21 Amazon Fire TV Tips for Streaming Fans
Not everything in the Amazon Fire family is lit. The Fire Phone went out a long time ago. But on the media hubs front, Amazon has done very well with its lineup.
The pricier devices offer more bells and whistles, of course, but the average user won’t see that much difference on the screen. The interfaces are the same across the product line, and all iterations use apps and games you can get directly from Amazon.
What’s really important is the sheer number of media services they support: Amazon Video and Prime Music (naturally), Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO (but not HBO Max), Crackle, E! Now, FX Now, Showtime Anytime, Cartoon Network, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, PBS, A&E, Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox News, NBC, and Sling TV, to name only a few. You can even order an Uber or a Domino’s Pizza.
There’s a plethora of games on the platform. No one’s claiming Amazon’s devices are going to replace a PlayStation or Xbox for game quality, but Fire TV devices are a fraction of the price of the big consoles, as are the games.
There is a lot to love about Fire TV devices. There’s also a lot about them you may not know. Keep reading for a closer look at some tricks and tips Fire TV owners will love.
Change the Name
Whenever you buy an Amazon-made device like a Kindle or Amazon assigns it a name. This also happens for Kindle and Audible accounts across devices. That’s a lot of confusion if you have a lot of the same devices and accounts, particularly if you buy apps or content and want to make sure they get delivered to the right device.
It’s easy to change the names of all your Amazon devices. In the browser, go to the Manage Your Content and Devices page(Opens in a new window) and select the Devices tab. Click your device and select the Edit link. In the pop-up window, change the name to whatever works best for you.
Delete Voice Recordings
Amazon stores recordings of everything you request as a voice search to your Fire TV in order to improve accuracy. You can delete the recordings, though, even though it “may degrade your experience using the voice features,” according to Amazon’s warning.
On the Manage Your Content and Devices page(Opens in a new window), select your device and click Delete Voice Recordings > Delete. You can also delete these voice searches one at a time using the Amazon Alexa mobile app—go into Settings > Account Settings > History, click on an entry for something you said, and then click Delete recording.
Clear Your Data
Amazon knows a lot about your shopping habits, and if you have a Fire TV, it also knows what you’ve been watching and listening to. To clear out that data every once in awhile, open the Fire TV interface and navigate to Settings > Applications > Managed Installed Applications. Select an app like Amazon Music or Prime Video and select Clear data or Clear cache to begin anew.
Stop Advertising in Its Tracks
You can’t stop the Fire TV from advertising but you can stop it from tracking you for advertisement purposes. Turn off targeting by going to Settings > Preferences > Privacy Settings > Internet-Based Ads and turn it off. Here, you can also turn off the ability for the Amazon Appstore to collect information on the frequency and duration of use of downloaded apps.
Talk to the TV
And why are your voice searches available via the Alexa app? Because Fire TV works with Amazon’s digital voice assistant. You can talk to it in the app, via the remote, and the Fire TV Cube with built-in Alexa access. You can also control Fire TV with a nearby Alexa-compatible speaker. Just say something like “Alexa, play The Boys” or “Alexa, open Netflix.” Here’s how to set it up.
Fire TV Remote App
The original Fire TV Stick did not have a voice search option. Correct that or just make your other Fire TV devices easier to operate by downloading the Fire TV remote app (Android(Opens in a new window) or iOS(Opens in a new window)).
The phone will need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the Amazon Fire TV to work; if you have a dual-band network, make sure your phone and Fire are both on the same frequency, either 2.4 or 5GHz. When you first fire up the app, the name of your Fire TV should appear on the smartphone screen. Tap it, then punch in the four-digit code that comes up on the TV screen and it’ll give you complete control.
The app provides just as much control as the included remote plus the full on-screen smartphone keyboard for entering info like user names and passwords. There’s also a microphone for Fire TV voice capabilities. In short, the app will make you wonder why Amazon bothered making a hardware remote.