My Downloader app has returned to the Amazon Fire TV appstore

downloader-app-appstore-amazon-page

My Downloader app has been reinstated back into the Amazon appstore and is once again available on all Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. After the app was taken down on Friday by Amazon with no explanation, I used the developer’s contact form to ask why it was removed. On Saturday evening, the app’s review status was updated to state the app was removed because “it can be used to facilitate the piracy or illegal download of content.” This was the same reason given to Kodi’s developers when Kodi was removed from the Amazon appstore. Then, this morning, I received a response to my original inquiry which simply stated my app was once again live in the appstore.

I’ve just replied to Amazon’s response asking why the app was removed in the first place and if they can reassure me it won’t be removed again. I’m hesitant to continue with my plans of expanding the app’s capabilities if its acceptance in the appstore is unstable, so I’ll wait and see what Amazon says in response to my new inquiry.

My best guess as to why my app was removed in the first place is that the numerous mentions of “Kodi” in my app’s reviews triggered some flags that caused it to be removed. Then after a closer review, due to my original inquiry, the app was found to not be directly related to Kodi and reinstated.

A more cynical theory is that my app was removed to further suppress Kodi on the Fire TV, but was then reinstated to avoid customer backlash and negative press that was starting to brew up. I hope it was the first theory and not the latter, but I’ll likely never know for sure. I’m just happy the app is back up for everyone’s enjoyment.

Update

12/7/16 The reply from Amazon to my 2nd inquiry asking for more details on why the app was removed was: “Thank you for providing further details. Your application is now live.”

That reply is completely irrelevant to my inquiry, so either the person replying is incompetent, or their skirting my question. Either way, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting a straight response from Amazon.

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14 comments
  1. Nate says:

    Great to hear your app is back, Elias. Frankly, I think it was asinine that the app was ever removed in the first place, really. By Amazon’s logic, Android’s baked in ability to sideload apps from other sources should also be removed due to the fact people could utilize it for piracy purposes.

    What of apps that are developed and released solely on the web for direct download and not in any app store? Should those people be punished? Your app fills a giant void for myself as there are apps that developer friends of mine release directly onto the web and are awaiting approval in various app stores.

    I do believe your latter theory may hold some weight, unfortunately. While I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, I highly encourage people to block updates and/or root your devices if possible. If it is a simple app like this today, it is Amazon flicking the switch to kill Kodi amongst other apps with their ‘Not In My House’ system app tomorrow. I shudder to think of a day where Amazon cripples the ability to sideload entirely, as unlikely as that may be; I am surely not suggesting this is the case at the moment at all.

    All this to say, I am happy your app is back, Elias!

    • E. Stilianopoulos says:

      If they uninstall Kodi and any other sideloaded apps in their updates, I will not renew my Prime subscription and replace will replace my Firetv with a Xiaomi box.

  2. Steve says:

    I too am just glad it is available for others. I had mentioned I already got it and so was able to reload it to other FTVs since it was in my cloud of apps.

    I HIGHLY recommend that everyone who has not already done so download this immediately (just in case). It’s such a small little app and you can just keep it in your cloud until you need to use it.

    But as Nate mentions above, I just find it bewildering that Amazon takes these “knee jerk” reactions to apps. I’d much prefer if they have a REAL look at an app, if they have clear and detailed restrictions and thus keep apps out of the approval process that do not meet good solid rules.

    The plethora of rip-off apps that go thru their current process only shows they have a very weak process. I totally get that their app store is no where near as large as Apple’s but that does not mean that it can’t at the minimum be set up to be on par with Apple’s or even Google’s (or at least within driving range)

    ;)

  3. Lori says:

    So glad it’s back!

  4. TechyChris says:

    Clearly, Amazon has not yet determined what their official policies will be towards apps that extend beyond their immediate ecosystem.
    I suspect their is middle management infighting going on, hence the very non-committal way they handle certain apps. Amazon policy makers definitely would like to prohibit certain types of apps but they know if a line is drawn in the sand they will alienate a certain percentage of their customer base.

  5. Joe says:

    It never should have been removed in the first place especially given how much you’ve done to promote the Fire TV. This incident made Amazon look really bad.

  6. Joe says:

    Glad to hear it’s back. I personally don’t use it as I find it easier to just save and access apk files to my cloud drive that I have mapped on Fire TV via ES Explorer.

  7. Seb says:

    Just keep asking if you don’t receive a straight answer in the first try. Amazon might be avoiding a straight answer but maybe it was just some incompetent customer rep.

    I have had several encounters with customer reps from India (just a guess by their names) who apparently didn’t spoke a word of my language and just randomly played around with text templates. Funny though.

  8. koying says:

    Forget about getting straight answers from Amazon.

    Or they have an agenda and they won’t tell you, or they just suck, and they won’t tell you either :)

  9. Jim says:

    Anyone know how I can use the downloader to install the google play store on my ftv2?

    I know you will need a reliable source to access the apk files but where can i find a safe source? Thanks

  10. Doug says:

    I just tried to install the app on my new firebox and it said the app was unavailable? Any reason as why that would be?

  11. Curtis says:

    My downloader says bad conten….after having no luck fidning it the ES file explorer which could not be found either ….I reset to factory defaults now the stick cannot find the remote what the heck????? Any help advice is appreciated!

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