We’ve assembled a list of our 5 favorite features and tips for the Fire TV stick below. Read on to see what you can be doing with your device, or to see if this is the device for you. We’re confident you’ll like what you find!

  One of the few tough parts of using a streaming device with your TV is typing. Most people don’t have a keyboard that’s compatible with their TV, so they have to type letter by letter using their remote. That’s not the case with the latest Fire TV stick. With the Voice button at the top of the remote, you bring up any show or app you want to watch, just by asking!  

2. Use Alexa

Just make sure your Alexa app and your Fire TV stick have the latest software updates, and follow the directions here for linking your devices. Once they’re linked, you can speak to Alexa and have her search for movies for you, find specific series, control playback while you watch. Alexa can also switch between channels for you when you watch live TV within Fire TV apps, and can open gaming apps you have downloaded too. Obviously this tip is very tied to the first one, but it’s great to know you can upgrade your Fire TV experience with products you already own, and it’s just a super handy feature. Plus when you’re using an Alexa device instead of a remote, you never have to worry if you lost your remote. You’ll always have access to your TV! And if that isn’t an incentive for you, you’re clearly better at keeping track of your things than most of us.  

3. Turn off targeted advertising

Streaming devices in general let viewers cut down on commercials, but it doesn’t eliminate them entirely. For many apps, ad revenue is how they survive, so there’s just an amount we all have to tolerate them. For more privacy, make sure your Fire TV stick is updated to the correct software, and turn “Interest-based Ads” in your Settings to “Off.” With that gone, your ads will be more random, and there will be less data to mine from you in the world. If you like privacy, this is an excellent option to have in a streaming device.  

4. Set up parental controls

A note on this feature: Once parental controls are enabled, purchases are automatically PIN protected, and content rated Teen and Mature is automatically blocked. Any of this can be adjusted in the parental control settings, but it’s good to know what to expect when you first turn it on—especially if you’re trying to watch a show on your own after the little ones are in bed.  

5. Use your photos as your TV’s screen saver

You can even set how long the screen saver stops on photos, what the transitions look like, and how long it takes for the screen saver to turn on. And you can shuffle the pictures in the album, so it’s never the same twice. This can be a fun feature at parties, or just a way to appreciate your pictures more often—and maybe make you want to take pictures more often.

Bonus: Calibrate your display

The Fire TV stick has so many cool features, we couldn’t stop at just five. Another great thing it can do is calibrate your TV’s display to make viewing the best that it can be. Sometimes, you might find you’re missing sections of the screen while you watch something. The video might be too wide, or things seem to get lost at the top and bottom. You can use the Fire TV stick’s Calibrate Display tool to fix this. You can find the tool in your Settings, under “Display & Sounds.” Select “Display,” then “Calibrate Display” to start messing around. There will be four gray arrows on your screen, or at least a few of them. Press the up and down buttons on your Fire TV remote until those gray arrows all appear, and touch the very edges of your screen. That should make anything you play on your Fire TV stick now work perfectly with your screen, with no more automatic scaling. These calibrations can also be made with voice commands. Just follow the on-screen instructions once you’ve opened the Calibrate Display tool via talking through your remote or your Alexa device, and you’ll be good to go! 3 simple steps to improve your TV’s picture quality