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Best Amazon Fire TV apps you need to download (2016)

We round up the very best apps you can download now for the Amazon Fire TV streaming stick, including apps to play your movies and digital content, plus our pick of the best Fire TV games.

The Amazon Fire TV might look like a small and pretty simple device, but it can do absolutely loads and help you get the most out of your home TV. From video streaming services to games, your telly can become a seriously smart media hub - as long as you download the right apps.

If you’ve opted for the more expensive Fire TV (over the basic Fire TV Stick), then some games will run smoother than others. And when it comes to video, the Fire TV devices top out at 1080p Full HD, so don’t expect to enjoy 4K UHD streaming via your trusty stick.

So, you’ve bought your Amazon streamer and it’s time to start checking out some apps. These are the best to download right now.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Netflix

It’s an obvious first choice, but it’s still one of the best. Netflix has been around for a while now and with the sole focus of delivering high quality streamed video direct to your telly, this app works like a wonder. The layout is simple yet smart and streaming begins quickly and at high quality.

While the app is free to download, you will of course require a subscription to use it. Thankfully this isn’t that pricey when you consider the amount of content you get. From Breaking Bad and Stranger Things to Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards, there’s plenty of shows and movies to pick from. You can rate titles to help the smart algorithms learn your tastes for future recommendations and discoveries.

Read next: Best Netflix movies and TV shows to watch right now

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Amazon Prime Instant Video

It wouldn’t be right to splash out on Amazon’s streaming player and not give its video streaming service a go, right? Once again this will cost you a subscription fee, but does also offer rental options for old and new films and shows that aren't included in the standard package.

Much like Netflix, this app is clear and easy to use despite being crammed full of content. Recommendations are made based on what you like and the app will even pre-load in the background so when you hit play and streaming should be near instant and in high definition quality.

Read next: Best Amazon Prime shows to watch right now

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: BBC iPlayer

An oldie but a goodie. The BBC iPlayer not only offers plenty of original programming for streaming but now also airs live shows. That means you can use the iPlayer to watch television in a room where the TV doesn’t have an aerial, for example.

The iPlayer is free to download and use but will be limited to the UK and, of course, you’ll need to have paid up on your TV licence. Most of the content will have a limited lifespan which applies even to things downloaded to watch offline at a later stage on mobiles.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Plex Media Server

If you’re still a fan of storing content on your home computer or server then Plex is a must. This smart app will allow you to stream video, pictures and music across your local network. That means you can access content from your computer right on your TV.

The Plex app is smart enough to pull in album covers and movie images, to give the app a layout as if you were browsing an online store. Of course, the plus here is that you already own everything. If nothing else, this is a great way of showing off those latest holiday snaps on the big screen.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: YouTube

Having YouTube on your TV is a risky choice, as you can end up spending many an hour flitting between videos. Thankfully they’re all free to watch and you never know what you’ll stumble across but of course can also be hit and miss.

A nice touch with YouTube on the Fire TV is that you can use the app on your phone to browse videos, via your mobile’s keyboard, then fling that onto the screen. This even lets you browse and have the next video ready while the current one is playing on the TV.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: TED

If that Netflix binge has you feeling guilty but you still can't be bothered to venture outside, TED is a nice little compromise, offering educational content. Crammed with thousands of high quality videos, TED talks have become the go-to place for mind-expanding speeches.

The TED platform is home to all kinds of issues and sees speakers given a small window of 18-minutes to explain a topic in depth. From environmental issues to tech innovation, there’s something for everyone on here.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Spotify

If you’ve already got a Spotify subscription it makes sense to have this app on your TV. With Spotify installed on your Fire TV, you’re essentially able to convert your TV into a giant jukebox. If that TV is plugged into a sound system then even better, as you can enjoy high quality music streaming in all its glory.

Browsing by genre, discovering new music or searching directly are pleasingly simple and the app will start music streaming almost instantly when you make your choice. Control it from anywhere in the house using your phone so you can even have your top tracks blaring out as you go from room to room.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Minecraft: Pocket Edition

That’s right, you can also play games on your television using Fire TV. What better way to start than by getting lost in the wonderful world of Minecraft?

Minecraft: Pocket Edition was designed for mobiles so the Fire TV can easily handle it, especially when you consider that blocky resolution. Sure it might not look the best on a large screen but that’s not what Minecraft was ever about, right?

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

It doesn’t feel that long ago that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was out on the PlayStation 2 and yet here it is in mobile form. Unlike the touchscreen awkwardness of the mobile game, you can use the Fire TV gamepad with this title for fully immersive gaming.

There are also Vice City and GTA 3 titles available on the platform so you should be able to spend plenty of hours tearing up the streets.

Best Amazon Fire TV apps 2016: Telltale Games

Yup, the brilliantly story driven Telltale Games are on the big screen via Amazon Fire TV. That means titles like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Tales From The Borderlands can all be played on your TV.

These all use simple click to control turn based gaming which lends itself well to the TV. This is like watching a brilliant TV series but one where you’re involved - perfect for the big screen.

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