How Fire Stick apps can reinvent your TV
Fire Stick apps are perfect for Amazon Fire Stick users who appreciate flexible, on-demand entertainment. Ditching cable has never been easier, and streaming services enjoy the cord-cutters’ attention. Initially, streaming sticks’ purpose was to revamp “dumb TVs” or make awkward interfaces more intuitive. Now, they revamp smart TVs, offer 4K resolution, and expand functionality. However, FireStick apps take a step further and are essential for splendid viewing experiences. Besides the perks floating on the surface, there is a deeper advantage to getting a streaming stick. While smart TV manufacturers are infamous for skipping updates, your stick will not. Let’s observe the essential FireStick apps and overall benefits of revamping your TV with Amazon Fire Stick.
Fire Stick benefits to modern cord-cutters
- A portable device you can take anywhere. Hotels might not upgrade their TVs, meaning that antique devices can offer limited support. Fire Sticks are incredibly travel-friendly as you will have no issue fitting them in your suitcase. As long as the TV in your room has access to the internet and an HDMI port, you will get the home-cinema effect.
- Alexa is here to help. Fire Sticks come with Alexa support, meaning that you can make voice commands to your TV. The convenient assistant will save you time by automatically loading recommendations for apps or new movies. If you wish to transform your residence into a smart home, this streaming stick is an excellent contribution.
- More jailbreaking options are available. Your Fire Stick can accept third-party apps that it does not support naturally. By enabling apps from unknown sources, you can follow a simple routine to get any app you want. Before that, you should download the Downloader app from the Amazon App Store. However, please bear in mind that not all third-parties apps are trustworthy. Fake or little-known apps could take part in malicious activities. Hence, before jailbreaking your Fire Stick for an app, find convincing evidence of its reliability.
- Intuitive and smoother interface. Even modern smart TVs can operate with clumsy and old-fashioned menus. Besides being difficult to navigate, their app selection could feature a small portion of available software. For instance, Panasonic OLED presents fantastic quality and color rendering, but its interface is a nightmare. The only way to make the TV more flexible is to use a streaming stick.
FireStick apps for streamers
Pluto TV: popular channels live for free
Looking for an app for FireStick that will allow you to watch over 100 channels live? Pluto TV is here to help. It is a free service, mostly focusing on the live broadcasts of the most popular TV channels. However, it also supplies a regularly updated library filled with TV shows and movies. So, without paying a dime, you can enjoy thousands of entertainment options. Bear in mind that as a free service, Pluto TV will serve you online ads throughout streaming. Furthermore, signing up for Pluto TV will unlock additional channels and customization options. Considering its perks, online ads and account creation are a small price to pay.
Kodi: the free Netflix’s cousin
Kodi is not one of the apps that you can install in the same manner as Netflix. Amazon Fire Stick does not support Kodi, and it is not among the available apps automatically. Therefore, Kodi requires more setup, such as getting a Downloader app. However, the service might be worth the hassle. It is free and supplies more than enough content to fill your autumn evenings.
IMDb TV: free streaming
IMDb TV (formerly FreeDive) is Amazon’s initiative, offering an ad-supported streaming service. All content is available without subscriptions and is compatible with Fire Stick. It is notable that Amazon now has two streaming services: Prime and IMDb TV. However, Prime relies on subscriptions, and FreeDive follows the AVOD model (ad-supported video-on-demand). So, it would be a waste not to try this free streaming service on your device.
Vudu: pay for what you watch
Most on-demand streaming Fire Stick apps require a monthly subscription. The price remains the same, even if you don’t watch anything. Vudu takes a different approach and focuses on the rent-and-pay model. Instead of making identical recurring payments, you only pay for the titles you watch. However, Vudu is a freemium service, meaning that you will have the option to stream over 10,000 movies for free. If you are unwilling to commit to a streaming service, explore Vudu. Most of the films go for $9.99, but the prices depend on a specific movie. However, renting can cost only $0.99.
Fire TV apps for game lovers
Twitch: see famous gamers on the big screen
This app for FireStick will surely become a favorite if you are into watching gameplay streams. You can enjoy live and recorded videos, interact with the community, customize your experience, and more. Besides viewing live gamers’ streams in a more theatrical setting, you can tune in to explore other events. Twitch broadcasts esports and game-related events, giving you continuous access to entertainment.
FireStick as a gaming console?
Besides traditional apps, Amazon Fire TV can substitute for a video game console. You can connect your PlayStation and Xbox controllers. Then, simply pick games from the Amazon store. You can explore various 2D and 3D games, such as Crazy Taxi, Sonic CD, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Hungry Shark Evolution, and many more. So, while FireStick won’t replace professional video game consoles, it gives you a chance to play classic titles without them.
The latest news without cable
CBS News 24/7
CBS News is instantly available among your Fire Stick apps. It supplies around-the-clock coverage on the breaking news worldwide. You can also explore the on-demand feature and catch recaps of previous broadcasts, documentaries, or original reporting. Users won’t need to sign up for the service, and all segments are completely free. If you like staying informed of the latest news, CBS News is the app for you.
News app (Amazon’s free app)
However, CBS News only presents coverage and reports from CBS. If you like exploring several providers, this Amazon’s News app is worth a try. You can watch reports from Bloomberg, Reuters, People, and dozens of other providers. Users can easily browse the content by topic or find trending stories. Furthermore, you can launch the News apps via a voice command “Alexa, play the news.”
There’s a FireStick app for that
Audible is an app for Fire Stick that every reading fanatic should get. It contains an extensive library of audiobooks ideal for anyone struggling to find time for traditional reading. Among the classic titles, you will always find fresh content to listen to. Readers can also take a break by listening to original podcasts. Audible is a paid service, meaning that you will need a subscription.
TuneIn Radio gives you access to the most popular radio stations worldwide. So, you can browse through more than 100,000 stations. In addition to that, you will have access to podcasts and talk shows on-demand. If you want to explore the music culture in foreign countries, TuneIn Radio will surely help you. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the app also features a Coronavirus News channel, presenting reports from across top-rated national networks.
TED TV is suitable for anyone interested in watching the thought-provoking TED talks on-demand. The app presents thousands of curious, shocking, and inspiring videos free-of-charge. As soon as you open it on your Fire TV, you will see recommendations for the trending topics. Additionally, new talks appear daily, meaning you will always find something to watch. If you haven’t explored TED TV just yet, it has the potential to become one of your favorite apps.
Shudder TV is not your typical streaming service. Instead of supplying dozens of genres, Shudder focuses on horror and thriller titles. The suspenseful and bloodcurdling movies are perfect for anyone looking for a good scare. So, if you are looking for a never-ending stream of chilling movies and series, Shudder TV is for you.
Silk is a web browser that replicates most of the traditional features. You can enter URLs, view bookmarks, save passwords, etc. The cursor moves according to directional buttons on the remote, which can be uncomfortable. Nevertheless, browsers on TVs never had the best reputation. They can be laggy and not worth the hassle. But if you crave that web browsing experience on your TV, Silk is a decent option.
Final note: geo-restrictions and security
As you can see, finding the perfect app for FireStick means navigating through a bunch of free and paid apps. Furthermore, it might be that some services operate with strict geo-restrictions. Luckily, you can bypass such blocks by using a VPN. Through this service, you can manipulate your geo-location reflected through your IP address.
It is that simple: connect to one of the VPN servers and start exploring. As a bonus, a VPN will encrypt all web traffic, making it impossible for online entities to eavesdrop on your activities. Hence, this anonymity-guaranteed tool is a necessity for all your gadgets, especially smartphones and computers.
Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.