10 tips and hidden functions to master the Amazon Fire TV

Efficient and inexpensive, Amazon Fire TV devices (Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, etc.) are among the simplest solutions to transform your TV into a connected TV at a lower cost.

But my Amazon platform, which provides access to the Prime Video catalog as well as many other streaming video platforms such as Netflix, Apple TV +, YouTube or even Disney +, hides a lot of secrets.

Beneath their apparent simplicity, Fire TV devices contain many features that are very often underused, if not completely ignored by users. Find out everything you need to know to have full control of your Fire TV.

Also to discover in video:

1. Use your smartphone as a remote control and keyboard

If you frequently lose your Fire TV remote control, be aware that while waiting to get your hands on it, you can still control it from your smartphone. How? ‘Or’ What ? Thanks to the official Fire TV app that Amazon offers for download on Android and iOS.

To make it work, however, your smartphone will need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Fire TV. Then just launch the application which, after a quick scan of your network, should find on its own the Fire TV connected to your TV.
After pressing the name of your Fire TV from the application, you will have a virtual remote control available on the screen of your smartphone.

You will then be able to navigate in the menus of the Fire TV, with quick and simplified access to the installed applications, but above all the possibility of using the virtual keyboard of your smartphone to enter text, essential for example, if you have to connect by entering a long password in an application (password that can be copied and pasted elsewhere).

2. Configure a keyboard, mouse or even a Bluetooth headset

In the same vein as what the Fire TV app on smartphones allows, you may well consider connecting a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your device.
This will allow you to use the built-in web browser on the Fire TV to browse the web from your TV. Note that it is also possible to connect a Bluetooth audio headset directly to the Amazon platform to enjoy the content you want to watch more discreetly.

To connect a new Bluetooth accessory to your Fire TV, go to the Settings, then enter the menu Bluetooth remote controls and devices.

Select Other bluetooth devices, then choose toAdd bluetooth devices.

Then make sure your keyboard, mouse, or headset is in pairing mode for the Fire TV to detect it. Select it and validate by pressing the round validation button on the remote control to pair your accessory with Amazon Fire TV.

3. Control your Fire TV by voice

You can control your Fire TV by voice in several ways. The first, by holding down the button representing a microphone, present on the remote control, then saying out loud what you want to do. Your Fire TV will run without even having to say Alexa.

Alternatively, if you have Amazon Echo connected speakers, or you use the Alexa app on your smartphone, you can also control your Fire TV, by invoking Alexa.

4. Use your photos as a screen saver

If you have a Fire TV, chances are you are a Prime subscriber. In addition to free shipping and delivery within one working day, the Prime subscription offers many other privileges: Prime Video, Amazon Music Prime, Prime Reading, or even Amazon Photos, an unlimited online storage offer for all your photos. .

For example, you can use it to sync all the photos from your Android smartphone or iPhone to it. But above all, you can configure your Fire TV to display a screen saver displaying images taken directly from Amazon Photos.

To do this, enter the Settings from Fire TV then go to the menu Display and sounds.

Then enter Screen saver, then select Screen saver in progress to define the images you want to show on your screensaver.

5. Create accounts for each user

If you have multiple members of your household watching Prime video content from Fire TV, it’s best to create multiple user profiles. In this way, each person will see recommendations corresponding to their tastes displayed in Fire TV, with Prime Video based on the content previously watched to display suggestions.

While it’s possible to create multiple profiles on Prime Video by signing into your account from your web browser, you can also do so directly from Fire TV.

To do this, run Prime Video, then at the top of the interface, go to the colored dot corresponding to your profile and choose the option Switch Profil.

You can then select another existing profile, or create a new one by selecting the button + « New » displayed on the right of the screen.

All you have to do is fill in the information for the new profile and then validate it by selecting the button Save.

6. Stream content from your smartphone to your TV

You might not know it, but your Fire TV can stream media from your smartphone to your TV.

Provided of course that your devices are all connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you will find in Android and iOS mobile applications like YouTube, Netflix, etc. a button to “cast” the content, like on a Chromecast device, to display it on your TV.

Find and tap the “caster” icon on your mobile apps. You should then be able to choose to Caster sur Fire TV.

7. Configure your Amazon Echo speakers on the Fire TV

If you have Amazon Echo smart speakers, you can use them to stream audio from your Fire TV.

To work, you will have to connect all your devices to the same Wi-Fi network. Then, open the Alexa application on your Android smartphone or your iPhone, and go to the tab Devices. Then press the button + at the top right and choose to Combine speakers.

8. Force restart from the remote control

Rather than going to Settings to perform a proper reboot of your Fire TV, it is possible to do it directly from the remote.

To do this, press and hold the validation button (located in the center of the circle-shaped navigation button) and the Play / Pause button for a few seconds. A message will then appear on the screen to let you know that your Fire TV is restarting.

9. Turn off ad tracking

By default, your Fire TV, like other Amazon devices, is set up to collect your usage data, including serving you targeted ads. However, you can turn off data collection very easily.

To do this, go to the Settings from Fire TV, then enter the menu Preferences.

Access the menu Privacy settings, then enter each option offered to disable the Device usage data, the collection of usage data, as well as Targeted advertisements.

10. Install Android applications from your smartphone

Amazon natively offers to install a number of applications on Fire TV. However, you may not always find what you are looking for.
Lucky for you, Fire TV runs on Fire OS, a modified version of Android. So that means Fire TV supports installing Android apps from APK files.

And while it’s possible to go directly through Fire TV’s built-in web browser to download APKs, there’s another way that’s less of a hassle: the sideloading. Concretely, you can use your Android smartphone to send the applications installed there to your Fire TV.

To do this, you need a specific application on your smartphone. There are several, but we have set our sights on Apps2Fire, a free application for Android.
To make it work with your smartphone and Fire TV, both devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Next, from your Fire TV, you need to enable ADB debugging and allow installation of apps from unknown sources.
To do this, enter the Settings from Fire TV and go to the menu Ma Fire TV.

Then enter the Developer options​​​​​​​.

Activate the ADB debugging (which allows you to connect remotely to your Fire TV), as well as the Applications from unknown sources.

When both of these options are enabled on Fire TV, open Apps2Fire on your smartphone. Drag all displayed tabs to the left to access the menu Installer.
Then press Fire TV Search. When Apps2Fire detects your Fire TV, an alert asking for permission to USB debugging will appear on your TV. Validate by choosing OK using the Fire TV remote.

Now, in Apps2Fire from your smartphone, go to the tab Local apps. Tap on the app you want to install on your Fire TV, then in the pop-up that appears, tap Installer.

Wait a few seconds for the application to be transferred between your smartphone and your Fire TV, then installed.
Note, however, that installing apps this way is not a safe science. Because the Android apps on your smartphone are intended to work on a mobile device, they may not work on your Fire TV.