Amazon’s Underground ecosystem is, as I mention in multiple articles, really cool. One of the complaints Android developers have is that there is so much piracy that it’s hard to make money. Amazon’s solution is to monetize usage of the app. Amazon pays the developers to let them distribute the app for free, then the developers get paid when people really use their app.
Unfortunately, Underground apps aren’t distributed on the Fire TV platform. That’s a shame, because that’s where it could really make sense. “Real” games are going to play much better with a controller, and while you can do that on your Kindle Fire, doing it on your Fire TV is much better.
This is really a shame, since you basically can use Amazon Underground apps on any Android device where you’ve installed Amazon’s app, just not the Fire TV platform.
My assumption is that Amazon’s Fire TV software ecosystem just hasn’t caught up yet. After all, the 1st Gen Fire TV devices still haven’t been updated to the 2nd Gen interface, and most Fire TV customers are probably mostly focused on the device’s video capabilities, not its gaming capabilities. I assume that if you’re reading this that you are, like me, on the fringe of Amazon’s Fire TV customer base.
It turns out, of course, that you CAN install Amazon Underground apps on your Fire TV through the sideload mechanism. Here’s how:
- Turn on sideloading on your Fire TV.
- Acquire the APK for the app from Amazon.
- Copy the APK to your Fire TV and install it.
Once installed on your Fire TV, since the device has the entire Amazon Fire OS ecosystem available, many work perfectly well, and since you will have purchased the free app in Amazon’s app store, there shouldn’t be any concerns regarding piracy, etc.
Obviously the app needs to have controller support to work, which isn’t a huge deal here since we’re focused on games. I will post some more specific “How To” articles on the above steps soon.