After 7 beta versions and 4 release candidates, the final release version of Kodi 17, codenamed “Krypton,” is now available. You can download the Fire TV version here, but the easiest way to install the app is to use my Downloader app from the official Fire TV appstore and enter bit.ly/kodi17app in the app’s URL field. See my sideloading guide for detailed instructions. If you already have an older version of Kodi installed, installing the new version will update your previous installation and will preserve your settings, library, and user data. Read more ›
There has been a bit of false information and confusion circulating regarding sideloaded apps, like Kodi, on the new Fire TV and Fire TV Stick interface brought on by the 188.8.131.52 software update. First and foremost, you can still sideload 3rd party apps on the new version/interface just as easily as you’ve always been able to. Second, you can still launch sideloaded apps, including Kodi, from the Fire TV home screen. This includes both the “RECENT” section and the “YOUR APPS & GAMES” section. If you can’t figure out how to do this, here is what you need to know. Read more ›
Plex is the most popular media center app in the official Fire TV appstore and Kodi is the most popular one not in the appstore. Both have unique features, so many people use both apps. If you’re among those people, you’ll be intrigued to hear that Plex has just release an official Kodi add-on that provides access to Plex from within Kodi. Since the add-on uses Kodi’s media player, Plex says it “enables powerfully advanced knob twisting and lever sliding to fine tune playback.” There were always ways to combine Plex and Kodi, and MrMC even added built-in Plex support a few months back, but it’s always nice to have official support from Plex themselves. The new Plex add-on is currently only available to Plex Pass subscribers, but it will be available to everyone soon.
The only Kodi fork in the official Amazon appstore, MrMC, has just pushed a new v2.7 update to their media center app. The biggest addition brought by this new version is support for Plex Cloud and Plex Music to the app’s built-in Plex integration. Also present is a fix for AC3 audio passthrough for older 1st-generation Fire TV devices and a new option to sort content by when it was last played. See the full list of additions and bug fixes on the app’s Amazon page.
The most common question I’m getting about the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is whether or now Amazon has done anything to block sideloading apps or running Kodi. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t look like anything has changed with either of those two things on the new device. You can sideload 3rd-party apps just like you can on all Fire TV models. Kodi is working on the Fire TV Stick 2 and appears on the home screen. Read more ›
A new report from Cord Cutters News claims that “sources close to the new Fire TV OS” say Amazon will block all 3rd-party apps (i.e., sideloaded apps) like Kodi from being installed on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The “new Fire TV OS” being referred to is likely the upcoming interface redesign expected later this year. I’ve reached out to Amazon regarding this article and they’ve told me the rumor is wrong and that there is no change planned for 3rd-party app support on the Fire TV. Read more ›
A new app called TruMC was just added into the official Amazon Fire TV appstore. It is a clone of Kodi / MrMC that I recommend everyone avoids. TruMC appears to be nothing more than a copy of an outdated version of MrMC. The app’s developer, and I use that term very loosely, went as far as to copy and paste MrMC’s app description, and even forgot to replace one instance of “MrMC” with “TruMC.” The app didn’t even do a good job of ripping off MrMC because some features, like resolution and refresh rate switching, don’t work and cause the app to crash. TruMC’s app description lists a link to the app’s supposed source code on GitHub, but the source is just a dump of a very outdated version of Kodi, which doesn’t match the app in the appstore. Read more ›
SPMC, one of the most popular Kodi forks, has added support for 4K playback and refresh rate switching on the Amazon Fire TV to a new test version. MrMC was the first to bring these much sought after features to the Fire TV, and now SPMC is following suit. There are still some bugs to workout, but if you’d like to try it out on your own device, you can find the latest test version here. You can install this test version alongside the stable SPMC version, without overriding or effecting an existing SPMC installation, because the two versions have different package names, and will therefore be treated as two different apps by the Fire TV.
When all the bugs are worked out, the final version with 4K and refresh rate switching support on the Fire TV will be version 16.5.0, so keep an eye out for that if you would rather wait for the stable public version. If you have the means, please consider donating to koying, the sole developer of SPMC, to thank him for his continued support of Fire TV devices.
If you’ve sideloaded the latest version of Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick recently, you may have run into a little quirk that causes the “first run help” dialogue to appear everytime you launch the app, even though it’s not the first time you’ve run it. This is one of those things that I’ve personally experienced, but never got to the bottom of, because it eventually seems to just work itself out. Thanks to reddit user kilnvideo, I now know the cause and the easy fix. If you always leave Kodi by pressing the Home or Back button on your remote, and never properly exit the app, it never gets a chance to record that you’ve launched it at least once. So the way to get the “first run help” message to never appear again is to simply exit Kodi properly, by using the power icon in the lower left of the Kodi home screen, at least once.
MrMC, the only forked version of Kodi in the official Fire TV appstore, has just been updated to version 2.4 with a bunch of great new features. For starters, MrMC can now run at a resolution of 2160p, making it the first Fire TV app capable of playing local 4K content at full resolution. The update also brings true support for refresh rate switching to the Fire TV for the first time. This is a feature that home theater enthusiasts have been begging for ever since the Fire TV first launched, and even Amazon’s own video player doesn’t support it. With refresh rate switching enabled, MrMC will automatically change the Fire TV’s refresh rate to match the frame rate of the video being played. This greatly reduces or entirely eliminates visual artifacts caused by 3:2 pulldown and screen tearing. As if 4K support and refresh rate switching weren’t enough, the new update also adds a built in Plex client, as well as a LightEffects client to support Ambilight-style LED lighting. Read more ›
MrMC, the only forked version of Kodi that is in the official Fire TV appstore, has reduced the app’s price from $6.99 to $5.99, and it now also runs on Fire tablets. I’m told by the developers that the price was lowered to $5.99 because it was simpler to use a single binary for both tablets and the Fire TV, so the Fire TV price was lowered to match their usual tablet app prices, instead of raising the tablet price to match their usual TV app prices. For comparison, MrMC remains $6.99 on the Apple TV and $5.99 on iPhone/iPad because iOS devices use separate MrMC binaries for the two platforms. While the new price is certainly still too high for most Kodi users, since Kodi is available to sideload for free, having an official app is worth it for some. Read more ›
It appears Amazon is trying to learn more about how Fire TV owners in Germany use Kodi. An AFTVnews reader in Germany forwarded me an email he received from Amazon.de asking him to complete a survey in exchange for a €3 credit. While the email says the survey is intended to measure general customer satisfaction with the Fire TV, the URL of the survey reveals the study’s name to be Kodi de, indicating its true purpose is likely to guage Kodi usage among Fire TV owners. Read more ›
A shortage of Android developers among the Kodi team is putting the future of Kodi on Android and the Fire TV in jeopardy. In a blog post, Nathan Betzen, president of the XBMC Foundation and a project manager on Kodi, put a call out for Android developers, stating “we can’t stress this enough, if we don’t get an Android dev soon, Kodi for Android could very well die out. This is a significant future problem.” Other than code being contributed back into Kodi by the developers of SPMC and MrMC, there is currently no one working on the Android version of Kodi. If new Android developers join the team, their first task would be “to simply port the work done on SPMC and MrMC into Kodi.” Both forked apps are thankfully open source projects. In the developer of SPMC’s own words, “Kodi on Android is on life support.” Read more ›
Yesterday’s post about MrMC, the first forked version of Kodi to make it into the Amazon Fire TV appstore, has resulted in a heated discussion. A little more than a day since that post went up, it has become the fastest post to reach over 100 comments. Discussion participants seem to either support MrMC’s developers and praise what they’ve accomplished, or berate them for charging money for an app that is readily available for free. After reading all 100+ comments, and researching MrMC further, I wholeheartedly support MrMC’s developers and you should too. Read more ›
MrMC has just been approved into the Amazon Fire TV appstore. MrMC is a modified version of Kodi, the popular media app that Amazon notably removed from their Android appstore. While Kodi was once in Amazon’s appstore for Android devices, it, nor any of its clones, ever made it into the Fire TV appstore. That makes MrMC the first Kodi app of any kind to make it into the official Fire TV appstore. MrMC is compatible with 1st and 2nd generation Fire TV’s, as well as Fire TV Sticks, but it does appear to require Fire OS 5. Read more ›
Now that we know what changes software update 184.108.40.206 makes on the surface, I began sifting through this update in more detail, as I usually do, to see if it hides any secrets below the surface. One thing I discovered is that Amazon explicitly showed Kodi some love with this update. There is a bit of new code, that’s literally called AddKodiToRecent, which runs after the new software update is installed. This code checks to see if Kodi is installed on the Fire TV and deliberately makes it so Kodi appears as the first item in the “Recent” list on the Fire TV home screen, regardless of when you last launched Kodi. No other app receives this special treatment and highlight. Now that Amazon has introduced an app blacklist, leaving Kodi users wondering if their beloved app is next on the chopping block, it’s reassuring to see Amazon explicitly do something positive for Fire TV owners who use Kodi.
To verify my findings I took a Fire TV 2 running 5.0.5 and performed a factory reset. Then I installed Kodi and never launched it. I then let it update to 220.127.116.11 and sure enough, Kodi appeared as the first item in the Recent list, despite it never being launched.
Software update 18.104.22.168 has added the ability for sideloaded apps, like Kodi, to appear on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s Home screen in the “Recent” list. Some people are finding that, even after the update, Kodi is not appearing on the Home screen. This isn’t because Kodi is being blocked or disabled or anything like that. Here’s how to correct the glitch and make Kodi show up on your device’s Home screen. Read more ›
XDA forum members tobenary and Ewle have both confirmed that KingRoot seems to be the cause for their Kodi installation to crash, 25 minutes into watching a video stream, on their Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. After uninstalling Kinguser, the SU permission handler that KingRoot installs, both have reported the crashing has stopped. If you’ve rooted with KingRoot and are experiencing Kodi crashes, try uninstalling KingRoot and KingUser to resolve the issue. It’s not being rooted that is causing the crash, but something about Kinguser specifically being present. Read more ›
If you’ve followed my guide to move Kodi’s data to external storage on a 1st-gen Fire TV, you’ll probably find all your Kodi settings and data are gone after your device updates to the new 5.0.5 software version. That’s because Fire OS 5 changes the 1st-gen Fire TV’s path for external USB storage from /storage/extUsb to /storage/usbdisk, so Kodi can’t find your data after the update. The good news is, it’s an easy fix to restore your Kodi data, and here’s how to do it. Read more ›
Developer is0-mick has created a working proof of concept which uses the Fire TV’s voice capabilities to perform a voice search within Kodi. The mod requires a rooted Fire TV to work and is not inteded to be used in practice at its current development stage. That’s because, among other reasons, the mod completely disables the Fire TV’s default home interface, and relies on kodi being used as the only front-end app. It does this because it needs to replace the Fire TV’s default launcher with a dummy app of the same name in order to intercept the voice search results. We’re likely not going to see a mod which simply adds voice search capabilities into Kodi, while maintaining all other Fire TV functionality, anytime soon, but this mod is a fantastic first step to a feature request that Fire TV owners have been requesting since the device first launched.
Despite numerous enhancements through various software updates, the Fire TV’s voice capabilities are still limited to the default home interface. Fire TV owners have long yearned for the ability to use voice dictation within third-party apps in place of the onscreen keyboard. The Apple TV, in comparison, will be gaining voice dictation, which can be used for any text field including passwords, in its upcoming 9.2 software update. With any luck, this proof of concept, combined with the Apple TV beating them to the punch, will encourage Amazon to add universal voice dictation to the Fire TV.