Upgrading Kodi on Amazon TV using Amazon FireTV Utility App

Kodi (the new name for XBMC, my favourite media software) is now on Kodi v15 (Isengard) version and as usual, I want to upgrade it in my favourite Amazon Fire TV.

And oh, did I mentioned that Amazon has just upgraded the Fire TV (for 4K experience !!)

Amazon is starting to sell this 2nd version of Fire TV. Cannot wait to get my hands on it soon too :)

I decided to upgrade my current version (version 14) to it as Version 14 (Isengard) should be pretty stable by now.

However, this time, instead of using the normal method of updating through the Amazon SDK method (see this pat notebook very popular link), I wanted to try out an utility app to do the upgrade as well as do some fanciful updates.

First, I visited this site:Amazon FireTV Utility to download the utility.

Then you have to find out the IP address of your Amazon TV in your home network. You know how to do that, right :)

Then upon launching the utility (I suggest you un-zip the utility and then copy it to C: Drive), you will be asked to enter the IP address of your Amazon Fire TV.

Also I suggest you change the setting to show the status of your work in a COMMAND screen else you might do something and then not sure if it is really happened. I find it very useful to see whether the connection to the Amazon TV has started, has the backup completed and has the transfer of files from your PC to the Amazon TV gone through. So do choose the CMD Window Status as “Normal Debug Mode”

Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

Then connect to your Amazon TV. You should check the CMD Window (basically a DOS window) to see the status.

Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

Then go to Kodi web site and download the latest Kodi version V15 for Amazon Fire TV.

We will then use this utility to sideload the APK into our Amazon TV. Follow the 3 steps in this picture:
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

One thing I noticed (not sure is it due to IE or is it due to Windows 10) but when I download the APK file, it became a ZIP file ! You have to rename it back to APK. Oh Microsoft. Oh Microsoft. Why Why Why, Microsoft.

Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

If you click on “3” above, you can then check in the CMD window and see the progress till it is completed. Should be pretty quick. You can then launch Kodi in Amazon Fire TV (under Manage Installed Applications in Settings).

Check that you are now running the latest Kodi version:
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

But this utility is more than side loading Kodi into your Amazon TV. We can do a few more things to make our experience in Amazon TV more fanciful and more “accurate”.

First you will want to install Llama, an Android app, that allows you to launch the Fire TV application through another application sitting on the home screen of Amazon Fire TV. You can read about that from here.

Install Llama. > Launch Llama (From FireTV – Setting>Applications>Llama>Launch Application). > Goto ‘EVENTS’ on top menu > Click ‘+’ to add new event > Select ‘ADD CONDITION’ > Select ‘Active Application’ > Select ‘Choose App’ > Select ‘Flixter’ >This should return you to Events Menu> Select ‘Add Action’ > Select ‘Run Application’ > Select whatever the name of your XBMC build is. That should create your event. Now when you start the Flixter app it should automatically open XBMC. Play around with Llama. It is a very handy app with many options.

Some pictures:

Using Llama with Amazon Fire TV
Using Llama with Amazon Fire TV
Using Llama with Amazon Fire TV
Using Llama with Amazon Fire TV

Now you can use any (FREE) app on the Amazon Fire TV to be the sacrificial app but for the case of using the Amazon Fire TV utility, you should use the ikono TV app. Because this is what the Fire TV utility will be using for the next step.

So go ahead and download and install this app:

Then click on this button:
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

And instead of the ugly ikono TV icon, you now have a super nice icon to represent the Kodi TV. If you have done the Llama stuff above, clicking on it will then launch Kodi !
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

Wait there is one more thing you can do. Install the Kodi Fire TV splash screen. That is the “screen that will appear” when you launch Kodi. Again, using it is super easy. Just click on that button:
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

And when you launch the app (through the Kodi TV icon, I hope), you will get a new splash screen :
Upgrading Kodi through Amazon Fire TV Utility

The owner of this app did a great job and hence, please do donate if you find the app useful ! :)

Lastly, you can also find an Android app called “Time Zone Changer” to change the settings for the Amazon Fire TV to a local time. Currently the settings only allow for use in USA time zones !
Time Zone Changer and Fire TV Kodi

Time Zone Changer and Fire TV Kodi

Doing these simple steps will help your user experience of using the Kodi (XBMC) software on Amazon Fire TV a great one ! :)

And Tell me your Thoughts