thebillington

development blog

Written by Mr Rebecchi

Installing Kodi on the Amazon Firestick with Mac OSX

Today I'm going to show you how to install Kodi on the Amazon Firestick using nothing but your mac, and a wireless router. This method is going to be using ADB, short for the Android Debugging Bridge, which can be used to control your devices with nothing but a data connection, either over a wired, bluetooth or WiFi network.

Kodi is an open source media player for many devices. Founded by the XBMC foundation, the software was previously known as XBMC (Xbox Media Centre), and has allowed software developers to create free streaming applications for low budget devices.

To get started you are going to want to follow the included instructions or watch this video to setup your Firestick HD and connect it to your wifi network. Once that's done you need to download and install the latest version of the Android SDK (Software Developer Kit) which includes the required ADB files to debug your device.

Installing the Android SDK

To get started with the Android SDK head over to the Android SDK website and download the latest version of Android Studio, as this comes packaged with the tools you need. Run the .dmg (Apple Disk Image) and drag the .app file to your Applications folder, then open Applications and run the application. It may take a while to configure so just let it run for a bit, you'll know when it's loaded.

Now you need to locate where abouts the program has installed the Android SDK tools on your computer, so click tools > android > sdk manager and the sdk manager will appear:

Using Terminal to run the SDK

Android SDK Location: gives you the path to your Android SDK on the computer. Copy this path by clicking in the box, highlighting the entire and path, and using the cmd+c key to copy it. Open a new Terminal window by going into Applications > Utilities > Terminal. I'm now going to cheap you a few basic Terminal commands:

'cd' ##means Change Directory and allows you to move
'ls' ##means List Stuff and shows you everything in your current directory

So now we want to go into the folder that contains our Android SDK directory. I can see that mine is located in '/Users/thebillington/Library/Android/sdk', so I'm going to type into my Terminal window:

cd /Users/thebillington/Library/Android/sdk

to change directory and then:

ls

to see what is in the directory. You should now have a list of folders. You are looking for the one called 'platform-tools' as this is where our adb files are stored:

cd platform-tools

Finding the IP address of the Firestick

You can now execute adb commands by typing in:

./adb COMMAND

and replacing COMMAND with the adb function you want to use. We are going to be using the install adb function a bit later, but first we need to setup our Amazon Firestick to switch on adb. Do this by powering up the Firestick, and navigating to Settings > System > Developers Options > ADB Debugging and ensure it is turned on. Read this blog if you can't find the options..

Now we need to find the IP Address of the Firestick. Go in to Settings > System > About > Network. Read this blog if you can't find the options. Once you have the IP Adress of the Firestick we are going to use adb to connect to your device.

Connecting to the Firestick

Now go into Terminal and use the adb connect feature to find the Firestick:

./adb connect YOURDEVICEIP

replacing YOURDEVICEIP with your IP Address. Mine was using '192.168.1.188'. Now that we have linked the computer to the device, let's check that the connection was successful:

./adb devices

You should see that there is one device listed, with the same IP as that of your Firestick.

Downloading the Kodi application

Next you're going to want to install the latest version of Kodi on your device. Go over to the Kodi Website and download the latest Android version. The Firestick uses an ARM processor, so make sure you download the ARM version of Kodi.

Now locate the downloaded file using Finder or the Terminal. It should just be inside of your Downloads folder. You can select the full path to a file in Terminal by dragging and dropping that file in from the Finder window.

Once we have located our file in Terminal, we must run ./adb to install it. Make sure you are still inside the platform-tools folder, and execute the following command:

./adb install /Users/thebillington/Downloads/kodi-15.2-Isengard-armeabi-v7a.apk

replacing my path with the path to your downloaded file. This next section can take a good while, my 2015 Macbook Pro took a good 20 minutes, so older models may need a longer time to run the install.

And that's it! You should see Kodi on your Firestick by navigating to Settings > Applications > Manage all installed Applications > Kodi > Launch Application. Read this blog if you want to create a shortcut on the main Firestick homescreen.

Now you're going to want to customise your Firestick using an Add-On installer. There is one designed for the Firestick called Fusion. Read this blog post to find out how to install Fusion easily on the Firestick.

That's it, hope you found the tutorial easy and please leave a comment if anything fails to work as expected!