Amazon explicitly shows Kodi some love in the latest Fire TV software update

Now that we know what changes software update makes on the surface, I began sifting through this update in more detail, as I usually do, to see if it hides any secrets below the surface. One thing I discovered is that Amazon explicitly showed Kodi some love with this update. There is a bit of new code, that’s literally called AddKodiToRecent, which runs after the new software update is installed. This code checks to see if Kodi is installed on the Fire TV and deliberately makes it so Kodi appears as the first item in the “Recent” list on the Fire TV home screen, regardless of when you last launched Kodi. No other app receives this special treatment and highlight. Now that Amazon has introduced an app blacklist, leaving Kodi users wondering if their beloved app is next on the chopping block, it’s reassuring to see Amazon explicitly do something positive for Fire TV owners who use Kodi.


To verify my findings I took a Fire TV 2 running 5.0.5 and performed a factory reset. Then I installed Kodi and never launched it. I then let it update to and sure enough, Kodi appeared as the first item in the Recent list, despite it never being launched.


  1. Mike says:

    Or maybe a way to block it faster in the next patch?

    • AFTVnews says:

      To add Kodi, or any app, to the app blacklist, it would literally take the addition of a single line of code. There’s no need to *prepare* so that it can be blocked faster. Besides, this added code is in the home screen app, while the blacklist is in the settings app.

  2. Christopher Loughrey says:

    I find that very hard to believe as they removed Kodi from their own Appstore and Kodi is a threat to their own Prime sales where Kodi can be used to freely distribute Prime content. I’m shocked by that and would love to get more info on the origin of that code. LOL Maybe the Amazon coders love Kodi and secretly added it?

    • AFTVnews says:

      I’m not going to post the exact code, since it could result in a takedown notice, but anyone can pull the app form their Fire TV and run it through an APK decompiler and search for “kodi” to find the code I’m talking about.

      • Christopher Loughrey says:

        That’s a big surprise. It would have made more sense for them to target Kodi than Firestarter. A great relief for those of us worried that Kodi might be next. i think one of the reasons many of us have disabled updates was the fear of the future update slipping in a Kodi block. Great to know to have no problems with it…for now

  3. Matthew says:

    April Fools, the sequel?

  4. Joe H says:

    I think it more boils down to that Amazon understands that probably over 50% of their sales in the FireTV hardware is people that are using it to run Kodi, or SPMC, or some other form of media player. And if they started to block them all they will see their revenue numbers go down pretty quickly.

    • Stevie Bee says:

      They’re one of the most profitable companies on the planet. Blocking Kodi from installations wouldn’t have much of an impact.
      I’m thinking that Amazon will try to buy/partner Kodi/SPMC and lean on them to stop 3rd party apps from giving users access to stuff on Prime.

      • Chris says:

        Umm. Do a quick search. Yes, Amazon is a major player. But they are NOT consistently profitable. Most of that is reinvestment.

    • Pete says:

      Do you have real data to back up that 50% statistic or is it a guess? I’m guessing, but probably more accurately so, when I’d say it isn’t nearly that many. By a long shot.

      I love Kodi but I’m also not delusional about how most “regular” people (non power users) use the set-top boxes they buy from large companies like Amazon.

    • Ned Scott says:

      Amazon does not make a significant (if any) profit on this hardware. They sell Fire TVs to drive sales of Amazon Prime, app store apps, digital downloads, and the general Amazon brand.

      Even ignoring that, there are millions more Fire TV devices sold (box 1, box 2, stick) than there are for active Kodi for Android installs, total.

  5. ilovemymac says:

    I use prime and have been a prime member since buying any first fire tv and i use kodi. My kids use prime more then i do but they like using the voice search to find stuff or my son loves asking it daily who lives in a pineapple under the sea and laughs when it tells him.

    But Im sure I’m not alone just because i have kodi doesn’t mean i don’t use prime. I love prime and i love kodi. But like my wife says sometimes its so much faster to just pick something in prime rather then hunt through kodi to find what you want to watch and then pick a server and hope it works.

  6. TheUnchosenOne says:

    My guess is they did this to keep people from bugging out and grabbing the pitchforks as soon as they noticed firestarter was removed…. Personally, I love all the work that went in to firestarter and while I think it should have been consumer choice, I do love that I can access SPMC and ESfileexplorer right from the recent menu. This was an improvement in my book, and I’m not losing any sleep worrying about whether or not Amazon is going to block Kodi in the next update; if they do, then I’ll worry about it (more like order a few Raspberry Pi 3’s and keep the Firetv’s for Prime and Netflix).

    • AFTVnews says:

      I definitely think that it’s no coincidence that Amazon added sideloaded apps to the home screen in the same update that they blocked FireStarter. It seems very much like a give and take compromise on their part. They took away an app that can hurt them while building in, by default, the number one reason for using said app.

  7. Edgar R. says:

    This is a good alternative to not having firestarter imo. I honestly haven’t missed firestarter since kodi is on my recent list now. I think this is amazon’s “meet in the middle” so that their home screen doesn’t get completely bypassed.

  8. Keith says:

    Their competition (even apple TV) can now run kodi.
    I can pretty much guarantee Jeff Bezos doesn’t like it but this is about profits. Predictable move down the road–bundle package of aftv and prime. People who have prime are less likely to ditch aftv for something else. If you’ve hooked enough people then maybe they block kodi (although that’s probably not as easy as people think.) AFAIK you’d need to block side loading. You could block kodi from being installed (maybe?) but that’d be easy enough to work around.
    Fire starter and kodi are 2 VERY different things to amazon. Playing devils advocate, I get why FS would piss them off.

  9. Itzme says:

    I still can’t get Kodi to show up in Recent. I downloaded it using ES File Explorer months ago and have to launch it as side loaded every time ( in Manage Installed Applications > Launch). I read the other blog article about steps to try, but no love here.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Is Kodi appearing in your Apps section? or Neither Apps or Home?

      • Itzme says:

        No. Kodi only appears in Settings > Manage Installed Apps > Launch. It never appears anywhere else. I did find it listed over on the Amazon site list of my apps, so I deleted it and followed all the steps in the article to get it to appear, but it never did.

        • Thegrimghost says:

          I had the same problem. After deleting it from your Amazon account, deregister your Amazon device, then re-register. Then when you double click home, find kodi and add it to favorites. Hopes this helps.

          • Johin says:

            THIS finally worked even after all the jaz here and the other post with the final step being “factory reset”. Thank you.

    • Tbone says:

      The way I got it to show was press the home button twice then open it from there.
      It will then show in recents!!

    • William Hughes says:

      As I wrote in a different post, I had to delete Ikono TV from purchased apps to get Kodi in recent. I think the reason is I used Ikono TV as a sacrificial app via Llama on my Brother-in-Laws Fire TV a long time ago.

  10. TechyChris says:

    Which begs the question, why not just allow KODI into the app store in the first place? Why all the fuss with code, add it and move on!

  11. jbrodack says:

    Is there a way to reset your recent list? There is a few shows that no matter how many times I remove them from my recent they keep coming back.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The only way I know of is by doing a factory reset. That said, maybe talk to the other people that have access to the Fire TV because the only way for a show to appear there is if someone started playing it.

      You can also try the following ADB command to clear the Home screen user data, but I’m not sure if it will clear the recent list.

      adb shell pm clear

      • jbrodack says:

        I know my girlfriend had watched the show a while back so I know how it got there I’m just not sure why it keeps coming back right after removing it.

        Some functions like favorites can be removed by clearing the data from the app like the appstore. Was just wondering if there was anything easy like that for the recent list.

        Thanks for the response.

        • Y314K says:

          That is because it’s pulling it from your Amazon account watched list. For some reason the info in the cloud is not being updatd once you have removed the watched list. Happen to me & I had to manually removed it from my account thru the site for it to come off my FTV’s. Same thing goes with recommendations based on prior watched videos or bought content.

          Go to . Make sure your logged in & click on watched list. Mine is empty at the moment since I cleaned it all up a while back. You can choose to remove items from watch list or to have things not recommend due to something on the watch or purchase list.

  12. Roland Wharton says:

    Ppl will only go to android boxes if amazon was to block kodi. Doubtful it will ever happen, being as though amazon has tripled their profits off of kodi. And you still get to use amazon apps. It’s times amazon has an back order on sticks, trust it’s not because of ppl flocking to prime

    • Seaneysean says:

      My stick went in the drawer as soon as I discovered Android boxes (m8s+ a favourite of mine)…it’s rediculous to think people will put up with Amazon’s workarounds when an open system with more processing power can be acquired at a fraction of the price.

      • Goodhur says:

        I did the exact opposite. I put away my amlogic boxes because they don’t do HD Netflix or Prime. The fire tv workarounds are so minor compared to to flashing some rom that breaks Bluetooth or something else.

  13. atone says:

    great news if kodi is allowed to remain on home screen. this may actually get me to try out prime in the future and use other features on amazon home screen in the future. I’ve always liked the amazon home screen just as long as I could see kodi appear on the recent apps section.

  14. fjtorres says:

    Don’t forget, people, that Kodi isn’t just about internet streaming. Kodi is simply the best app for playing local content, either on a LAN or directly attached storage. That doesn’t compete much with their own offerings and actually extends the FireTV line into WDTV territory.

    A while back they emailed me a satisfaction survey and I highlighted both my disappointment of their local playback features and I suggested that since Kodi is open source they pick out the relevant parts of the package and embed them in their firmware.

    Showing Kodi special attention shows they do listen to how we use the thing. Which in my case is about 60/40 internet/local streaming. (I have a lot of CDs and DVDs I’ve ripped to me server. The latter as quick and dirty ISOs.)

    Color me happy.

  15. michael says:

    Not on mine and its been updated, since firestarter was blacklisted i have to go apps and go through the libary to find kodi …am i do something wrong

  16. Paul says:

    Will this work for spmc?

  17. Dave says:

    I think Amazon sells a lot of devices due to Kodi. The average guy buys it pre installed or friend takes care of it. Many cannot ever figure Kodi out and get frustrated. Unless the user can update it, Kodi becomes unusable and the customer winds up paying for Prime and rents from Amazon. So Amazon doesn’t fear Kodi, f it sells devices and ultimately adds to Prime membership.

    • JP White says:

      Agreed. If its not available as an installable app via the standard interface, few people will go to the trouble of activating developer mode, figure out the Fire TV IP Address, install an app to then sideload to Fire TV.

      I switched from a Raspberry Pi KODI implementation to the Fire TV because the Fire TV has a solid 5g wireless connection, I could never get a satisfactory link using my pi (several USB adapters were OK but not great).

  18. Neogeo71 says:

    Just a reminder that the last version of firestarter was downloaded 3 million times…

    I prefer having it on the homescreen, now if i could just get rid of that firetv how to video in my list of recent apps…

    • Tim says:

      Yeah, I think the people that say Firestarter and Kodi are insignificant to Amazon, AND that they understand why Amazon would go out of their way to block Firestarter are trying to have it both ways. Amazon putting resources into blocking it puts the lie to the notion that the numbers are insignificant. I would further suggest that Firestarter numbers are probably a good indication of Kodi user numbers, with a few here and there using Firestarter without Kodi and a few doing the reverse.

      Speaking for myself, I was looking for a replacement for my WDTV that also streamed Netflix. Right now that’s a Kodi box unless I wanted to do Plex, which I didn’t. The fact that the FireTV streamed Prime lead me to choose the FireTV (after having success with the Firestick)

      Also speaking for myself, I use Firestarter, and will continue to because that’s how I want to use it, AND I rented a movie off Amazon just last night. So yes, in my case Kodi capability makes me available to Amazon to sell to. Before you discount my significance, reread the first paragraph and ask yourself how many changes to FireTV’s OS Amazon has made because of you.

  19. RgnKjnVA says:

    I had Kodi in my Recent bar after getting the update and it worked once. Kodi wouldn’t launch the next day though, it would crash and return to home. Reinstalled Kodi. Launcher disappeared from Recent. *sigh* Needless to say, I’m ready for some Kodi love.

  20. Kevin says:

    I find that Kodi works with the new SiliconDust Homerun DVR app better than the beta version of the HDHomerunView on the Fire TV. For me, I see the Fire TV replacing my cable box soon, and that allows me to view more Prime/Amazon Video as well as Netflix and hopefully soon enough my cable stations savings $40+ in cable box rentals and assorted fees and taxes. Can’t come soon enough. Once that is firmly working well I can slowly wean the family off cable and into SonyVue or another service. Once they are used to going to the FireTV to watch all manner of streaming and live TV, then the jump to only streaming/on-demand TV will be more exceptable.

    • Neogeo71 says:

      I use the hdhomerun view addon within kodi too but find that the firetv does not handle mpeg 2 interlacing well at all…

    • Ham Solo says:

      I use mythtv backend running in a linux virtual machine on my home server to act as a PVR using HD Homeruns.

      The mytvtv TV client in Kodi is excellent. I have not paid the cable company for a PVR for over half a decade.

  21. Tiago says:

    Well done amazon! They should realized that a big percentage of their buyers are installing kodi. BTW, here is how to install kodi on Amazon fire stick

    I would like to see it in Amazon store one day :)

  22. Dee says:

    Maybe Amazon just realize that Kodi is open source.

  23. dq says:

    Parental controls are no longer respected when subscribing to the add on subscription services (such as starz, showtime etc). No pin is asked for at all (pins are still asked for buying normal content, but this means kids could theoretically subscribe to any add on services with no pin required). Very annoying and I hope this gets fixed.

  24. JRock says:

    This is a nice addition, but has anyone else experienced worse wifi with 5ghz since this most recent update?

    Both my sticks barely see my 5ghz network now. 2.4 is fine. It’s most likely something on my end, but a small part of me hopes it’s this new update.

    • cdlenfert says:

      I have not, but I’m pretty close to my router. 5ghz range is significantly less than 2.4, so your results are not surprising. Is the performance of your stick worse than before, or does it just show a lower signal?

      • JRock says:

        Performance on 2.4 is about the same, but even that seems like it has a weaker signal then before.

        5ghz shows a signal strength of “marginal” (no bars), where before it would show at least “Fair” if not “Good”. Can’t connect at all to 5ghz.

        My phone and other devices can still see/connect to 5ghz in furthest corner of house (farthest from router), which makes me think it’s the Fire Sticks.

        Gonna keep poking around in my router…can’t find anyone reporting the same though so may just be time to add another router…and stop pushing buttons :/

      • BarryC says:

        My FS gets a ‘fair’ to ‘good’ reading, but has had connectivity issues even tho it’s only 15 feet away from my CA router, through one wall. IPad shows 30+ Meg using speedtest right next to the stick. I think FS has crap antenna.
        Switched to FTV and it clocks 70+, no network connection bs, pixilation,buffering
        Way better. Btw, stick wouldn’t connect to network except as guest — both 2.4 and 5 gave “out of range” error when network code inputted.
        Gave my stick away to my mom….

  25. Mark says:

    Probably did this to combat alternate launchers by placing kodi front and center.

    Why not just take a screen shot of a couple lines and post that? Can’t believe you’d get a take down for a partial screen shot.

  26. Ham Solo says:


    For me Kodi is NOT a way to view any sort of pirated content.

    What KODI is for me is an excellent FRONT END to my MythTV backend home PVR.

    If you want to enable me to be a ‘cord cutter’ and loyal customer of yours for streaming media, then make sure Kodi works so my home PVR which allows me to not have cableTV and instead use over-the-air for network tv programming is a big enabler.


  27. Ham Solo says:

    Next step is to get Kodi back into the Amazon Appstore. It is ridiculous they kicked Kodi out but let Plex, or for that matter VLC or MXplayer any other media player in their app store.

    A media player is not responsible for what media people play.

    • JP White says:

      I disagree. I believe Amazon will only tolerate Kodi as a sideload app. Putting it in the app store makes it too easy for the average user to bypass buying prime digital content. Those able/willing to sideload kodi are probably not going to be discouraged if Amazon block Kodi altogether.

  28. Ujn Hunter says:

    Really sick of this Amazon update bullshit… My Fire TV stick used to work great… Firestarter was a great ease of use App that double clicking helped me get to where I wanted (I still used Amazon’s default home screen). Now, not only does the new update run slow as shit, but I’ve had to jump through hoops to get Kodi to even show up on my Apps and Recent list… and now my other Apps have been removed from my Recent list.

  29. TechyChris says:

    I’ll keep my FireStarter just the way it is for now thank you. It is quite simply easier for the entire family to use than stock. I am https router and adb blocked and will remain that way until updates get so far ahead that my 2 ftv gen 1’s no longer function. I purchased them nearly 2 years ago, Amazon got their money out of me, I’ve paid my dues, they don’t need to bleed me anymore. When the time comes for new boxes I will evaluate if Amazon is still the best choice or move on.

  30. vulcan195 says:

    What I miss most with FS app is it allowed me to “Force Stop” a hung application without have to exit out all the way and go to Settings on main screen.
    Its a shame that Amazon had decided to spent time on such frivolous stuff while the list of suggestions and bugs are piling up. Why not utilize programmer resources to integrate Netflix titles into the Universal search. Even 3rd party apps like “Fan TV” is able to integrate Netflix/HBO/Amazon/Showtime/Hulu into one universal search. Given that … the excuse that Netflix is not allowing them to include it in their universal search feature is BS.

  31. scofield27 says:

    thanks alot for the info brother

  32. Ricky D. says:

    Let us not forget Firestarter is still working minus the double click functionality.

  33. Zeke says:

    Actually the recent apps list and Amazon blocking FiredTVLauncher has been a blessing in disguise in my case. FireStopper (FireStarter changed enough to avoid the blacklist) also shows on the Recent apps list, and FireStopper works better/more consistently than FiredTVLauncher did over a year ago when I first started using it.

    Incidentally SPMC – the Android-specific version of Kodi – also shows just fine in the recent apps list.

  34. Joe says:

    This makes perfect sense for Amazon. They realized that there is a major portion of their Fire TV customers who use Kodi and since it wasn’t easily accessible, people resorted to launchers like FireStarter. This meant people were not seeing the Amazon eco-system where Amazon makes money. So they now allow Kodi to be easily seen/launched and at the same time they expose Amazon eco-system in the hope people will spend money there as well. I don’t blame them for making this change at all, it’s what any business would have done.

  35. Gerall says:

    I’m thinking that Amazon is not totally void of marketing 101 skills. ON one hand, I would suspect they are getting grief for the lack of subscription revenues due to Kodi. On the other their sales have sky-rocketed beyond any other low cost device. They know if they block every other app other than what comes with it, their sales will plummet and other devices that can still load Kodi will flourish.

  36. Mikey B says:

    Great at last but I have put my fire stick in the drawer and instead I use a android m8s box from

  37. SubV-NYC says:

    The way I see it is that 100% of consumers that don’t know about Kodi on FireTV purchase it because they want the content provide, Alexa, and a smart TV. That is their profit. On top of that you have tech savvy people, hobbyist, developers, and reverse engineers (to say the least) purchasing this software to do just that. The community that uses the FireTV as a platform to use 3rd party apps is just adding to that profit.

    So it doesn’t really matter about the side community… we are word of mouth, we are people in the know.. If you have ever setup a Fire TV for someone.. thats enough to convince me that that there are many many many many people out there that don’t know what a Kodi is.

    I feel comfortable with Amazon’s approach. There are sooooo many prime users not even using prime for streaming content… The profit is there..

  38. John says:

    I got a new fire stick today and it would appear there’s no way to load kodi on to it. The usual youtube videos say to download Es file, you can’t do that anymore, you can’t install it via Apps2fire method either. I’ve seen a video with a rather lengthy complicated explaination about downloading stuff from a website etc, something to do with adb, but these all seem to be for windows and not Mac’s. Any idea’s anyone?

    • JP White says:

      adb is available multi platform.

      adblink by jocala is one of the easiest on windoze. Worked easily for me.

      I tried my android phone but adb cli was not available as websites said it would be.

    • David says:


      A friend of mine just purchased a fire stick yesterday and I loaded Kodi and Firestarter onto it for him. I have attached method I use. I type it out for friends who wish to do it themselves. I hope this helpls.


      Install Kodi
      After setting up Fire Stick go to Settings  Developer Options  Turn on ADB Debugging & App from Unknown Sources  Click OK on Warning message  Back out to Home and go to search  Search for Es Explorer (it may appear before you finish typing)  Click on Es Explorer  Click download from install page  Click Open after it downloads to launch  Click on Favorites at the top left vertical menu  Then click on Add 

      Method 1
      In Path field type  Name it Kodi  Click Next  Click Add (Should get a message that says the version ( was created successfully  Scroll down to Kodi (or version just installed) on vertical menu on the left  Tab over to the download types and click ARM under Android and click it  Scroll down the vertical menu until you get to Exit on the horizontal menu at the bottom of the page  Scroll over to click on More and Open in Browser  Click Open file and click Install  Click Install again  Click Open
      Method 2
       In Path field type  Click Next  Type 16.1 (Version of Kodi)  Click Next  Click Add (Should get a message that says the version (16.1) was created successfully  Scroll down to 16.1 (or version just installed) on vertical menu on the left  Tab over to the DOWNLOAD NOW button and click it  Click Open File after downloading  Scroll down the vertical menu until you get to Exit on the horizontal menu at the bottom of the page  Scroll over to click on Extract  Select Current path then click OK  Go back over to the left vertical menu and scroll up to Download and click on it  Find the icon for Kodi 16.1.apk (or version downloaded) on the right and click it  Click Install  Click Install again  Click Open

      Add Fire Starter
      Open Es Explorer  Click Add  In Path field type  Name it  Click Next  Click Add  See Bookmark create successfully message  Find and click on bookmark on vertical menu  Click on a download apk mirror link in the table on the right side of the screen  Then scroll to bottom menu  Scroll over to click on More and Open in Browser  Click Open file and click Install  Click Install again  Click Open

      ARES Wizard Install
      Systems  File Manager  Add Source   Name it (Ares)  Home Screen  Systems  Settings  Install from zip file  Select Ares – Select the script  Wait for notification  Home  programs  Launch Ares Wizard  Browse Builds  Pulse  Exit then re-enter Kodi

      To install Pulse through source code use Name it .Pulse and click Ok. Go to Setting and click Add-ons. Install from zip. Go to Programs then program add-ons. Open Pulse Wizard

      • Faye says:

        If I want to change accounts to my own name so that I can download apps (my fire stick is registered in the name of the person who set it up for me) will this remove kodi or will it still be installed?

  39. Faye says:

    If I want to change accounts to my own name so that I can download apps (my fire stick is registered in the name of the person who set it up for me) will this remove kodi or will it still be installed?

  40. Michael Davis says:

    Can anyone let me know if you can put kodi on the newest fire stick that comes out on the 20th

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