While this is not the easiest or fastest way to sideload APKs onto a 1st-gen Fire TV, 2nd-gen Fire TV, or Fire TV Stick, it is the recommended method since it prepares you and your computer for all other guides and mods.
This is important for rooting because the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will try to update their software to an unrootable version during the initial setup process.
Recommended but not required It is highly recommended that you block Amazon’s update domains via your router or via a service like Open DNS. It is possible to complete the initial setup without blocking the update domains, but be aware that the Fire TV continuously tries to download updates, even when it does not indicate so on the screen.
ADB is a small utility used to remotely perform tasks on Android devices.
ADB is very handy and is used in nearly all guides on this site.
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Google is the company's fourth foray into social networking, following Google Buzz (launched 2010, retired in 2011), Google Friend Connect (launched 2008, retired by March 1, 2012), and Orkut (launched in 2004, as of 2013). Features included the ability to post photos and status updates to the stream or interest based communities, group different types of relationships (rather than simply "friends") into Circles, a multi-person instant messaging, text and video chat called Hangouts, events, location tagging, and the ability to edit and upload photos to private cloud-based albums.
This method uses an app called Downloader (free on the Fire TV Appstore) to download and install APKs directly onto a 1st-gen Fire TV, 2nd-gen Fire TV, 1st-gen Fire TV Stick, or 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick.
You do not need to use a computer at all and can sideload apps with just your remote controller.
If you proceed without blocking updates externally, you should get to the home screen as fast as possible and immediately block updates internally. Note that as Amazon releases new software versions, this guide may no longer work.
It is impossible to continuously test if this guide still works because I can’t possibly afford to buy a new Fire TV or Fire TV Stick every time Amazon updates the software version that their devices leave the factor with.
You only need a computer to transfer the APK files you want installed onto the USB drive.