20 things to do first when setting up any new Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick device

Here is a list of 20 things you should do, or at least consider doing, when you first set up a new Amazon Fire TV device. This list covers a wide range of things from configurations to improve picture quality, settings that reduce internal storage usage, options that protect your privacy, methods to make setup quicker, and much more. Read more ›

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How to stop an Alexa icon from quickly appearing and disappearing in the Android Notification Tray

If you have an Android phone and have the Alexa app installed on it, you may have noticed that a tiny Alexa icon will occasionally appear in the notification tray, to the left of the time, and then quickly disappear. If it annoys you, here is how to stop that from happening. Read more ›

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How to cast YouTube to the Amazon Echo Show from an iPhone or Android phone

Now that the Amazon Echo Show has gained both Amazon Silk and Firefox browsers, it’s once again possible to watch YouTube videos on the device. Unfortunately, the mobile interface of YouTube that loads in these browsers isn’t exactly ideal for a device like the Echo Show. Thankfully, with just a little bit of initial setup, it’s possible to cast YouTube videos from mobile devices, like iPhones and Android phones, to the Echo Show. If you don’t mind using a phone to start and control videos, casting is a much better way to watch YouTube videos on the Echo Show. Here’s how to get it working. Read more ›

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How to stream Dolby Atmos surround sound on Amazon Fire TV devices

Yesterday’s premiere of Amazon’s latest original series, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, marked the arrival of the first Prime Video content to support Dolby Atmos surround sound. Some Fire TV owners eager to finally fully utilize their advanced home theater audio equipment have been perplexed to find that the new TV series isn’t lighting up the Dolby Atmos indicator on their A/V receiver. That’s because Dolby Atmos is not automatically enabled, like other surround sound formats, and must be manually selected. Read more ›

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How to change the Alexa wake word and ESP behavior of an Amazon Fire HD 8 / HD 10 tablet

Now that Show Mode and the new Show Mode Dock have been released for Amazon’s Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets, there’s now more reason than ever to use the hands-free Alexa capabilities of these tablets. If you’re looking to change the Alexa wake word on one of these tablets and are confused to not find the setting in the Alexa app, which is where it is changed for all Echo devices, here is how to do it on a Fire tablet. If you’re wanting to change the wake word because the tablet is not working well with another Alexa device nearby, there is an ESP Behavior setting you can adjust as well. Read more ›

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How to install sideloaded apps like Kodi on the Amazon Fire TV Cube, Box, or Stick

Since many will be looking for a fresh guide on installing 3rd-party apps like Kodi on Amazon Fire TV devices, now that the new Fire TV Cube has been released, here is a new 2018 all-in-one guide for sideloading apps on any Fire TV device, including the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV boxes 1 and 2, 4K Fire TV pendant, Firestick, and both Element or Toshiba Fire TV Edition televisions. Read more ›

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New 2018 guide for installing Google Play Store on a ROOTED Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

A user by the name of rainman74 on XDA has just posted a new guide for installing the Google Play Store and Google Services on a rooted Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. For apps that are not available in the Amazon appstore, it’s usually a lot simpler to just sideload them on Fire TV devices than to install the Google Play Store, but that’s not always an option, especially for paid apps. For those scenarios, this guide should give you the access you need. Remember, your device must be rooted to follow this guide. To learn if your device can be rooted and how to do it, see my rooting guide. Note that this new Google Play Store guide instructs you to install the ARM64 version of GApps for Fire TV Boxes, but that’s actually incorrect. Only Fire TV 2 owners should install the ARM64 version, while all other devices, including the Fire TV 1 box, should use the ARM version.

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How to watch YouTube TV on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

Due to the ongoing spat between Amazon and Google, it’s unlikely that YouTube TV will officially be available on Amazon Fire TV devices anytime soon. Note that I’m referring to the YouTube TV paid subscription cable service, not regular YouTube, the free video sharing site, which is still and has always been accessible on Fire TV devices. Fire TV owners who are subscribed to Google’s over-the-top streaming subscription service have tried sideloading the official YouTube TV app, taken from Android TV devices, onto their Fire TV devices but haven’t had luck getting it to work. Now, an unofficial YouTube TV app, made by an independent third-party developer, has appeared that works on Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. Here’s how to install and configure the app. Read more ›

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How to set and use Alexa as the default voice assistant on an Android device


This guide will show you how to configure an Android device to use Alexa as the default voice assistant. Read more ›

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How to continue using DirecTV Now on older 1st-Gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks

Earlier this week, DirecTV Now dropped support for the 1st generation Amazon Fire TV and the 1st generation Fire TV Stick. Several people have reported that the latest version of the DirecTV app works fine on these older devices if you sideload the app. You can use my Downloader app to sideload the app by entering the URL bit.ly/dtvfireapk or bit.ly/dtvfireapkmirror on the app’s home screen. For those of you who need detailed step-by-step instructions on how to sideload the app, see this guide. Just be sure to substitute the URLs from this post. There’s no way to know how long DirecTV Now will work with this method, but for now it does seem to work.

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