If you’re like me, you have Amazon’s Fire TV Sticks all over the house. These little gizmos support a wide range of streaming services and are often available at discounted prices that make choosing one a no-brainer.
And while the Fire TV interface is easy to get started with, these useful tips, shortcuts, and quality-of-life improvements can make your streaming experience even more enjoyable.
Add Bluetooth Headphones for Private Listening
I love to be swayed to sleep with a terrifying true-crime show playing in the background. My wife doesn’t.
Should you find yourself embroiled in a similar matrimonial challenge, then there is a win-win agreement. Simply pair your favorite Bluetooth headphones with your Fire TV.
Go to the Settings menu, then Controllers and Bluetooth devices, then select Other Bluetooth devices.
Pair your headphones—you only need to do this once—and the next time you want to listen in private, just turn on your headphones and they’ll automatically connect.
Use your phone as a remote
You’ll need to complete one-time pairing and may need a way to manually turn on the TV if you wake your Fire TV device. But once those two things are taken care of, it’s a great way to jump back into the show without spending an episode’s worth of time looking for the remote.
It also has a handy text-input feature: The next time you need to enter a cumbersome login email address or complex password, tap the keyboard icon in the upper-right corner. It enters text character by character with the remote any day.
Quickly access apps and settings
One very useful but often overlooked feature: Long-pressing the Home button on the Fire Remote brings up the Quick Access menu. Doing so lets you quickly jump between profiles, see all your installed apps, access settings, and more.
If you sometimes find the Fire TV interface a bit cumbersome, this trick makes navigating that much easier.
“What is that man?”
Me and my wife were asked “What is that man?” likes to play. game, but we’d love it even more if our brains were still fast enough to retrieve this kind of information without even looking at it.
Thankfully, if you see a familiar face in a movie or show that you’re streaming through Amazon Prime Video, you’ll need to press on the controller to access Amazon’s X-ray feature.
The interface will then show you who is in the current view and what music is playing, at which point you can click around to get short biographies and see other titles the cast has been a member of.