FireStarter adds Fire OS 5 compatibility with new v3.0 update


FireStarter is a home screen replacement app that gives you quicker access to sideloaded apps without needing your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to be rooted. Its killer feature has always been its ability to reliably detect when you press or double-press the Fire TV remote’s home button, so that you can reasign it to perform custom tasks like launching an app you use often. Changes in Fire OS 5, the operating system on the 2nd-gen Fire TV which will soon be coming to the 1st-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, have caused FireStarter’s home button detection to fail. The app’s developer has just released version 3.0 of FireStarter which restores home button detection on Fire OS 5 without needing to perform any fixes, and adds a few other things you should be aware of.

With this new update, FireStarter’s detection of single and double home button presses will work in Fire OS 5. You should, however, be aware that the issue where FireStarter prevents outside ADB connections remains. This means, before you can connect to your Fire TV via ADB, to sideload an app for example, you must first force quit FireStarter. Then, when you’re done using ADB, you must manually launch FireStarter or restart your Fire TV.

FireStarter’s side effect of blocking ADB connections will likely never change, so the developer has introduced an alternative method for detecting home button presses without using ADB. This new method is not perfect, but comes with the advantage of not preventing external ADB connections.

There is a new option to toggle “Home-Detection via ADB” on or off in FireStarter’s settings. With this setting off, home button detection will only work on the Fire TV’s home screen. This means that pressing the home button while inside an app will always take you to the Fire TV home screen, where then you can single or double press the home button to launch the apps you’ve configured in FireStarter. This adds the interesting behavior which lets you toggle back and forth between the Fire TV home screen and an app by just pressing the home button. You’ll have to decide for yourself if this new home button behavior is worth having uninterrupted external ADB access.

Other changes in FireStarter include a new option labeled “Single Click App: Clear previous instances”. This new option, when enabled, will ensure apps will launch in their default state. This is essentially equivalent to force quitting an app just before you launch it. This feature is handy for those with macro programmable smart remotes which need to know the app being launched will always be in the same default state, in order to reliably perform tasks.

You can update FireStarter to this new version from within the app, but just be sure you’ve enabled “Apps from Unknown sources” before doing so. Alternatively, you can upgrade your existing FireStarter installation manually via ADB. If you’ve never installed FireStarter, download it for free here and sideload it onto your Fire TV.

Lastly, show the developer some love by throwing a few bucks his way. He has really made a fantastic app for the Fire TV community, is continuously updating it, and is doing it all for free. He deserves your support.


  1. CK says:

    thank you very much!

  2. Tom says:

    Does this version work with the old Fire OS? For those of us on the original FireTV that hasn’t been updated yet?

  3. Dan says:

    Any word on llama update?

  4. Jim says:

    After I installed this on my 2nd Gen AFTV, I started having problems with my remote losing connection with the AFTV. I uninstalled it and now seems to be okay. Any idea what made this happen?

  5. Jonny says:

    Just needs support for folders or some way to group apps. Plus it would be nice to be able to hide the side bar that show’s Settings. Just want a grid of app icons without the distraction to the left.

  6. Ujn Hunter says:

    Great. Guess I can stop fearing the incoming Fire OS 5 update…

  7. MrG says:

    I’m intrigued by the new non ADB method. I haven’t used firestarter before (just llama for using Kodi). But it sounds kinda cool to have both the regular home screen and then by pressing the button again get a screen where I can launch Kodi.

    But the only time I need ADB tho is for sideloading apps, I can’t recall ever using it beyond that. Force quitting firestarter in those rare times I need to sideload an app doesn’t sound like a major issue Am I wrong here?

    • kix420 says:

      I don’t see this as an issue because if with the initial install you sideload, or get from Amazon app store, es file explorer. Then all you need to do is setup dropbox, Google drive, etc to sideload that way. ADB would not be needed imo.

      • MrG says:

        Excellent point. Forgot about using file explorer. It does seem that accessing via something like adbFire (love that app btw) is not needed that much (if at all) anymore.

  8. Wodehouse says:

    I, too, wonder if the Llama option for launching KODI will be fixed. It has been an easy-to-install and flawless method for launching KODI.

    And when the new OS update is pushed to 1st generation FTV’s, I’m assuming that current users will lose their Llama launcher as well?

  9. clocks says:

    I’m starting to wonder if this new version breaks something with adb. I can no longer use the adb firetv utility app to load Kodi.

  10. natebetween says:

    YES!!! Nice!

  11. Dan says:

    Has anyone tried launching Kodi from boot using FireStarter, I am left with a blank screen that requires a single button press to open Kodi?

  12. RJ says:

    This is really buggy for me on the 2nd generation aftv. I setup my fire starter as always and it flickers my screen a lot then finally appears but it flickers like 5-6 times before it stabilizes and i can see my kodi…
    Im confused why this is happening the fire starter launch is terrible either is anyone else having this issue or is it just me.
    All i do is configure the home button key 2 clicks for Kodi 1 Click for AFTV home..
    When i do soft reboot the fire starter begins but then flickers i wonder why? Anyone else having this issue?

    • Wendy says:

      Having the exact same problem, once I try to launch Kodi wiht this latest version on my Fire TV 2, the Kodi screen flickers about 5 or 6 times before it becomes stable.

      Any response from the dev would be appreciated.

  13. Wendy says:

    Any news on an update for the flickering issue when launching Kodi ??

  14. my fire starter was working fine it then went missing in managed apps on fire stick i reinstalled and now the 1 and 2 clicks do not work igot some error messaage on install firestick os firestarter 3.2.3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *