Sideloading Apps to your Android TV Box or Fire Stick

Sideloading Apps to your Android TV Box or Fire Stick

One of the biggest complaints we hear is that people already have an app on their phone or tablet and they want to have it on their Fire device. The whole parallel Amazon Appstore/Google Play store paradigm certainly is frustrating and this trick allows you to easily shuttle an app right off your phone to your Fire.

First, download and install Apps2Fire from the Google Play store here. Launch the app and then tap on the menu button in the upper left corner.

Within the menu select “Setup” and on the follow screen enter the IP address of your Fire device.

Once you click save you’ll have two options for transferring apps. First, you can click on the + symbol in the upper right corner of the screen and select any APK file on your Android device via the file browser. The APK you select via this method does not need to be an application already installed on your device which means any APK you downloaded and saved to your device is fair game.

The second method involves selecting an app you’ve actually downloaded and installed from the Google Play store. To do so tap on the menu button again and select “Upload Apps.”

Select any app by tapping on it and it will transfer automatically.

Unfortunately unlike the command line ADB tool the Apps2Fire app has no feedback mechanism for version failure; if you upload a new app that isn’t compatibility with Android 4.2.2 there is no error message and you only know the installation failed because the app never appears on the Fire device.

That said, it’s a really easy way to transfer apps with no command line work necessary. Let’s take a look at where to find your apps once you’ve transferred them to the Fire device.

Launching Your Apps on the Fire TV
Once the apps are installed on the Fire TV it’s just a matter of finding them. Alas they don’t appear in the top-level “Apps” category in the main Fire TV menu. Instead they in the Settings -> Applications menu.

Once there select “Manage Installed Applications” to pull up a list of all installed apps. Browse to the application you pushed over (either via the ADB command line or the Apps2Fire app) and select it by pressing the center button on your Fire TV remote (or enter on your keyboard if you’re using one).

From the application submenu, select “Launch application.” Your application will launch just like it would on any other Android device.

That’s all there is to it! Not every application makes the jump smoothly from a touch-based device like a tablet to the TV-centric Fire TV system but many apps work just fine without any adjustment (while others require the use of a controller or keyboard for full functionality). It costs nothing to try an app you already have out, however, so if you’d like the app on your TV via way of the Fire give it a shot.