FireStarter relaunched as AppStarter but without HOME button detection or auto-launching features

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The developer of FireStarter, the popular Fire TV home screen replacement app that was recently blacklisted by Amazon, has decided on a new direction for his app. For starters, the app’s name has been changed to AppStarter. It also has a new package name, which means it will not be disabled by Amazon’s current app blacklist, since Amazon targets apps by their package name. In order for AppStarter to stay off of Amazon’s blacklist, the developer has removed the two FireStarter features that were likely the cause for being blacklisted. AppStarter does not have any kind of HOME button detection and it does not have the ability to automatically launch itself, or any other app for that matter, at startup. This means the only way to launch AppStarter is by selecting the icon within the Fire TV interface, just like every other app. Read more ›

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Amazon essentially declares war on alternate Fire TV launchers that replace the default home screen

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It turns out FireStarter isn’t the only app being disabled by the new 5.0.5.1 Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software update. FiredTV Launcher, another alternate home screen replacement app for the Fire TV, has also been blacklisted by Amazon and is now being automatically disabled. This is damning evidence that the reason behind Amazon disabling FireStarter has nothing to do with its unconventional use of internal ADB connections, and everything to do with forcing you to use the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick their way. Read more ›

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How to continue using FireStarter on Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software version 5.0.5.1

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Starting with software version 5.0.5.1, Amazon has started disabling FireStarter by name on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. XDA member jkchr1s has done a great job figuring out the details of FireStarter’s removal and has released a clone app that currently works with the new software version. Here’s what you need to know about the new clone app, called FireStopper, and the proper way to cleanly switch to using it for the time being. Read more ›

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Strong evidence that Amazon has blacklisted FireStarter app by name in latest Fire TV update

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There is strong evidence that FireStarter, the alternate launcher that can replace the Fire TV home screen and provide custom remote home button functions, has been explicitly blacklisted, by name, by Amazon. Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners that have manually installed the unofficial app through sideloading will find that it has been disabled after their devices update to the latest 5.0.5.1 software version. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app will restore it, but once the Fire TV reboots or sits idle for a period of time, the app is once again disabled. Amazon has always rejected apps that “override the native user experience” and blocked their entrance to the official Fire TV appstore, but this appears to be the first time they’ve deliberately targeted and prevented the use of a specific unofficial app. Read more ›

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FireStarter not compatible with new Fire TV software update 5.0.5.1

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It appears that the new 5.0.5.1 Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software update is disabling FireStarter. The app remains on the Fire TV, but is removed from the “Apps” section and cannot be launched. The app is also removed from the “Manage Applications” section of the Settings menu. If you uninstall FireStarter using the ADB command adb uninstall de.belu.firestarter and then reinstall it, you will be able to launch the app. However, once you reboot the device, the app will once again be inaccessible.

It’s unclear at this point why FireStarter is being disabled by the Fire TV. One theory is that it is being disabled and quarantined due to its unconventional practice of establishing an internal ADB connection, which is one of the ways it detects home button presses. Once more people, including myself, receive the new software update and get a chance to diagnose why FireStarter is being disabled, we should know more. For the time being, if you are a fan of FireStarter, and don’t want to lose its functionality, you may want to block software updates until more is learned.

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FireStarter updated to v3.2 with one-click Kodi installs and updates

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FireStarter, the great Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick sideloaded app launcher, has just been updated byt its developer to version 3.2 with a great new feature. The app can now both install Kodi from scratch or update your current installation of Kodi to the latest version with just a single click. Updating Kodi with FireStarter will preserve your current settings and database. If you’re planning to install both FireStarter and Kodi on a new Fire TV, you might as well install FireStarter first and have it install Kodi to simplify the process. You can find this new ability in FireStarters “Updates” section. Be sure to hit the “Check for Update” button first before installing or updating Kodi with FireStarter to ensure you get the latest version. If Kodi is not installed on your Fire TV, selecting the”Update to latest Version” button will install Kodi from scratch.

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

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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. Read more ›

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How to temporarily fix FireStarter on Fire OS 5 and the 2nd-Gen Fire TV

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FireStarter is a great way to easily access sideloaded apps like Kodi. Its killer feature is being able to accurately detect when you press or double-press the Fire TV remote’s Home button, allowing you to do things like launching any app with a double-press of the Home. It achieves this feat by establishing an internal ADB connection with the Fire TV, which allows it to monitor the system log file for Home button presses. Due to changes brought on by Fire OS 5, FireStarter can no longer immediately detect Home button presses. Here is how to temporarily restore FireStarter’s ability to detect Home button presses. Read more ›

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