The Amazon Fire Stick offers people a way to bring the Amazon Fire TV experience to their own television set. This small stick device connects to the television’s HDMI slot and allows it to provide a number of smart TV experiences. Getting the most out of an Amazon Fire Stick requires understanding the many ways that it can be used to deliver entertainment to a household.
Go Beyond Prime Video
It’s a common misconception that Amazon’s Prime Video is the only streaming service that someone can access via the Fire TV stick. Explore other streaming services to expand the media that’s available to the device if nothing on Prime Video looks appealing for movie or show night. Variety is definitely key when it comes to getting the most out of this type of investment. Support for new streaming services may get added down the road, so keep a close eye out for any new additions.
Use a VPN for Access to More Content
Depending on where the Amazon Fire user is, they may run into playback errors that indicate that the media is not accessible in that country. This situation occurs due to something called region-locking or geo-blocking. When a user tries to access the file, the system checks their location against the allowable areas. If they fall outside of these parameters, they won’t be able to view the videos.
VPN for Amazon Fire TV stick has technology in place that gets around these restrictions. It makes the user’s traffic go to a new location that does have the rights to see that content. The geoblocking goes away and with a sufficiently fast VPN service, it’s possible to stream the media without a problem. As far as the streaming service goes, the user is from the country that is able to access this information.
Enhance Functionality with Amazon Fire Stick Apps
Amazon Fire Stick has a robust app library that includes many types of functionality. These apps take it far beyond a streaming television stick, and help it become a truly smart device. Apps are frequently added to the marketplace, so Fire Stick users will have a lot to look forward to with this feature.
Turn the Amazon Fire Stick Into a Fun Video Game Console
One app category that’s particularly exciting is the video game section. Many of these games are based on mobile experiences, as they’re often adapted from the Fire tablet version of the game. It’s difficult to control the video games from the remote control, but it’s compatible with a gamepad accessory or a wired third-party gamepad. There is plenty of fun, family-friendly games to make this functionality worthwhile for new users.
Get Apps From Outside of the Amazon App Store
The Amazon App store isn’t the only place to get apps for the Fire Stick, it’s just the only official place to do so. However, the Fire operating systems are based on Android, so APK files that work on the Android operating system are compatible with this device. This functionality is for technically advanced people only, as it requires turning on developer mode and allowing for third-party application sources.
One consideration to keep in mind with this move is that it does open Fire Stick users up to potential malware. If the APK file is compromised or infected, then it can spread throughout the network. It’s important to weigh the risks and rewards on whether this is worth it for a particular app, or if the user is better off sticking with the default protection settings. All it takes is one time of failing to detect a threat to end up with an Amazon device that is filled with viruses and other problematic software.
Since these applications are not designed for the Amazon Fire Stick specifically, people may run into a few that don’t work right. In some cases, reinstalling the application or rebooting the device helps. In other circumstances, it’s impossible to get a particular app working since it wasn’t designed for the Fire Stick’s user interface.
Set Up Display Mirroring
The Amazon Fire Stick can mirror the display off of a tablet or a smartphone, which is useful for showing media that is not on a supported streaming service. Rather than going without that content, a Fire user can push it to the television to make it convenient to watch.
Trying Out Kodi for a Media Server
Third-party media server software often has many advantages when it comes to the first-party options, and Kodi is no exception to this rule. For households that have a lot of media that’s already downloaded and available for watching, software like Kodi is essential for accessing these files. Amazon Fire Stick users have to be a bit more technically savvy than most in order to use this software on the network, and it might take a bit of trial and error to figure out the configuration and how to best use it. Once it’s set up, however, people have convenient access to an entire collection of media without needing to go through the trouble of accessing it through an intermediary device for streaming.
Using Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon has a powerful cloud computing empire at its feet, and some of that functionality is available for the Amazon Fire Stick. The Cloud Drive service is a cloud-based storage option that can work well with saving personal videos to watch later. Since it’s an Amazon service, accessing and using it is a smooth and seamless experience. This feature is particularly useful for people who enjoy having cloud-based access to their media files and other data.
The Amazon Fire Stick has plenty of features and does a great job at turning dumb televisions into smart ones. While people may get tired of accessing streaming content services through individual apps, it does make it easier to see when new services get added to Amazon’s app store and help everything stay properly organized.