In the last post, I provided instructions on how I downloaded Google Chrome onto an Amazon Fire TV Stick. In that post, I also provided instructions for downloading an app that enables the Fire Stick remote to serve as a computer mouse. Now that you’ve installed Chrome and it’s accompanying mouse, I feel it necessary to write a short ‘How to’ on using the mouse with Chrome on the Fire Stick (although, if you use a mini keyboard, you won’t need to download the mouse.apk).
Yes, using a mouse is easy. Just about everyone has experience using a computer with a mouse. Why write a How to on something so obvious? Well, it’s because I think a computer mouse and a Fire Stick remote pretending to be a mouse are different experiences. It took me a minute or two to get used to the latter.
If you haven’t downloaded Chrome and the mouse app, go to my last post to do so, then come back for this quick how to.
Activating the Mouse Function
First, let’s start by opening the Google Chrome app on the Fire Stick.
Now that the browser is open, double-click on the Play/Pause button on the remote. This will activate the mouse feature. The mouse “pointer” is represented by a small blue circle. Double-clicking the Play/Pause button again deactivates the mouse.
Sometimes, depending on where the mouse decides to show up on the screen, you might have to use the remote’s navigation wheel to bring it up to the top of the screen to find it. The first time I double clicked nothing happened. I double clicked a few times until I realized the mouse was actually there but it was somewhere near the bottom of the page. Once I brought it up to the URL bar, everything worked fine.
As you’ve figured out, the navigation wheel is used to direct the mouse around the page.
Be forewarned. The mouse takes its time getting from one part of the screen to the other, but it does get there. It’s not as speedy as the traditional computer mouse.
Navigating Google Chrome with the Mouse
With the mouse activated, scroll up to the URL bar to type in a web address. Once the mouse is in the URL text box, depress the center “enter” button on the remote. This will bring up the keyboard screen.
To type on the keyboard screen you must deactivate the mouse. To deactivate the mouse on the keyboard screen depress the Play/Pause button only once. Yes, I said once. This is the only screen where one press of the Play/Pause button activates/deactivates the mouse. If you forget and double-click, you’ll end up back on the website you’re trying to navigate away from. I found this out by repeatedly making the double-click mistake.
Once the mouse is deactivated, type in the URL you wish to access and click Next. Your new web page will load.
You can navigate around the page using the mouse function, or you can deactivate the mouse and use the navigation wheel to quickly scroll up, down, left or right. Deactivating the mouse is a good idea when navigating through a particularly long web page. Once you reach a link or image you’d like to click on, reactivate the mouse (double-clicking the Play/Pause button), hover over the desired link and use the Enter button to click the link.
Other Chrome Menu Options
Deactivating the mouse and clicking the menu button on the remote (the button with the three lines) gives you access to another Chrome menu.
You can also access the very same menu option with the mouse activated if you click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner.
The number 2 appearing next to the 3 dots means I’ve got two web pages open. To see the open pages, click on the number (remember to activate the mouse in order to click on the number). Chrome cascades the windows so all open windows are visible.
When Chrome is in cascade mode, clicking on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner invokes a different menu. See image below:
Clicking the “+ ” in the upper left-hand corner opens a new Chrome tab.
Google Chrome/Fire TV Stick Navigation Summary
Once you play around with it for a while it will seem less foreign. Just remember to single click while using the keyboard to invoke the mouse and double click to invoke it everywhere else. Once the mouse is invoked you can navigate around just like you would on a computer. For faster scrolling, deactivate the mouse and use the navigation keys (have to repeat myself here…it’s a lot easier with a mini keyboard).
Update 12/8/17: Check out the Amazon’s Silk browser for the Fire Stick. It’s easy to use and even easier to install!