Workaround for Sideloading apps on the Echo Show 15 has been discovered

When Amazon added Fire TV capabilities to the Echo Show 15, it went out of its way to block the ability to install apps from unknown sources, a.k.a. sideloading apps, through the traditional Fire TV methods. With the ability to make ADB connections to the Echo Show 15 and the ability to grant permission for apps from unknown sources both missing from the device, it seemed like there was no way to sideload apps. However, it appears as though Amazon left a loophole in place that can be used to sideload apps in a roundabout way.

Full guide for How to Sideload Apps on the Echo Show 15 can be found here.

While there is no way to grant an app, like my Downloader app, the ability to install APK files from unknown sources, AFTVnews reader Super Street Racing discovered that one of the default android system apps on the Echo Show 15 already has the ability enabled by default. Installed by default on the Echo Show 15 is Google’s File Manager app. It is among many default Android system apps that are present on the Echo Show 15 but have been hidden by Amazon as they generally serve no purpose for Echo Show 15 users.

It turns out you can use another app, like one of the many file/app managers available in the Amazon Appstore, to launch the default Android File Manager. When you do, you’ll find that it, by default, has permission to access the device’s Download folder and install APK files from that directory. So, one just needs to get an APK file into the folder using a download manager or file explorer from the Amazon Appstore and then use the default file manager to install it.

I’m guessing that leaving this behavior present on the Echo Show 15 was not done intentionally by Amazon, given that traditional sideloading methods were removed. I expect that a future software update for the Echo Show 15 will patch this sideloading workaround. Until then, enjoy being able to install any APK you want on the Echo Show 15.

21 comments
  1. Victor A says:

    I tried but on installing my apk got error to allow permission to install which usually takes you to Settings on regular FireTV but Echo 15, not having access to Developer Tools on my device won’t let me complete installation.

    Help please

  2. Anthony Rossetti says:

    Do you know if the micro USB on the back of the echo show 15 can be used with an OTG adapter to plug in peripherals such as flash drives, mice, keyboard for use with fire TV mode?

    • Supercar Street Racing on Youtube says:

      Highly doubtful the USB on all devices are disabled to customers. Those are for service only.

      • Anthony Rossetti says:

        yeah this is true but we have never had a fire TV mode on an echo show device before so maybe there is a chance

  3. Glad to have found this for the community. Make sure you get everything installed now before they patch and remove the ability.

  4. Stefan Richter says:

    Hi! Thank you for this great tip which worked very well for my first Echo Show 15. Unfortunately, I have a message warning me that Downloader is not compatible on my second one. Same firmware, same account, but I’m unable to download it. Did Amazon already block your app?

  5. Rafael M Ayala says:

    I already installed Kodi with his method. Now I need someone to tell me about configuring a remote app like zank or something like that to control the programs. I’ll have to buy the remote, but for now need to configure this.

  6. Louis Brett says:

    I’ve tried sideloading an apk that works on a fire tv and I get an error “There was a problem parsing the package”. Is this because it’s built for a different platform?

  7. Jorge says:

    Sideloaded apps do not work with remote control

  8. Supercar Street Racing on Youtube says:

    People are saying that downloader has been pulled and they blocked it.

  9. Anthony Rossetti says:

    I have heard a new law just passed in EU that is forcing Apple to allow side loading on their devices with IOS 17
    I wonder if that will effect Amazon as well
    and if it will come to other countries or effect other countries as the law that makes them have to use USB C will

  10. lenin says:

    why do they block something that will sell more devices… whast the logic here?

    • Anthony Rossetti says:

      Well in Amazons case they sell their devices at cost or even at a loss hoping they will recoup the revenue when you buy their content.
      With Apple it is little bit of a different story,
      but yeah I suspect Apple will be selling a lot more ipads once IOS 17 comes out and allows sideloading.
      although it is almost kinda too late because now we are seeing pretty impressive hardware for cheaper prices like the new rk3588 chip
      which is great for emulators that were a pain to use on ipads because of 3 sideloaded app limit
      of course it is no way near as good as a bionic chip but the price is so much lower and it is pretty great for the price and you can only do so much with emulation, especially on IOS even with sideloading

  11. My workaround video is live as you can NO LONGER install Downloader just like I thought would eventually happen. Please see the workaround here.

    https://youtu.be/nccVeCpNn4M

  12. Stergios Papapavlos says:

    Looks like it’s been patched as of last update. Files is no longer showing on device.

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