For anyone who has ever looked at or purchased an Amazon Fire Stick, you know that apps make up a huge part of its appeal. Based on Android, the Fire Stick allows you to enjoy a number of streaming options on your TV. However, you should not feel limited to just streaming, as a wide range of apps exist that you can take advantage of. Here’s a look at five of the best apps you should have on your Amazon Fire Stick.
Are you someone who loves going down to your local library and borrowing books? Hoopla is the Fire Stick app for you.
Offered by local public libraries, there are more than 800,000 ebooks, music titles, movies, TV shows and comics available. Not only can you rent the music, movies, and TV show titles for your Fire Stick and watch and listen to them on your TV, but the app also allows you to read the ebooks and comics on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
The title selection is available 24/7, and with no late fees, can be kept until you are finished. Streaming is instant, and you will not have to wait for anyone to “return” an eBook ahead of you. Just make sure you have your library card handy!
Aggregating news sources from all over the world, Haystack is a great way to keep in touch with world events directly from your Fire Stick.
Between local, national and international news, you can find updates from media giants like FOX, CNN, AP, BBC, NYTimes, MSNBC and more. In total, there are more than 300 sources from around the world compiled through Haystack. Want to narrow your listening to a more defined topic? There are hubs for current events, politics, tech, business, entertainment, finance and more. Select the topics, categories and sources you want to follow, and Haystack will do the rest to curate selections for you.
Advanced users of the Amazon Fire Stick know that Amazon’s App Store is the tip of the iceberg. Sideloading is better known as a way to get apps and files from other sources onto your Fire Stick. To do that, you’ll need an app like Downloader.
You can think of it as some kind of a browser that allows you to search for apps not pre-loaded in the default Amazon store that will still work on the Fire Stick. You will need to find APK files from somewhere on the Internet, but in doing so, you can expand the capabilities of your Fire Stick exponentially. Everything from games to other streaming services can be loaded and used within a few minutes time.
There is a good chance you already own quite a bit of media on your computer that you would love to stream to a TV. Enter Plex. Everything from movies, TV shows, photos and home videos can be streamed directly from your TV to your Fire Stick and TV using Plex.
Essentially acting as a method to remotely access your personal media library, Plex is a hugely popular app and one of the best for remote streaming. Plex also includes more than 80 free channels of live programming. It does require a little bit of setup ahead of time for the media server, but the free app is full of opportunity. Dive even deeper into the app with Plex Pass, and you can unlock even more capabilities.
Gamers are likely already intimately familiar with Twitch and its huge selection of video game streams.
An Amazon owned property, Twitch has carved out a huge niche in the video-game-streaming space and for good reason. You can watch other gamers play everything from Minecraft, Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA and everything in between every minute of every day.
The app does lack a few of the features of the website, but that’s okay considering you can watch gaming on the biggest screen in your home. Navigating the app is incredibly intuitive leaving you with almost no learning curve, so you can jump right into a stream. On top of video game streams, regular partnerships with video game developers and partners make for even more enjoyable content.
Our list of the best apps for the Amazon Fire Stick is in no way conclusive, as there are still plenty of useful apps in Amazon Store. Hopefully, each of these apps gives you a small sense of how powerful and entertaining the Fire Stick can be. If you are deciding between a Fire Stick and a Chromecast, check out our comparison here.