Amazon Fire TV update enables streaming from more Android devices
Previously, the only devices able to stream content to the Fire TV were Amazon's own Kindle Fire HDX tablet or Fire smartphone. An update has now thrown open the streaming capabilities to any Android tablets or smartphones running Jellybean 4.2 or higher. Here's a look at the update and how to use the new feature.
Streaming to Fire TV from Android Devices
The first thing you'll need to do is verify that your Fire TV has the latest update. It should have been installed in the background automatically, but to double check go to Settings > System > About > Check for System Update and you should see the version 18.104.22.168_user_514006420 or above. If not, just go ahead and install it.
I have tested the streaming feature using a HTC One (M8) and a Nexus 7 (2012 model), both running Android 4.4, and have had varying degrees of success. Apps like YouTube that have a "cast" button will usually list the Fire TV as shown in the screenshot below, and the connection is typically good with a few occasional hiccups.
However, being able to actually "mirror" the display of either of the devices remains elusive. I tried going to Settings > Media output on the HTC One (M8) and the Fire TV isn't listed, but other devices with different standards like DLNA and Miracast are available. But to be fair, Amazon does state that performance may vary between devices.
If your Android device doesn't see the Fire TV after installing the update, you can always use an app-based method such as AllCast, which we covered in this article.
This latest update also includes the ability to play tablet-style games with the optional game controller ($US39.99), which will increase the number of games in the Fire TV library. It's also worth noting that the update will let you use the Fire TV in other supported countries, which is good if you travel a lot between the US and UK, for example.