Amazon’s Fire TV devices may run a modified version of Google Android, but they don’t have Google’s Android TV user interface, access to the Google Play Store, or ability to stream videos from Google Play Movies.
But it turns out you can add all of those features… plus support for USB TV tuners, the Android TV user interface, and other features while still retaining the ability to run Fire TV apps.
Xda-developers forum member SimLynks has instructions. Warning: they’re not simple.
In a nutshell, you’ll need to root your Fire TV device, install the Xposed Framework, modify the system partitions, make changes to the build.prop file, and generally make a bunch of other complicated changes that could seriously mess up your Fire TV.
But if you make it through the guide, you’ll end up with a media streamer that pretty much includes all the features you’d expect from both an Amazon Fire TV and an Android TV device.
That includes access to automatic updates for Google apps and any apps downloaded from the Play Store, as well as a method for blocking automatic system updates from Amazon so that you don’t wake up one morning and discover that all of your hard work was overwritten by an OS update.
Of course there are simpler ways to add functionality to an Amazon Fire TV device: you could just sideload Kodi, for example, or just install a fork of Kodi that’s available from the Amazon Appstore (with more limited features, but support for automatic updates).
But it’s nice to know that it’s at least possible to go all out and change virtually everything about the Fire TV to make it act more like an Android TV.