Streaming Devices

How to Install Google Play on a Fire TV Stick

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick as well as Fire TV devices are among the best on the market. Not only can you stream music and also TV shows via popular web services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but you can also sideload many Android apps ontothe device too. However, there’s one “app” that you might be particularly interested in adding: the Google Play Store. You can install Google Play on a Fire TV Stickor Fire TV in several different ways.

We’ve conducted some research on how to effectively add the Google Play Store to yourFire TV Stick. What we’ve found is a good method, which works with a rooted Fire TV as well as a method that can work without a rooted Fire TV. We’ve also suggested a few alternatives to adding Google Play that will still allow you to get your favorite Android apps on your Fire TV.

You might also be interested in other Fire TV installation guides we have available:

Contents

Before We Proceed

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How to Install Google Play on a Fire TV Stick

There are some things you’ll be willing to consider before installing the Google Play appon your Fire TV.

First, it’s crucial to note that many of the apps you might be trying to access through Google Play are already available as separate APK files. There’s a good chance that youcan sideload these apps without going through the somewhat lengthy process to addthe Google Play app.

Furthermore, the Google Play app is not specifically designed to work well with theFire TV. Even after installation, some apps might not show up, while others might show up that don’t actually work with the Fire TV operating system. Although most Android-based apps do work with Fire TV, as Fire TV is indeed running a versionof Android, it’s not always a perfect match.

Finally, the Google Play app does have a tendency to update. When that happens, you may find that the version you’re using losing functionality or may stop workingthe same way. Unlike most sideloaded apps, the Google Play app works quite differently, so it’s crucial to understand there are always going to be some limitations to how well this will work for you.

Best Method: Unrooted Fire TV Via File Manager

If you’re not into rooting your device, this method may work for you.

  • First, change your system settings. Go to Settings
  • Click on Developer Options
  • Click to enable Apps from Unknown Sources and ADB Debugging

These three simply steps will prepare your device to obtain apps that are not found on theAmazon App Store. Next, you’ll need to download and install a file manager. There are several available. However, we’ll be using ES File Explorer.

  • Go to your Amazon App Store and download ES File Explorer

Next, we’ll need to download a set of APK files that you’ll need get the Google PlayStore up and running. Unlike most other sideloaded apps, the Google Play Storerequires several files.

Download each one of these files:

The best way to do this is to download and install each file directly through ESFile Explorer.

Hit the Plus Symbol in your ES File Explorer, then enter in the shortened versionof each link below. We’ve just provided the full-length version of each download link incase, for whatever reason, our shortened versions don’t work for you. ES File Explorerwill give you the option to download the file, and then the option to install the fileonce the download is done.

Google Account Manager 5.1-1743759

Google Services Framework 5.1-1743759

Google Play Services 10.0.84 (230-137749526)

Google Play Store 7.5.08.M-all [0] [PR] 146162341

The Google Play Store app will only be fully functional once you have all of these APK files installed. The additional files connect to Google Play Services, and your Googleaccount so you can properly log into Google Play.

Sideloading on Amazon Fire TV: Alternatives to GooglePlay

While it’s good to install Google Play on a Fire TV Stick, you might be better off usingother methods to sideload Google apps onto your Amazon Fire TV Stick. Here are a few methods, which might offer better outcomes.

Alternative 1: Use Apps2Fire

The Apps2Fire program is an excellent Android-based app that will allow you to send your phone’s or tablet’s apps directly to your Amazon Fire TV Stick. One significant limitation to this, however, is that the apps have to be ones that are installed and running on your Android device. This means you cannot send and install the files directly to your Fire TV Stick if it’s just an APK file. However, this should not be an issue, considering you can always uninstall the app from your Android device once you’re doing sending it over to your Fire TV.

To use this method, do the following:

  • Go to your Amazon Fire TV Stick Settings
  • Click on Developer options
  • Click to enable Apps from Unknown Sources and ADB Debugging
  • Get back to Settings and go to About
  • Click on Network
  • Copy down your Amazon Fire TV Stick’s IP Address

ADB debugging is particularly crucial here, as it is what enables you to connect tothe Fire TV Stick over a wifi connection, and allows you to install apps directly fromyour Android device.

Next, do the following:

  • Install Apps2Fire (Original) onto your Android device (tablet or phone). It’s crucial that you use the app labeled Original here. There are several clones on the Google Play Store
  • Open your Apps2Fire app
  • Slide the menu bar at the top until you see Setup
  • Enter Setup, and then enter your Fire TV Stick IP Address where it says “IP address of your FireTV”

To install new apps, go to the Local Apps tab. There, click on any app, such as your Kodi app, and then click Install. This will send that file on over to your FireTV Stick and install it for you.

Alternative 2: Directly Download and Install APK Files

Your second alternative follows the same steps as the technique you would use to installGoogle Play. However, instead of downloading and installing the Google Play APKfiles, you would download and install any Android app’s APK file.

You can find many different APK files using the following resources:

You can directly download any APK file and install it using the same process as listed above. Simply change out the web address to the specific web address for thedownloadable file of your choice. We highly recommend using a link shortener, for example Bit.ly or Goo.gl, so you save yourself some time trying to type in the links using your FireTV remote.

You can also save your APK files to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or DropBox, and connect to these from your ES File Explorer File Manager app. This will allow you to download these files directly from your online filestorage, and cut out the longer process required to type in the web addresses each time for the downloads.

Safety Concerns With APK Files

One major reason certified app stores exist is to back vet programs and avert virus issues. Although some apps you might find in an app store can still carry viruses (often through the advertisement placements), in most cases, the apps on any given app store will be verified and safe to download.

This security measure is not always going to be in place when downloading APK files and installing those files onto your Fire TV Stick. When you use alternative methods, you’re putting your trust in both the users who uploaded the files as well as thewebsites hosting them to make sure the programs are virus-free.

Unfortunately, there is no real guarantee that you’ll be free from viruses when usingAPKs downloaded from various websites. We really trust the websites for APKs listed above, but even then, you should be cautious.

You’d better test each APK you download using a virus scanning software first, before getting down to sideload it onto your Fire TV Stick. There are a large number oftrustworthy virus programs out there that will do this for you. Just make sure you’ve checked each APK file before attempting to install it onto your system.

Sideloading on Fire TV: Commonly Asked Questions

Wondering whether it’s ok to install Google Play or other apps onto your AmazonFire TV Stick that are not normally available? Here are a few frequently asked questions, which might help clear up some confusion.

What is “sideloading”?

Sideloading is the term used for installing programs onto your device from outside of the normal process. All of the methods mentioned above appear to be a form of sideloading. When using those methods, you’re installing a program that is not normally available, using alternative programs from outside of the Fire TV operating system’s normal method.

Will sideloading void my warranty?

Sideloading is absolutely acceptable and should not void your warranty. As you’ll note, Amazon makes these developer options available to anyone. Amazon typically disallows the ability to sideload without first changing the developer settings because Amazonhas certain apps that are guaranteed to work with its device.

Is sideloading legal?

Similar to the warranty issue, sideloading is also perfectly legal.

Will every android app work on Fire TV?

Unfortunately, no. Even if you download different apps from Google Play, or installthem from an APK, there is no guarantee that they will work on your Fire TV Stick. The apps available on your Amazon App Store are verified to work with thedevice. Any other app, such as those sideloaded using Apps2Fire, may not work, as they may not be programmed to work with the Fire TV operating system. Although Fire TV and Fire TV Stick use a modified version of Android, there are differences, which might make numerous Android apps incompatible.

Are there alternatives to ES File Explorer?

Yes! Another popular option is Total Commander. Although Total Commander features fewer options, which ES File Explorer, some folks prefer it. Total Commander has much less clutter than ES File Explorer and is far easier to navigate. You can also reap thebenefits of connecting Total Commander to your online file storage services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Doing so will let you sideload APK files fairly quickly.

You can find Total Commander by searching for it in your Amazon App Store

Do I need to root my Fire TV Stick?

You’ve likely seen different comments as well as guides that mention rooting your Fire TVStick. Thankfully, you do not need to root your Fire TV Stick to sideloadGoogle Play or any other Android app.

What is “rooting”? It’s a version of jailbreaking that is typically just used for Androiddevices. When you root your device, you remove the limitations on whatapplications can be installed. At the most basic level, this allows you to do more withyour device. While sideloading apps on your unrooted device will not void thewarranty, rooting your Fire TV Stick will do so. Consider carefully whether thisis something you need or want to do before accessing and following any guides on how to root your Fire TV Stick.

That said, there are some enormous benefits to rooting, but most users don’t need to do this, especially with the other sideloading options available. Additionally, youmay not be able to root your Fire TV Stick anyway. The 1st generation First TVStick (2015) can be rooted, while the 2nd generation version (2016) cannot.