Fire TV Stick 3 and Fire TV Stick Lite can sideload apps like Kodi and run Downloader

Among the first questions that people ask about every new Fire TV model is if Amazon has done anything to deter sideloading apps like Kodi. Rest assured that the new 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick and the Firestick Lite can sideload apps just as easily as every Fire TV model that came before them. My Downloader app runs perfectly right out of the box on these new devices. There is just one important difference about sideloading on these new devices that may be confusing to existing Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners.

Fire OS 7, which these two new Fire TV Sticks run, handles sideload a bit differently than Fire TVs running Fire OS 6, like the Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire OS 5, like the 1st and 2nd-gen Firesticks. This is because of changes made by Google in Android 9, which Fire OS 7 is based on. Instead of flipping a single setting to enable apps from unknown sources, you now have to enable installing apps from unknown sources for each app individually that is doing the installing.

So if you haven’t yet installed an app that sideloads, like Downloader, you will not find the option to enable apps from unknown sources in the Developer Options menu. You have to first install Downloader and only then can you enable it to install apps from unknown sources. It’s a minor difference but it was done this way by Google so that enabling the option no longer gives every app the privilege at once. Controlling it on an app-by-app basis is far more secure. Amazon first adopted this more secure method with the Fire TV Cube 2 and we can expect all Fire OS 7 devices to use this newer method.

If you need detailed step-by-step instructions for sideloading on any Fire TV model, see my sideloading guide, which has just been updated to include details regarding the new Fire TV Stick 3 and Fire TV Stick Lite.

  1. Paul says:

    This is exactly the kind of useful information that keeps me coming back to aftvnews Keep it coming.

  2. Keith says:

    Actually, the new “feature” sounds like a bit of a pain. I frequently sideload 5-8 apps at once using adblink. I’ll have to do this one at a time now. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ll be buying either of these 2 devices with the 4K being available at its price.

    • AZ says:

      either you’re full of it or don’t know what you’re doing… there is no way you are simultaneously installing apps on android so your use case scenario is likely hogwash. 1. the option only needs to be enabled once per source so unless you are installing 5-8 apps from 5-8 different sources then you’re complaining about going through all the difficult work of clicking a button once.
      2. even if you did have to install from 5-8 different sources you only have to enable installing from the source once which means you wont have to enable it again everytime you “frequently” sideload from the same sources.

      whether you’re being a contrarian or trying and failing to act like you’re a techie you failed.

    • You’re misunderstanding. You only need to enable the option once for the app that is doing the installing. Not for the app that you are installing. Also, this does not affect adblink at all because adblink does not use the “install from unknown sources” option. It uses the adb debugging option, so you’ll just need to enable adb debugging once, as usual, and you’re good to go.

      • Manny says:

        When I’m typing downloader in on my firestick lite it isn’t there at all to even download ? Where is it and why is this please

  3. rick dickens says:

    I love it about 6pm tonight.anyone needs I’m on kik at big_daddy_78_8753

  4. Mark Smith says:

    Hey Elias, wasn’t the pendant fire tv the 3? The 4th was the 4K. Or is Amazon using this number?

  5. Reno says:

    What’s the biggest difference with the two new devices compared to the 4k and older versions? Thank you for all the great info?

  6. Dom says:

    Why suddenly on this firestick lite are certain third party apps side-loading with no icon? What is the solution?

  7. Frankly Dankly says:

    I use Easy Fire Tools or Apps2fire to sideload apps on my Fire stick 4K. This allows me to do everything from my phone. The steps I use to install are to sideload apps from my download folder on my phone directly to my Fire stick.
    Will these apps continue working in Fire OS 7? Glad to see AFTVNews providing the pertinent info again!!

  8. Tim Mason-voss says:

    The issue I have is there is no image of the 3rd party apps, they work but you can’t see an image of the apps

  9. Rob says:

    The solution is to use Wolf Launcher and all your icons will appear.

  10. Dan says:

    Has anyone tried to run to sideload on a firestick lite? I’m having a problem. I didn’t have the problem the the regular firestick with volume control. I’m getting “storage permission required”.

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