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SwampGeek Android TV & Fire TV apps - December 2017
Android

Android TV apps continue to evolve and expand, even as old favorites like Kodi decline.  Here are the SwampGeek recommended Android TV & Fire TV apps for December 2017.        

Click the image to view screenshots of the December 2017 Android TV Apps

Although popular Kodi plugins have disappeared, others have evolved and been renamed in order to continue providing links to content.

New Android apps, also supported by Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, offer good alternatives to the ever popular Kodi, including:

  • Terrarium TV - probably the best alternative, but must be downloaded from backup sources as the GitHub download has been removed
  • Stremio - available in the Play Store
  • Pluto TV (untested)
  • Cloud TV (untested)
  • TubiTV (untested)
  • YouTube
  • (commercial) Amazon Prime Instant Video (not available in the Play Store for Android phones, tables and TV boxes for newer Android versions)
  • (commercial) Netflix
  • (commercial) WatchESPN (requires cable subscription account login)

Many other apps can enhance your Android TV for Amazon Fire devices...

For those who want to stream music on their Android and Amazon devices:

  • Amazon Music (not shown)
  • Google Play Music
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Youtube Music

Several apps can be useful on an Android or Amazon device:

  • Chrome (much better than the default browser on Android devices, but not available on Amazon devices)
  • Firefox (wouldn't load on my latest Android TV box so I removed it)
  • Evernote (not that easy to use on devices without microphones or keyboards)
  • Facebook
  • Instagram (not shown)
  • Intuit Mint and Mint Bills
  • Imgur (didn't work possibly because I couldn't swipe to activate the app on an Android TV box, so I used TinyPic through Chrome to load the screenshots from the Android TV box)

It's not easy to play games on Android TV or Amazon Fire TV devices using the included controller, but some games will work with these basic input devices, including:

  • Badland 2
  • Crossy Road

There are other games that could be functional on an otherwise limited TV box using a USB or bluetooth gamepad, joystick or keyboard.

Some basic utilities may be helpful for Android TV devices:

  • Google Play (usually included)
  • Photo Gallery (usually included)
  • APK installer (may be included)
  • File Manager (may be included, but ES File Explorer is a good alternative)
  • Settings (may be included and may be standard Android settings and / or include a customized version for the device)
  • OOKLA Speedtest (good for checking your connection speed)

For an Amazon Fire TV device (or Firestick), you'll need a way to get around the limitations of the Amazon App Store, usually to download apps not available in the store and can't be downloaded via the crippled version of Safari included with these devices, including these apps that ARE in the Amazon App store:

  • Downloader (recommended by many)
  • ES File Explorer (a full featured file manager with a basic browser
  • FireDL (uses a code to download a URL, but codes can be outdated and hard-to-find)

Hopefully, this provides useful info for cord cutters using Android-based devices.  Feel free to contact me on social media for comments, questions and suggestions.

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