Introducing Downloader — My first Fire TV app which makes sideloading dead simple

downloader-v1-0-1-101-app-header

Last week, I fired up a “how to make your first app” video on YouTube and I made my first app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. It’s called Downloader and it just got approved into the Fire TV appstore. Downloader’s purpose is to make sideloading apps on the Fire TV as easy as possible. The app simply has a URL field where you enter the URL of any file you want downloaded to your device. After the file has downloaded, it will automatically be installed if it’s an APK file. That’s it.

Being my first app, it’s nothing fancy (and probably buggy), but it does the job of sideloading Kodi, SPMC, or any APK file without needing anything but your Fire TV remote. Downloader achieves that task quicker and simpler than ES File Explorer, which is currently the most popular way to sideload apps, and that was my main goal with the app. I hope to find time to add additional features to the app in the near future. If you need it, you can find my guide to using the app here.

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69 comments
  1. Mitch says:

    Thank you! Sweet app! It would be cool if in an update you added a list of links to downloads for popular apps to make one click side loading even easier without typing

    • AFTVnews says:

      I definitely considered doing that, but I didn’t because that would make the app too much like an appstore, which may have had it rejected. I wanted to start with the bare-minimum set of features so that it didn’t have issues being approved. When I have time, I’ll add additional features.

      • Gyges says:

        Hey Elias,
        I think it’s safe to assume that a few download shortcuts are alright.
        Firestarter has had a Kodi downloader for ages, and even after Amazon’s intervention and the app being renamed to Appstarter its download and update routines remained untouched.

      • JXD says:

        Add dokan battle to this please I want to play it on my amazon fire so I’m never board

  2. clocks says:

    Good idea Mitch, though it would require more frequent updating by Elias.

  3. Infamous says:

    You could load a custom links list from a text file and just split the contents;

    Kodi:URL
    Spm:URL

    To have it faster without hard coding it in also?

    Again having a popular thing is good but if its hard coded and the URL changes its a lot of work to just change a link.

  4. Stank says:

    Very cool. Congrats on the app and thanks, Elias, for all that you do for the FTV community.

  5. TechyChris says:

    Very nice! A much needed app Elias…
    I only hope that in the future apps like this don’t run afoul of Amazon’s corporate policies whatever they may be at that time…

  6. Mark says:

    You wouldn’t always have to update the app if you just make the most recent version the same URL. Make the people who want specifically older versions of Kodi or whatnot type out a longer URL then.

  7. tech3475 says:

    Do you plan on making this open source? While I may never get round to it, I think there are things which could be implemented to make things easier e.g. HTTP server for downloading or accepting remote URLs from a desktop browser.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The app is so rudimentary, I don’t see the point of making it open source at this point, but maybe in the future if it grows. Besides, it’s not like there’s much there to build off of. I’m sure any real Android developer can recreate this app in an hour or two.

      If anyone reading this wants to improve on my simple concept, I encourage you to make/publish your own app and I’ll be more than happy to write about.

  8. Joe says:

    Fantastic, thank you Elias !!!

    My suggestion would be to interface your app to the apkmirrior site and allow searches and one-click download from ApkMirror

    • bad idea says:

      That would get it removed from Amazon’s app store.

      • AFTVnews says:

        I agree. My intention is not to make this app like an appstore. It’s more of a file manager that can install APKs, just like the numerous other file managers in the Fire TV appstore. Maybe after I get better at Android development I’ll try releasing another app thats core is to be an appstore alternative, just to see if Amazon approves it.

  9. JV says:

    Nice work, bud!

  10. John Hoper says:

    Keep up the good work!

  11. desmith says:

    Can you provide a link to the make your own app video you mentioned? Thanks

  12. Michael Parr says:

    Ive looked for it on my firstick apps, but cant seem to locate it, although the stick doesnt make it easy to find apps, with its catergories liketv, education, business etc……

  13. chihuahua says:

    Awesome work man! Thanks for all the hard work.

  14. Candice says:

    Would this work to get Vudu?

  15. MrMC says:

    Google Play for the Shield ?

  16. Rob says:

    is it possible to make this app download and install many apks inside a folder instead of just 1? I tried doing it using dropbox and it looks like it downloads them all but then gives a parse error at the install part.

  17. Tyler says:

    I think a very useful feature would be to have a bookmark feature. Then, whoever wants to can just upload current versions of their apps that they commonly install on FireTVs onto an FTP server and just bookmark the root of the folder that contains all the apks. I am already doing this with ES File explorer, but it does not have the feature of automatically installing. On that note, how does this program handle zipped apks? Does it unzip, then auto install??

  18. Gyges says:

    I just tested the app in combination with the official Fire TV Remote Control app.
    And I can happily confirm that address input via Fire TV app works fine, saving even more time.

  19. DGreenMon says:

    Hi there

    first of all good work really like what you have done here kept it simple so it gets passed

    can i make a suggestion couldnt be bothered to read through all the comments but i would suggest to have a built in file explorer but keep it simple again

    maybe even if under the address bar and download you have another tab call open es file explorer downloads

    or create your own file manager

  20. Chris Lucchesi says:

    has this been removed? Cant find it anywhere?

  21. tom42 says:

    You can use HFS to server files from PC to Fire TV

    http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/

    example http://192.168.1.2/somefile.apk

  22. Richard says:

    Can you make it so browser can funny screen so you can watch videos in full screen.

  23. Elisa says:

    I have a question. I reset my fire stick to factory settings. Then I went to settings and turned ADB and all that jazz. Then I downloaded the down loader. When I type it the url for kodi it proceeds to tell me connection error even though I am connected to the internet. Ive tried downloading kodi form ES explore, and I’ve been at this for 2 hours with no resolve. What is my problem ???

  24. Free Plax says:

    I have the issue as the commenter above. Trying to download Kodi and it just says connecting and never downloads anything. Any ideas?

  25. Mike says:

    Great app!!!!!
    One thing, is there a way to load this app on a Android phone.
    I side load multiple applications to the FireTV and Sticks.
    Can not find this specific app in the App store
    Any suggestions.
    Thank you

  26. james sandrovich says:

    when using downloader and after typing in the htpp:// path for kodi 17 instead of seeing download i see go. When i click on it, it throws me back out to downloader screen. I also see go when i am typing the path instead of next when done. Never had this problem before on other firetv boxes. Any help would be great

  27. james sandrovich says:

    on the downloader screen where you type in ural(http://) instead of download i have GO in the area where download should be. when i type the path and click on go it takes me back to downloader, why is this like that, i have downloader on other amazons and none have this Go where the download should be

  28. WatIZIT says:

    Any good url’s from anyone, a file explorer as mentioned would be great

  29. WatIZIT says:

    Any good url-s from anyone, a file-explorer as mentioned would be great

  30. GRANMA DEB says:

    2ND DOWNLOAD OF DOWNLOADER TO UPDATE MY BOSS’S FIRESTICK & I CAN’T GET THE KEY BOARD POP UP. WHEN I OPEN THE APP, I GET THE ADDRESS FIELD, A “GO” BUTTON, A REQUEST FOR FUNDING AND THE KEYBOARD LETTER UNDER. I CAN’T GET TO THE KEYBOARD AT THE BOTTOM, WHEN I CLICK ON THE URL SECTION, NOTHING HAPPENS.

  31. Russ says:

    @aftvnews

    Any chance we could have the .apk file to try on the Nvidia Shield TV please ??

    Thanks

  32. Eduardo Cuenca Jr. says:

    Yes I love it but need it for my Nvidia Shield TV PLEASE

  33. Daryl says:

    I can search for downloader, click on it and it shows in the store, but then clicking on the downloader app just gives a black screen. Can’t go any further than that. Rebooted the fire stick several times, can’t get past this point to actually install Downloader.

  34. Gary k says:

    Downloaded loads Kodi the first , when I go out and come back it wants me to reload Kodi again. Tried reloading downloaded but same thing happens every time. What am I doing wrong? I guess I will have go back to the old way.

  35. Chuck says:

    Anyway to make the screen not time out when leaving a website up. We use it as a dashboard. By the way amazing product the only app that I can get display a website full screen.

  36. Sam says:

    Does ANYONE have this APK to download? I’ve found this app to be very useful on the FTV box for more than what many use it for. I would like to put it on my Shield box. But it does not come up when I install the Amazon App store

  37. Sam says:

    I found it, nevermind

  38. Thomas Cook says:

    How do I download the app on my android box

  39. Dan says:

    Is this available on the play store?

  40. Tim says:

    Very well could be opperator error, but I can’t get video to play from a site. Could it be a flash problem?

  41. Tomy says:

    I have got this app on my firestick but mine says go instead of download? Is there a problem with it

  42. Gen says:

    I’ve deleted and reinstalled the app a few timea but every time I try and download something it gets stuck on “connecting” and never progresses. What gives?

  43. Aiden says:

    Every time i try to download something it gets stuck on connecting. Can you give me some help so I can get past this?

  44. PLawson says:

    Your app no longer works with Fire TV 3 (4K). Please update

  45. Rusty says:

    The new fire tv dongle has Downloader issues. Keeps telling me there’s no app to help with that when I try to download Kodi. I tried rebooting and reinstalling. Also tried without Downloaded and the .apk programs won’t install. Any suggestions?

  46. SHIRISH says:

    I am also unable to get downloaded app in my fire tv stick purchased last night only

    Also unable to access g drive on es file explorer giving error 303

    Can some pls help

  47. SHIRISH says:

    Unable to download downloaded app neither able to access g drive

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