It’s always an exciting time when a new piece of technology comes home. There’s so many possibilities to consider and all the ways that it can make someone’s life easier. However, it takes some time to configure a new device. Here are a few things to do as soon as a person brings the Amazon Firestick home.
Check for Updates
One of the downsides of bringing new technology home is that it often has updates that weren’t available when it was packaged up and shipped to the store. The first point of order is to check to see whether software and firmware updates are available for the Firestick before anything else. There are a few reasons to do this immediately. Updates provide new features and contents that may not be available on older versions. It’s also possible that security vulnerabilities and software bugs get patched by the new update. It’s important to check for updates on a regular basis, as Amazon is constantly working on this hardware and thinking of new ways to make it awesome.
Download Firestick Apps
The Amazon app store has many types of apps for the Firestick, such as support for streaming services. Users can customize the apps that they have available so that they create an Amazon Fire experience that is perfect for their needs. These apps do go beyond streaming video services. For example, a meditation app guides people through calming exercises, and during the winter there’s a relaxing fireplace app to go on screen. New apps are added to the marketplace at all time, so there’s always something to try out.
Get Past Geoblocked Content
Streaming video licenses are not always available worldwide, so media companies have to block it in certain countries. One way that Firestick users can get around blocked content is through the use of a virtual private network. A vpn for Firestick takes the Internet traffic from the user and takes it to a server from a country that’s allowed to access that content. When the request goes to the streaming video service, it looks like it’s coming from the VPN server’s country and is allowed. This also works for content that is censored by the original country. It’s important to look for a VPN that has good performance, as slower VPNs can’t keep up with the demands that video streaming requires.
Set Up Voice Control on Older Firesticks
Older models of Firesticks don’t have voice control built-in, but there’s a way to enable it via the Amazon Firestick app. The smartphone acts as the voice control module, so users can have the Alexa-enabled experience without purchasing the latest model of the hardware. Voice control is convenient and it’s especially nice to have when someone has other smart home devices set up, so they have a completely hands-off experience when watching TV.
Test Out the X-Ray Feature
When the Firestick user is watching videos through the Amazon Prime Video service and other supported services, they can look up information about the actors and the shows via the X-Ray feature. This is a great added feature when people are having conversations about show trivia and can’t remember a detail about the actor’s experience or their previous works.
Add Some Games
Another thing that many people don’t know about the Amazon Firestick is that it has games available on the app store, as well as a game controller accessory. If people prefer to use other third-party controllers, there is some support for those as well. The Firestick acts as the game console and the games are often fun versions of popular mobile games. It’s a fun way to expand the functionality of the Firestick beyond a streaming media stick.
Since Amazon owns Audible, it’s no surprise that the Firestick has audiobook support. Playing audiobooks through the television allows people to use their home speaker systems to listen to the book. It’s easy to access the library and to download new audiobooks to keep listening to something new. Some Amazon books may offer discounted audiobook files if the user owns the physical copy of the book, so they may not need to buy a full-priced version.
Pair With Amazon Echo
Newer versions of Amazon Firestick can pair up with an Amazon Echo to offer a robust smart home ecosystem. When it pairs up with the Echo, it’s simple to use the Alexa features and other functionality that comes with the Echo. The voice commands make it easy to switch between channels and to access the stored content on the user’s Amazon account. They can even use the Echo to order a new video or rent a series.
Use Bluetooth Headphones
For a private TV watching experience, the Firestick can pair with Bluetooth headphones. This feature is great for houses that have televisions in the same room as computers that kids are studying on, so they aren’t distracted while they’re doing their homework. For couples, if one person likes to watch shows while the other wants to read in the same room, they can coexist peacefully with each other.
Activate Parental Controls
Parental controls aren’t just for families with small children. One of the best features is for setting up PIN verification of any purchase that are made through the Firestick and the app store. That way, no one accidentally buys videos, movies and apps that they weren’t intending to. It’s especially good to set up when there are a lot of guests in the house or multiple people who want to use the Firestick. It can also put other limits in place for people who are worried about spending so much time watching media on their television.
The Amazon Firestick is a powerful device that can turn a regular TV into a smart experience. It’s got more features that are just beneath the surface, such as adding in the games and audiobook apps. When it’s time to check out new accessories for the television, Amazon Firestick is one of the top options.