Android TV Fire OS Pros Cons
What Is An Android TV Box?
An Android TV Box is a device that connects to a television and allows accessto movies, TV shows, live channels, games, and more.This page includes affiliate links where TROYPOINT may receive a commission atno extra cost to you. Many times, you will receive a discount due to thespecial arrangements made for our visitors. I will never promote somethingthat I personally don’t use or recommend. Purchasing through my links directlysupports TROYPOINT which keeps the content and tools coming. Thank you!The term “Android” is used to describe the operating system that powers theseentertainment hubs.Android TV Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are distributed by well-known electronic manufacturers whereas others are generic boxes that usuallyship from China.As of this article, the most popular Android TV Box is the Amazon Fire TVStick 4K. This inexpensive small plastic rectangle is powered by Android OSand is extremely popular because of the free media that may be accessed afterjailbreaking it.Due to the open nature of the Android Operating System and popularity, appdevelopers and box manufacturers find this a great platform to use.There are literally thousands of applications available in the Google PlayStore or Amazon App Store. If an app isn’t available in one of these appstores, it can be sideloaded onto the device.The process of sideloading on an Android device is simple and allows users touse any application made for that platform.There are other media boxes such as Roku and Apple TV but these devices areless popular due to their closed systems.Its important to understand that there are different versions of the AndroidOperating System used on these various devices.
Android TV VS Stock Android
Each Android TV Box is powered by either Android TV, an Android TV derivativesuch as Fire OS, or Stock Android.Android TV is Google’s operating system that has been created to performnicely with a television and remote control. Amazon also produces a similarAndroid operating system for the television called Fire OS.Both Android TV and Fire OS provide a friendly 10-foot experience which meansnavigating the screen is a simple task on these devices when sitting on thecouch in your living room.You can think of Stock Android as the type of operating system that you wouldfind on an Android phone or tablet. This operating system is not optimized forthe television but the distributors of these boxes create custom launcherswhich makes it possible to navigate on a TV with a remote.I usually refer to the Stock Android Boxes as “generic Android TV Boxes” dueto the fact that there are hundreds of these available through the Internetand most are shipped from China.Examples of Android TV DevicesExamples of Fire OS DevicesExamples of Stock Android Devices (Generic Android TV Boxes)Note: Some manufacturers install hacked versions of Android TV onto theirdevices. Everything appears to work the same as an NVIDIA SHIELD but its notthe same.We saw this with the MECOOL M8S PRO L where Chromecast didn’t work properly.Also, we couldn’t stream in HD on apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.Don’t get me wrong, the M8S PRO L is a great system but there are a few thingslacking that we normally see in the full blown Android TV experience.Let’s now examine the pros and cons of both Android TV and Stock Androidsystems.
Android TV & Fire OS Pros & Cons
Pros * Excellent user interface – As mentioned earlier, Android TV and Fire OS were created for the television and this is why the user interface works so well. * All Google Play Store and Fire OS apps are optimized for television – The Google Play Store that you find on Android TV systems is different than what you find on Stock Android. The app store on Android TV boxes only allows applications that have been optimized for the television. So, if the app you’re looking for is available on your Android phone but isn’t available on your NVIDIA SHIELD, its due to the fact that the developer hasn’t created an Android TV release. This can also be a con which you will see below. * Sideloading available – We can sideload applications onto the device if they aren’t available through their respective app store. * Quality components – Both Amazon and NVIDIA are well-respected brands and they will ensure that the best components are used in their hardware. * Android updates applied – Most Android TV systems come from credible vendors and therefore they issue Android updates when they become available. * Great for gaming if specs meet game requirements.Cons * Limited app store – Only apps that have been optimized for the television will be available to install through Google Play Store or Fire OS. But, keep in mind that we can always sideload what we need if necessary. * Advertisements – Amazon Fire OS and some Android TV systems have started placing ads on the launcher of these boxes. This is how Amazon can get away with charging the small price for the Fire TV Stick 4K. * Less open – These devices are not rooted which means there are some things that we can’t customize and apps that can’t be used. * Less storage – These devices usually come with limited internal storage.
Best Android TV Boxes
NVIDIA SHIELDIf you’re new to cord-cutting, I suggest first using an Android TV Box that isdistributed by a reputable manufacturer such as Amazon, or NVIDIA.These distributors usually provide ongoing updates which should provide aquality streaming system for at least two to three years.If you’re more technically inclined and like tinkering with electronics then ageneric stock Android TV Box may be for you. Keep in mind that these usuallydon’t receive future Android updates and support is very minimal.Don’t get too hung up on the fact that you might not receive future Androidupdates. Let’s be honest, the changes from Android 7 to 9 aren’t verynoticeable. Plus, you will probably be due for a new streaming device in twoor three years anyway.A few things that I like about the Generic Android TV Boxes are large storage,multiple USB ports, Ethernet port, and fast processor. When looking at thepopular Fire TV lineup, you will notice that storage is minimal, limited USBsupport, and no Ethernet port.There are many TROYPOINT subscribers who’ve tried a generic Android TV Box ona television in a spare room, garage, etc. They then find that they actuallylike it better than those offered by the more popular distributors such asAmazon and NVIDIA. So, if you want to dive into one of these generic AndroidTV Boxes, maybe try it on a spare TV first to see if you like it or not.If you’re into gaming, then look no further than the NVIDIA SHIELD. ThisAndroid TV Box was made for both streaming and games. You can also purchasethis system with a dedicated NVIDIA game pad.If you use services such as Netflix & Amazon Prime on a regular basis, Isuggest staying away from the generic Android TV Boxes. As of this post, theseservices don’t stream HD content and the apps are usually difficult tonavigate on the generic boxes.See our post on the Best Android TV Boxes for 2019.
Android TV Box Apps
TROYPOINT App with Rapid App InstallerThere are literally thousands of apps that you can install onto your AndroidTV Box.Even if you can’t find your desired application in your respective app store,you can still sideload it onto your device.See our post on the Best APKs for Android TV Boxes.The Android operating system also allows us to run gaming emulators that serveup non-stop fun with our favorite retro games! Simply connect a compatiblegame pad and enjoy hours of fun playing the most popular games from decadesago.Happy Chick on Fire TV/Stick & Android TV BoxesRetroArch on Fire TV/Stick & Android TV BoxesFree TROYPOINT Rapid App Installer
Supported Miracast Devices
Miracast technology made a debut in 2012 with Google adding support for itstarting Android 4.2 Jellybean. But things changed with Android 6.0Marshmallow when Google dropped the support for Miracast. Now stock Androiddevices don’t support Miracast but devices from other manufacturers such asXiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei, Samsung, etc. still support Miracast through theirsoftware tweaks.On laptops, you can use it with Windows 8 and Windows 10. However, not alllaptops support it, and you should check your laptop’s specifications as towhether it is Miracast enabled or not.You must have guessed its fate on iOS devices — they do not support Miracast.Apple devices are locked to work within their ecosystem, and that’s why youcan only mirror iOS devices on Apple devices such as Apple TV using itsmirroring feature called AirPlay.
Mirror from Android to Fire TV Stick
To mirror content, you need to have compatible Android and Fire TV devices.
Supported Android devices
As Fire TV Stick uses Miracast technology to mirror phone’s content to a TV,all devices supporting Miracast (mentioned above) work well with Fire TVStick. Therefore, except stock Android devices such as Google Pixel, Xiaomi MiA1, etc. all should be able to mirror to Fire TV Stick.Fun Fact:While Fire TV Stick doesn’t natively work with iOS devices,third-party appshelp to mirror iOS.
Method to Connect Phone to Fire TV
When you have compatible Android and Fire TV devices with you, connect them tothe same Wi-Fi network to mirror content. Once that’s done, you need to enablemirroring on Fire TV first followed by connecting your phone. Here are thesteps for both of them.Enable Mirroring on Fire TVStep 1: On your Fire TV, go to Settings followed by Display & Sounds.Step 2: Select Enable Display Mirroring.Step 3: Your Fire TV will go into the search mode and will start looking fornearby devices.Alternatively, press and hold the home button on your Fire TV remote until yousee the options. Select the Mirroring option. That lets you quickly enablemirroring on Fire TV.Connect Your Phone to Fire TVThe Miracast feature on Android devices differs in terms of naming andlocation. When the Fire TV is in the search mode, you need to enable thefeature on your phone to connect them.On MIUI running devices, you will find the Wireless display feature. To enableit, you need to go to Settings > More > Wireless display. Turn the toggle onfor Wireless display. Once you do that, your Fire TV’s name should appear. Tapon it to begin mirroring on your TV.On some devices such as OnePlus, go to Settings > Bluetooth & deviceconnection > Connection preferences > Cast. Tap on the three-dot icon and turnon Enable wireless display. Your Fire TV will appear. Tap on it to connect.Similarly, the feature is known as Smart View on Samsung and it is present inthe quick settings under the navigation drawer. Huawei prefers the WirelessProjection name making it accessible under Settings > Device connectivity >Wireless Projection.
Troubleshoot Screen Mirror Not Working on Fire TV
If you have compatible devices and yet you aren’t able to mirror an Androidphone to Fire TV Stick, you should change your Wi-Fi frequency band (2.4 GHzor 5 GHz). The setting will be present on your phone under Settings > Wi-Fi >Advanced > Wi-Fi frequency band. Switch it to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Newer Androiddevices seem to have disabled the setting. If that’s the case, you will haveto change the band from your router settings.Thanks to restrictions put by Google, stock Android devices do not let youmirror your phone to TV except with Google’s Chromecast device. However, youcan cast your content to Fire TV Stick using third-party apps on such devices.
How to Mirror from Stock Android Devices to Fire TV
As mentioned above, you cannot mirror stock Android, and you will have to castit to Fire TV, which doesn’t come with native support for media casting.For that, you will need to install Cast to TV app on your phone. Onceinstalled, open the app, and your Fire TV will automatically appear providedyou are connected on the same Wi-Fi network. Tap on it to connect. Then choosethe content that you want to cast to your TV. You can cast both local andonline content.I tried it on my Pixel phone that runs stock Android, and it works fine.However, the casting is slow because the process takes time as compared to thecast available in Chromecast or screen mirroring in Fire TV.
Dedicated operating system based on the linux kernel for mobil devices. Googlebought Android Inc. from Andy Rubin in July 2005 to bring the free, opensource mobile platform to the next level. Many smartphone ventors offer theirown devices with a custom Android operating system. Since first release inOctober 2008 it became fast the leading operating system for mobile deviceswith a share of 43.4% (Gartner, 2nd Q2011) and 86.2% (Gartner, 2nd Q2016) forall sold mobile units. More about Android OS