Two of the biggest app launches this year—HBO Max and Peacock—were hamstrung with availability issues. While both apps were able to launch on most streaming devices, neither HBO Max nor Peacock made it onto Roku or Fire Stick devices at launch. But while HBO Max officially launched with Fire TV in November, Peacock is still nowhere to be found. That means fans of The Office will have to sideload this app before the entire series leaves Netflix on January 1st. Thankfully, sideloading is quick and easy, and lets you watch any of Peacock’s shows and films on both paid and free accounts. Just use the link provided to install the Android TV version of the app, and you’ll be back to binging Parks and Rec in no time.
Anime is one of the most popular forms of entertainment around the world, with the art form only growing more mainstream with each passing year. If you’re interested in getting into anime, or you’re already a fan with your own favorite shows, you’ll need to grab a great unofficial app that lets you stream shows both new and old, and FireAnime is the perfect option.
Developed by an unofficial modder, FireAnime was designed for Android TV and Fire OS, and it’s the perfect application for streaming anime online to your device. The app has a solid interface, making it easy to discover and find new episodes and shows for binging, and the app is regularly updated through the platform’s subreddit online. As of the most recent update, the app now supports outside video players like MXPlayer or VLC, and can stream from multiple options online.
If you’re looking for the ultimate free application for watching live television and you’re willing to not just sideload an app, but to take the risk of using an app consisting of pirated material, Mobdro is your pick. With a great interface that’s easy to browse using the Fire remote, Mobdro is one of the best ways to watch live TV on your Fire Stick without the use of Kodi. It’s an app designed around being able to easily access streams of all your favorite channels, from live movies to news stations like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, to premium channels like HBO, to locals like ABC and NBC. The app takes most streams from the east coast, so plan on everything airing in Eastern time zones.
And of course, we should also mention that the app is delayed by a couple minutes, so expect your favorite shows, sports, and movies to start just a couple minutes after they usually do (in our test, most streams were delayed by about 120 seconds). You’ll be hard pressed to find any live TV app streaming online that doesn’t have a delay—even from official cable carriers—so in our opinion, it’s not a bad tradeoff.
For years, both Showbox and Terrarium TV were two go-to apps for anyone looking to watch movies online, but both have experienced intermittent shutdowns over the last year or so that make them inconsistent at best. Instead, consider checking out Tea TV, an app that has a great TV-friendly interface, with support for the Fire remote and the ability to stream unlimited movies over your network to your Fire Stick.
In our experience using the app, movies were quick and easy to load, the selections were kept up to date, and unlike on our Android devices, we had no issues with ads or playback. The menu system was clean and clear, and though navigation with the remote isn’t perfect, it’s easy to scroll through the standard menu layout to find the exact movie you’re looking for. Everything we tried streaming looked great too, with 1080p resolution coming in crystal clear. Tea TV is a great app, and we expect it only to grow more popular throughout 2020.
Look, none of the Fire TV devices are exactly powerhouses in performance, but most of Amazon’s newer Fire TV devices actually are powerful enough to run emulated games from the past few decades of gaming history. RetroArch is a great all-in-one emulator, capable of running almost any game system you could imagine. Whether you’re looking to revisit early Mario games or take on the ultimate RPG in Final Fantasy VI, RetroArch is the way to go.
Since your Fire Stick runs all Android apps, installing the Android version of the platform is all you need to get your collection of ROMs up and running. RetroArch is also fully legal too, though you’ll need to make sure you get your ROMs from actual copies of the game to stay outside of a legal grey area.
How could we finish off this list without including the ultimate Fire Stick application, Kodi? Originally known as XBMC, Kodi is an open-source home theater suite that allows you to completely replace your normal Fire Stick interface within the application. Kodi is a powerful piece of software on its own, and entirely legal when used properly. Of course, and much to the detriment of the development team behind Kodi, plenty of users do not stick to the usual options for Kodi services. Instead, using add-ons and builds, Kodi can become a powerful piece of piracy software, using applications designed to automatically stream movies, television shows, and basically any other media you could possibly imagine.
Whatever you choose to use Kodi for, there’s plenty of opportunities to make your Fire Stick work how you want. Whether you’re just looking to stream content over your local network (similar to Plex, originally a XMBC add-on that we’ll discuss below) or you want to go all out on installing add-ons, builds, and plenty of additional content through Kodi’s file browser, Kodi is basically a must-have utility for any media consumption device. Check out our favorite add-ons and builds for Kodi by following those links!
The Best City Building Games for the iPhone [October 2020]
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