The most common question I get asked for any new Fire TV hardware is: can you sideload 3rd-party apps like Kodi? The upcoming Fire TV Edition televisions, which run the Fire TV’s operating system without the need of a set-top box or Stick, are no exception. All indication so far is that these televisions will function very much like a Fire TV set-top box, but the question of whether you can sideload apps like Kodi remains. While we won’t know for certain until the televisions ship later this year, I have found evidence that indicates both sideloading and Kodi will work with Fire TV Edition televisions.
I have found a Kodi log file (which has since been taken down but is cached by Google here) uploaded from an unknown Fire TV device that identifies itself as an “Amazon AFTRS.” As with the leaked AFTN next generation model, we know this is a Fire TV device because all Fire TV models have a build model value that starts with AFT and ends with characters that match the device’s codename. It’s worth noting that this new AFTRS device is the first time a Fire TV device has used two characters, “RS” in this case, to represent the codename.
Unlike the leaked AFTN device, which was running an OS based on Android 7.1, this AFTRS device is running an OS based on Android 5.1.1, which matches the Fire TV’s current OS. Based on the fact that this unknown device is running Fire OS 5 and several other characteristics revealed by the log file, like CPU and GPU information, I am very confident this new AFTRS device is one of the soon to be released Fire TV Edition televisions from Westinghouse, Seiki, or Element.
I suspect the “R” in AFTRS represents the codename for all Fire TV Edition televisions, while the extra “S” character identifies either the model or generation of the television. In the same way that Amazon instructions developers to check for a model value that starts with “AFT” to identify that the device is a Fire TV model, I suspect developers will be able to check for model values that start with “AFTR” to identify Fire TV Edition televisions.
Given that an Amazon employee or beta tester with a Fire TV Edition television has already installed Kodi on the device, it’s fairly safe to assume you’ll be able to sideload 3rd-party apps like Kodi onto the device, just as you can with all other Fire TV models. This was certainly to be expected, since Amazon has shown no indication of disabling sideloading or blocking Kodi on Fire OS, but it’s still nice to find evidence first hand.