How to Sideload APK Apps on the Amazon Echo Show 15

The Echo Show 15 now has access to most of the Fire TV apps in the Amazon Appstore, but, unfortunately, Amazon has blocked the regular ways used to sideload apps on Fire TV devices. Thankfully, a workaround has been discovered by AFTVnews reader Super Street Racing. Using that discovery, here are full step-by-step instructions for sideloading APK app files on the Echo Show 15.

Update

The Downloader app has been blocked by Amazon from being installed on the Echo Show. I’m currently in talks with Amazon to understand why and will update this guide after I learn more. In the meantime, you’ll need to use a different app to get your APK file to the Echo Show, like one of these apps. Once the file is on the Echo Show and in the “/sdcard/Download” folder, you can then follow this guide starting with step 9.

  1. Install and open the app Downloader from the Amazon Appstore.

  2. Select “Allow” to grant file access in the Downloader app. (If you accidentally selected “Deny” then you must go to the Echo’s settings by swiping down from the top of the screen and selecting “Settings.” Then go to Fire TV Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > Downloader > Permissions and tap “Storage” to change it to “Allow.”)
  3. Select “Settings” from the menu on the left in the Downloader app.
  4. Select the “Download Folder” option in Downloader’s settings menu.
  5. Change the download destination from the default value of “Downloader” to the new value of “Download” and select Save.
  6. Uncheck the “APK Auto-Install” option.
  7. Use the Browser in Downloader to download the APK file you wish to sideload. You can use this URL shortener made for use with Downloader for long URLs if needed.
  8. Select “Done” once the APK file has finished downloading. (Selecting the Install option at this point will not work.)
  9. Install and open the app X-plore File Manager from the Amazon Appstore.
  10. In X-plore File Manager, expand the “App Manager” menu and select the “System” option.
  11. Scroll down the large list of system apps and select the “Files” app to launch it.
  12. In the Files app, select the APK file you downloaded in step 7.
  13. Select “Continue” to dismiss the message that appears and then select “Install” in the lower right corner.
  14. The APK file has now been installed. You can open it from here or from your list of all apps on the Fire TV home screen.
  15. Optional: To clear up space on your device, you can delete the APK file you downloaded by opening Downloader, selecting “Files” from the menu on the left, and selecting the APK file.
  16. Optional: To skip needing to use X-plore File Manager in the future, you can sideload a shortcut to the Files app. Download the shortcut by entering 2099 (or aftv.news/2099) in Downloader and following this guide to install the shortcut app. Once installed, you’ll just need to select the shortcut from the Fire TV app list instead of needing to use X-plore File Manager and scroll through the large list of system apps.