the App Store on the device.
With that said, there’s nothing more satisfying than tinkering with a new gadget and seeing just what’s possible. So, with that in mind, we’re going to take you on a journey of installing the extremely powerful Kodi Open Source Home Theatre software on the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Strap yourself in, we’re going to have a blast.
As is generally the case with relatively complex guides like this, you are required to have a few items before being able to proceed.
- A functioning Amazon Fire TV Stick – The theory behind installing or side loading the Kodi app really applies to most Android devices, so if you have the larger Amazon Fire TV set-top box then the whole process should also work.
- A computer – This can be a machine running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. The tools used in this guide are all cross-platform.
- An active broadband connection with a wireless network set up – Both the computer and the Amazon Fire TV Stick will need to be connected to the wireless network.
- Approximately 15 minutes of spare time and a small degree of patience – This guide involves downloading small parts of software from various hosting providers, as well as installing software to a device over a wireless connection. It shouldn’t take any longer than fifteen minutes, but patience is always a virtue in this situations.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump right into the process. For the sake of clarity, and to make the process as fool proof as possible we’ve broken it down into three distinct parts. This means that if you find yourself getting a little impatient at any point then you can walk away at the end of a particular section and come back with a renewed focus on getting the job done.
Configuring the Amazon Fire TV Stick
As we’ve previously mentioned, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is built around a modified version of the Android operating system. Heavily adapted to fit the needs of Amazon’s product and the functionality that it offers, but it’s still Android under-the-hood. That means that like all other Android devices we can side load apps onto it. But we need to do some configuration in the first instance.
1. Using the accompanying remote for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, navigate to the Settings and then System screen.
2. Within the System panel, locate the Developer Options preferences and click to enter.
3. Within Developer Options you’ll be faced with options like “ADB Debugging” and “Apps from Unknown”. Don’t worry, turning these on or off is as complicated as it’s going to get. Make sure that both of these options are set to “ON”.
4. Use the Back arrow on the accompanying remote control to step back to the root of the System settings. Locate the About option, then Network preferences and click to enter.
5. Make a note of the IP Address of the Amazon Fire TV Stick. We need this to connect our computer to the device over WiFi. Please note, the Amazon Fire TV Sticks needs to have been connected to WiFi already for this to have an IP address.
Connecting a Computer to the Amazon Fire TV Stick
Now that the little streaming device has been configured a little, we need to make sure that we can make a connection to it over WiFi via a computer. There are a number of ways to connect the Fire TV Stick to a machine, but some of them include the extremely long-winded process of installing and interacting with the Android SDK, which is way beyond what’s necessary if you’re an individual simply looking to access the Kodi software for streaming purposes.
1. Thankfully, if you don’t have the Android SDK installed, or don’t have the technical abilities to go through that process, then there’s a handy little app called adbFire that does a lot of the heavy lifting for us. This particular application is also built for Windows, OS X and Linux, meaning that it caters for all computer owners. Head on over to the official download page for adbFire and download the version relevant to your operating system. You can even read in greater detail about the features that are offered with adbFire, such as passwordless SSH and SFTP, and the ability to manage multiple Fire TV devices at one time.
2. When the application has been downloaded for your operating system, locate it. If on Windows this is likely in the My Downloads folder. For OS X this defaults to Downloads unless you’ve changed it via the system settings. Unzip the package if necessary and get access to the executable file; this will likely be a exe or DMG file. Note, depending on the platform used, adbFire may download as a ZIP or as a DMG.
3. Launch the adbFire application directly on your computer. Depending on the version downloaded the interface may look a little different. For information purposes, the version used in this demo and shown in the screenshots is version 1.31 running on Mac OS X. If you’re running OS X then make sure you actually install adbFire to your /Applications folder rather than just running from the DMG. Failing to do this will result in a consistent “Can’t Create Logfile” error.
4. Depending on your version, this part me be a little different. In version 1.31 simply click on the button that says New across the top. This is located under the header adbFire: Fire TV & Kodi Companion. In the resulting box, add the IP Address that was copied earlier on in the process in the Address box. Add a description to make the device recognisable in case of future use. Click Save.
5. As long as the IP Address entered was correct, and both the Amazon Fire TV and the computer are on the same WiFi network, then we should now have a stable wireless connection to the Amazon stick. It’s time to install the Kodi program. First of all we need to download the Kodi APK by heading over the downloads page and grabbing it (APK Install option). The current stable release at the time of writing is v15.1 “Isengard”.
6. From the main window of the adbFire interface click the Install APK button. Select the APK file that you’ve just downloaded in the step above and click Yes on the resulting screen. Allow the application to complete its process over the wireless connection and install the Kodi APK on your your Amazon device.
Running the Kodi Application On Your Amazon Fire TV Stick
It’s all well and good going through the fairly intricate process of side loading the Kodi APK onto the wonderful underlying FireOS that powers the Amazon Fire TV Stick, but what good is it if you can’t invoke the app and enjoy the features that it brings? Exactly; it’s no good at all. Thankfully, it’s a walk in the park to run the now installed Kodi app.
1. On the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and using the accompanying remote control, use the left-hand menu on the home screen to scroll down and select the Settings option.
2. From within Settings, scroll to the right and select the Applications option. This is the part of the system that allows users to control manually installed applications as well as see a comprehensive list of all apps that have been installed, either manually or via the accompanying Amazon App Store.
3. From within the Applications contextual menu, scroll down using the remote control until you find the Manage All Installed Applications option. Select it to continue.
4. Now, scroll the list of installed applications until you locate the one you’re looking for. In this instance it will be listed under Kodi.
5. Select the Launch Application option after you’ve clicked the enter the Kodi/XMBC application above.
And there we have it. An extremely powerful and functional Amazon Fire TV Stick that now has a functioning version of the fantastic Kodi Open Source Home Theatre software running on it.
SEE ALSO: 20 Best Kodi Addons for 2015
If you face any issue while installing Kodi on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, feel free to ask in comments section.