Streaming is here and the Firestick is king. These tips work because we use them and they worked for us. Share one if you find one.
The Alexa Firestick with Volume Control is Worth It.
Ask Alexa to view live camera feeds or control lights, thermostats, and other compatible smart home devices with your Alexa Voice Remote. Learn more about compatible smart home devices here.
When you’re watching a movie, just ask Alexa “Hey Alexa, when was xxx movie made?” “Alexa, what else did Tom Cruise play in?” “Alexa what’s the weather for tomorrow in Sydney, Australia?” Alexa pauses the show, gives the answer, then restarts the show. Pretty cool.
What is an Alexa Skill?
Fire TV Cube, or the included Alexa Voice Remote that comes with Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K, already have a lot of helpful Alexa features built-in that they can do straight out of the box. Alexa can set a timer, tell jokes, give you a news update, and tell you the weather. Alexa Skills allow you to expand that list of tasks, and similar to apps, are created by third-party companies (see full list of Alexa Skills here or browse categories in the Alexa app.) All Alexa Skills are free, though some require a subscription service to unlock their full functionality.
How to talk to Alexa and enable an Alexa Skill
If you have a Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, or older version of Fire TV that came with an Alexa Voice Remote (if you see a microphone button at the top of your remote, you have an Alexa Voice Remote), simply press and hold the microphone button to talk to Alexa.
To get started with an Alexa Skill for the first time, you can simply ask Alexa on your Fire TV or Echo device, “Alexa, enable [name of skill].” And that’s it, the skill will open up from there.
Disable the Ad at the top of Firestick TV Launch
Another popular complaint among Firestick users is the annoying video ad that plays at the top of the home-screen. This usually auto-plays a movie or tv show trailer and can be irritating especially when the volume is on.
Luckily we can disable this “auto-play” and adjust so only still screenshots appear. Follow steps below to deactivate this feature:
From the home-screen, Open Settings> select Preferences>choose Featured Content>Turn Off “allow Video Autoplay” and “Allow Audio Aoutoplay” to display these ads silently.
Turn Off Firestick
Firestick and Fire TV devices do not have an option to Power or Turn Off. However, there is a “sleep” feature that can save power on your device and TV.
Amazon Fire TV devices have a set timer built into them. However, you can also enable the Sleep function manually by holding down the Home button and selecting Sleep.While this may seem like a simple feature, many do not know it exists! Use guide below for more information:
Ever Think Alexa is TOO Loud?
Have you found Alexa is way louder than your tv show? If I have the volume at the proper setting for her to speak I can barely hear the media once it begins to play, turn the volume up to correct the media volume and speak to Alex, and she is screaming so everyone in the house can hear her.
Simply press the mic button and say “Alexa, turn your voice down.” It went down for me.
Also, did you know if you whisper your request, she’ll whisper her reply.
Fire TV Remote App
Many Firestick owners express issues with the remote Amazon provides with this device. This includes not syncing, battery failure, and more.
Fortunately, there is an app users can install on their mobile device that works exactly like the Amazon remote control. This is available on all iOS devices including iPhone/iPad, Android, and Fire tablets. One of the best features of the app is the ability to use your phone’s keyboard to type which is much faster than the on-screen method.
Install Fire TV Stick Apps From Computer/Phone
To install apps on Firestick, you needn’t go through the hassle of switching on your TV, Firestick and then fiddling with your remote. As long as you are logged into the same Amazon account on your Fire TV stick, you can install the apps from your computer/smartphone. Either you can navigate to Amazon.com, search for your favorite Firestick apps and install them. Or if you have found some apps from a blog post or a website, then you can just click the link of that app to install on your Fire TV or Firestick.
Take Your Fire TV Stick on Vacation
It is possible to take a Fire TV Stick with you on holiday as you can connect it to hotel Wi-Fi, even if the internet requires additional details to log on, such as room number. It also works if you are a student, say, and need to share dorm Wi-Fi.
Just head to Settings>Network find the network you want to connect to and if more details need to be entered, a webpage will open with the additional boxes required by the hotel or public location. It works, therefore, much like a smartphone or tablet in that way.
Once the network connection is successful, the browser window will close and you can use the Fire TV Stick.
Change your Firestick Name to Use Phone Remote App
So you download the phone Fire TV app to give you a remote in your hand vs. loosing that little sucker all the time between your seat cushions (deep experience there). If you download the app the best part is the keypad is super fast. The pad is a little tricky. And you might notice if you have a bunch of Firesticks around the house they all have names like 1,2,3,4,5. Don’t change them from the device screen. You go to Amazon.com and change them in your profile settings. DON’T BE STUPID LIKE ME AND SPEND A HALF HOUR CHECKING THE FIRESTICK SETTINGS. IT’S NOT THERE. It’s on your Amazon account page.
Set Your Own Photos as the Screensaver
If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can use your own photos, taken on a smartphone or camera and stored on the Prime Photos cloud service, as your Fire TV screensaver.
Prime Photos is a free, unlimited cloud storage service for all Prime members, which can be set to store all of your smartphone pictures automatically, uploaded to through a browser or app, or linked with a Facebook and/or Twitter account to sync images posted socially.
You can find out more about Prime Photos and how to access your account here.
If you have photos stored on Prime Photos, they can be accessed via a Prime Photos app pre-installed on a Fire TV device. You can also set them to work as your screensaver.
A Fire TV Stick automatically scrolls through pretty pictures of scenery if you leave a menu screen static for too long. You can change the photos it shows by going to Settings > Display & Sounds > Screen Saver. Here you will see “Amazon Collection” as the default Album, click on it and you can change it to any collection or folder of your own images you have stored on Prime Photos.
You can also change the way the pictures move on screen, the speed they refresh and the time the screensaver kicks in.
Turn Off Menu Clicking
By default, the Fire TV menus click when you scroll through. You can turn this off by heading to Settings > Display & Sounds > Audio and turning Navigation Sounds to off.
Enable Bluetooth Headphones
Would you like to watch a late-night movie on your Fire TV without disturbing your kids or other family members? No worries. You can quickly connect your Bluetooth Headphones to your Firestick. Just navigate to Settings->Remotes & Bluetooth Devices. Then select Other Bluetooth Devices->Add Bluetooth Devices. Keep your Bluetooth headphone in pairing mode so that your Firestick can discover and connect to your wireless headphones.
If you’re wanting to catch up on your favorite show, The Office, but don’t want to disturb children who are napping or a significant other who is working, you can connect your Bluetooth headphones directly to your Fire TV. This also comes in handy if you want to pair Bluetooth speakers to a monitor or projector to watch Fire TV.
Here are the steps to pair a Bluetooth device:
1. Power ON your Bluetooth device and put it in pairing mode.
2. Turn on your TV or projector and switch to the input that accommodates your Fire TV.
3. On the Fire TV main screen, scroll UP and select Settings > Controllers and Bluetooth Devices > Other Bluetooth Devices.
4. Wait for your headphones or speaker name to appear in the Discovered Devices list. Once it does, select it and wait for pairing to complete.
5. That’s it, now you’re ready for personal TV time. To disable the connection, just turn the Bluetooth device off.
Hope you enjoyed this tip. I’m off to watch Kevin drop his famous chili, it gets me every time.
Uninstall Unwanted Apps
It’s easy to install apps – mainly through the homescreen or search – but less obvious as to how to uninstall them again if you want to clear some space for new downloads.
To uninstall an app, head to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications and scroll down to the app you want to delete. Click on it and you can see the uninstall option three lines down.
Use Shortcut to Access Settings
How will you navigate to the Settings menu on your Firestick? Majority of us would be clicking Home and then navigate to Settings using arrow buttons of Firestick remote. Actually, there is a quicker way to do that. Just press and hold Home button on your Firestick remote. Now, you will see the below options on your TV screen.
Restart Firestick Once in A While
Restarting the device is the easiest solution to fix any issue on an electronic device like TV, smartphone, and more. Of course, the rule is applicable to your Firestick as well. (Once when my Firestick remote was not working, I just switched off Firestick and restarted after a couple of minutes. Magic! The remote started to work) It is highly recommended to switch off and on your Firestick at least once in a while to make it run smoothly for a long time.
Jailbreak – 40 Best Amazon Fire Stick Apps to Ditch Your Cable TV with a Jailbroken Firestick
Heard the term Jailbreak? This site gets into it big time. While we don’t jailbreak our Firesticks you might want to – here are the apps for those types – Now that we are over with the basics of why we need FireStick apps, let’s start with our list. All of these applications have been categorized as well to give you a better idea of the exact purpose they’ll serve. Click Here