Downloader app v1.1.1 update for Fire TV adds built-in Web Browser

I am very excited to announce the latest version of my Downloader app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The big new feature of this 1.1.1 version is a built-in web browser. The browser allows you to easily navigate websites using the Fire TV remote without needing a mouse or keyboard. Downloading files is available through the browser so you no longer need to know the direct download URL to the file you want to download or the APK you want to install. You can just navigate to any website and click a download link to get the file you want.

Lon Seidman has created a great video showing off the new browser feature and how to use it to easily install Kodi. I’ve been a long time subscriber of Lon’s YouTube channel and I cannot recommend it enough. As Lon mentions in his video, by sheer serendipity, the first Fire TV I ever owned was originally his which he reviewed and sold to me afterwards.

Just like before, if you know the direct URL of a file you want to download, you can still enter it on the app’s home screen and download files that way. That is still the fastest way to install APKs, but the Downloader app now detects if a URL you enter leads to a web page and asks if you want to load the page in the built-in web browser. You can also open the browser directly from the menu on the left and enter URLs to open from there as well. For those who need it, I’ve updated my sideloading guide with step-by-step instructions for using either a direct URL or the new browser.

The built-in browser uses an on-screen cursor, that acts like a mouse pointer, to navigate around websites. You move the cursor around the screen with the circle direction buttons on the Fire TV remote and you click by pressing the center select button on the remote. If you move the cursor to the edge of a web page, it will automatically scroll in that direction, but you can also scroll up and down by pressing the fast forward and rewind buttons on the remote. Lastly, you can move back and forward through the history of pages you’ve visited using the back and play buttons on the remote.

Johannes Bramauer, the developer I’ve hired to help me with my Downloader app, did a great job with the new browser. The original intention of the browser was to just make it possible to download files from pages that don’t provide direct URLs to their files, like apkmirror.com and apkpure.com, but it works so well that I think it can even be used to just generally browse the web on your TV. I like using it enough that I’m planning to add favorites/bookmarks in the next version to save on the amount of typing that has to be done.

It’s worth noting that the browser has JavaScript disabled by default, but you can enable it in the app’s settings menu. So if you load a web page that doesn’t look or work right, like the search button on apkmirror.com, you probably need to enable JavaScript. There is also an option to always open web page URLs in the browser without being asked if that was your intention.

I’m really happy with the new version of Downloader and I hope everyone finds it even more useful than before. Being able to just browse to and click a download link, instead of having to know and type in the exact download URL of the APK file you want, should make sideloading even easier. Thank you to everyone who has donated through the donation buttons on the app’s home screen. It is completely thanks to your generosity that I am able to add new features like the browser, while still keeping the app 100% free without any ads. Please consider donating so that I can continue to add new features and improve the app. You can see a list of all the changes in this new version, as well as download the APK for sideloading on non-Fire TV devices, at AFTVnews.com/Downloader.

ShareTweetShare+1

51 comments
  1. Daedwar1 says:

    This is a game changer.

  2. Fjtorres says:

    For the favorites and bookmarks: how about importing them from a text file you can sideload/download?

    Even less typing.
    Or, just storing them in a plain text file so you don’t need any import code, just sideload the starter config file?

    • AFTVnews says:

      Importing (and exporting) will absolutely be included when favorites get added to the app. I plan to allow importing via a local text file on the device or via a URL. When importing favorites from a URL, it won’t even need to be a downloadable file. For example, you’ll be able to just list URLs on Pastebin, like this, and import by entering the Pastebin URL.

  3. Playngmax says:

    I upgraded to the nvidia shield. Would ur app work on it?

    • AFTVnews says:

      I have not tried it on any Android TV devices yet, but I do want to look into getting it in the Google Play Store eventually. I want to add a few more features first before working on porting it over.

      • REDZMAN says:

        I also recently dumped My Fire TV and got a Nvidia Shield Pro 2017 model for about 40 bucks off the retail price. It would be excellent if you put that App out on here so I could use it and support you from there. My only complaint with that device at all is the remote.

  4. Wrecks says:

    After all these years of saying that a browser isn’t a good idea on the Fire TV, Elias, you have changed your tune.

    • cdlenfert says:

      I was kind of thinking the same thing :) When you are directly involved in building something I think can tend to change your opinion of it.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Haha, I’m definitely understanding now why so many people have asked me about browsers for the Fire TV. While adding the browser into the Downloader app, I never thought people would even consider using it to really browse the internet. It’s purpose was to strictly be a tool to get to otherwise inaccessible download links. But then, while testing the browser on various sites, I found myself actually using it to read articles and pulling up pages here and there when my phone wasn’t nearby.

      Anyway, the main purpose of the browser is to download files, but I’m now not against adding features that make it a better general browser for surfing the web.

  5. Gareth Price says:

    Good addition but does indeed need bookmarks /favourites, however as a general Web browser then it also needs the ability to go full screen

    • AFTVnews says:

      Agreed. Text size control/zooming and the ability to control if a mobile or desktop version (user agent switch) of a page is loaded would be good additions as well. I don’t think I’d add much more than that though.

      • Gareth Price says:

        Your response has prompted me to make a donation to further this development Elias!

        • AFTVnews says:

          Thanks Gareth. The focus of the app will still be downloading and sideloading, so browser improvements won’t be a priority right now. I’ll add favorites/bookmarks in the next update, but I’m not sure when the other browser improvements will come, since there are other features related to the app’s focus that will be added first. If that effects your decision to donate, I encourage you to request a refund from Amazon and reconsider donating once the other browser improvements are added.

  6. garyh says:

    when I enter kodi.tv to browse to that works ok but when I click on download link nothing happens. browser won’t go to the download page. My device is fire tv box 2nd generation.

  7. TechyChris says:

    I suspect the web browsing feature within Downloader is quickly going to become very popular. Elias are you planning on giving the browser its own name? (perhaps a viewer naming contest!)

  8. Richard says:

    Is there a trick to getting the app to update? I went into settings/my account/sync.

  9. whyroot says:

    The app is great but the video from Lon Seidman doesn’t do much to negate the general narrative that Kodi is only used to view pirated content (streamed or torrent downloads). The video he is viewing is The Expanse ripped and published by SVA group. Grrrr. Puts a taint on the Downloader app as an enabler of pirates. It might be viewed as a small mistep but this is the kind of evidence that the content and copyright holders jump on.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Lon has made numerous videos about the proper/legal uses of Kodi. Since reviewing Downloader and showing how to use it to sideload was the subject of the video, and not Kodi itself, I think it was the right decision to not go into any details about Kodi. As for the file he briefly plays in the video, I do know he has an HDHomeRun with a cablecard and a cable subscription, which he has demonstrated numerous time in the past, so he certainly has the setup to legally DVR The Expanse for personal viewing. Obviously, it would have been ideal if he used a personal recording of the episode and not, what looks like, a downloaded version, but I feel he is ethically in the clear.

  10. Jon says:

    How about some way to make the browser full screen without the navigation bar on the left side?

  11. Masterblaster says:

    “The Expanse” can be streamed legally from Syfi.com add-on from the main Kodi repository.

    Elias as always Excellent Work sir

  12. hdmkv says:

    Thanks to Elias for his simple, yet extremely handy app. I made a leanback shortcut app for use on nVidia Shield, Mi Box & Nexus Player. All my app does is point to & open Elias’ app (which doesn’t show up on home screen). So, make sure you have both this and Elias’ Downloader app installed.

    Downloader shortcut app for Android TV: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwxFVkl63-lEeE4xeVY5UzhESTg

  13. Jonathan Ryan says:

    Two other suggestions. Pour a built in favorites/most used menu that comes with the browser ( not just ones we can create, links already there for the first or most popular stuff people need).

    Also and more important, upload also. I need to edit my advanced settings.xml file on Jodie and my sources file ( special directories doesn’t always work) so the option to upload the files, locally edit and download would be great. Or even better, edit them on the fire tv itself, but that’s a lot more complex.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I won’t be adding any sort of “popular” or “suggested” links to the app because that would turn it into an appstore, which may get it removed from the Amazon Appstore. Once favorites are added, anyone will be able to create and share their own list of “top apps” that you can choose to import yourself if you’d like, but I won’t be providing any such lists in the app by default.

      As for uploads, I do want to support more ways of getting files on (and off) of the Fire TV in the future.

  14. Hoosiertech says:

    I just love the mouse pointer inside the browser. I’m not sure if you can tweak the pointer to be a bit slower, it is a bit hard to pinpoint spots as the circle move around really quick.

    I wish more applications for Firetv would implement this ability.

    It would only let me push this to my FireTV devices, how hard would it be to get this app approved to also be able to install on Fire Tablets? This would be great to use on them to sideload apps also.

  15. JediMike says:

    Thanks for including a browser in the updated app. I had to donate to show my appreciation. Keep up the good work.
    One question how do I enter a website address in the browser ? I do see where I can add it in the “home” screen, but it’s not intuitive on the “browser” screen

  16. Mr P says:

    Great app, something the Fire TV needs to make it more user friendly in this regard. Sadly I dumped mine as I now live in a non-Amazon account country and, despite being subscribed to Amazon Prime Video (International version) I can’t watch media I’m legally subscribed to on an Amazon device!!! WTF!! How dumb is that. For Prime Video the LAST thing you want is an Amazon device. NVidia Shield – can, iPhone – can, laptop – can. Fire TV – no! Epic fail Amazon!!

    And no, I don’t want to use a VPN (which of course includes the expense of paying for the service AND a DD-WRT router) just to use a device because Amazon can’t be bothered to pull their finger out.

    People ask me about devices these days the absolute LAST device I suggest them getting unless they live in an Amazon account country is a Fire TV

  17. Donald says:

    Will the mouse function work on other apps or just this app like KODI? I already have a mouse for Fire TV remote installed, will this clash with your app?

  18. Philip J J says:

    The web browser feature is a quantum leap for the Downloader, I cannot wait to try it out.

    You are right about the traditional Android web browser offerings, they do not work well because nobody thought about interfacing them to the Fire TV Remote.

    Having a bookmarks feature will be the icing on the cake. Keep up the great work guys!

  19. Ricardo Arcila says:

    Suggestion for zip support not sure if it works or not but that would be cool to download a care package of apks on archive.org and download all in a zip and install all at once

  20. Donald George says:

    This doesn’t have a search function in the browser to find the apk.. IF I have to type in the exact URL, its no better then the add function in ES file explorer. Did i miss the search somewhere? ES lets me manage my files better, especially if I do alot of downloads.

  21. George says:

    Hey i’m trying to make a tutorial on my website kodiguide. For that i need to install your Downloader app on a simple Android Box, but seems that i can’t find any links to download it there. Even tried to install Amazon Underground on the TV-Box but it doesn’t show up in the Search results. Can you place a direct download link on your website? That would be great. Thanks. By the way i create Kodi Tutorials, if you have any ideas i would like to feature your products on my YT channel and website. contact me.

  22. Russ says:

    Please can I test the apk file on my Nvidia shield tv…I tried it on a friends firestick and love it :)

    Please share apk link :)

    • Russ says:

      Edit:

      So I found the link to version 1.1.2 and tested it on the shield tv.

      Bugs found are:

      When downloaded an apk within the app it says “no app found to handle this file” so can’t install the apk.

      APK-Auto-install not working (related to bug listed above)

      When selecting the favourites menu on the left panel and selecting a favourite the app crashes.

      I will test for more bugs…
      Would be nice to be able to set the browser homepage to page of your choice also.

      If the bugs could be fixed this would be a great universal downloaded app for all android devices :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*




Get notified of new posts

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.