How to open Sideloaded Apps using the Fire TV Pro Remote’s customizable buttons

The Alexa Voice Remote Pro for Fire TV devices is great, but one unfortunate decision made by Amazon is to not allow the customizable buttons on the remote to launch sideloaded apps. Thankfully, there is a workaround that uses my Remapper apps that will allow you to use either of the customizable buttons to launch any sideloaded app. Here is a full step-by-step guide for how to do it. Read more ›

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How to remap the App Buttons on Fire TV Remotes with Remapper — Updated January 2023

The app buttons at the bottom of the newest Fire TV Remotes and Fire TV Smart TV remotes can either be fantastic or useless. They’re great if it’s an app that you use often, but they’re a complete waste if you don’t even have the app that they’re for installed. This guide will show you how to reassign the app buttons to open any app you want. This method uses my Remapper app and works for Netflix, HBO, Hulu, PS Vue, Disney+, CTV, Crave, DAZN, TVNOW, and other buttons. It works on the new remote paired to a Fire TV, Fire TV Cube, and Firestick, as well as Fire TV Edition devices from Element, Toshiba, Insignia, Onida, Grundig, JVC, and more.

Updates

4/16/2021: Support for Disney+ buttons has been added

2/25/2022: Amazon has made changes to prevent my original remapping method from working. I have updated this guide with a workaround that should circumvent Amazon’s changes. If you previously installed any Remapper, it is best to uninstall it and carefully follow this guide from the very beginning. Enjoy this workaround while it lasts, but you should expect that Amazon will likely block it as well eventually.

3/3/2022: The original workaround did not work on Fire OS 7 devices. The guide has been updated again to now work on all Fire OS versions.

1/26/2023: Support for ABEMA, DirecTV, and Peacock TV buttons has been added.

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New unreleased Fire TV remote passes through FCC with closer ties to Amazon

The FCC has just approved a new unreleased Fire TV remote in the US. All indication points to this new remote being a direct replacement for the Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote that currently ships with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube and all Fire TV Smart TVs from Amazon’s own Omni and 4-Series TVs to 3rd-party TVs from Hisense, Xiaomi, Toshiba, Insignia, and others. While the remote will likely look and function identically to the existing remote, the FCC submission seems to indicate that Amazon is now taking the lead and pulling this remote in-house for the first time, instead of relying on a 3rd-party. Read more ›

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Amazon to increase Music Unimited subscription price next month in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan

Amazon has revealed that the price of its Music Unlimited subscription will be increasing. US customers who pay $9.99/month with start paying $10.99/month in February. Students on the discounted plan will now pay $5.99/month instead of $4.99/month. There’s no mention of the annual $89.99/year plan increasing, so signing up for that seems to be a good way to dodge the price increase, at least for the next year. The slightly cheaper price that Prime members pay already increased a few months ago, so that’s not changing again. The new prices go into effect on February 21. Read more ›

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Plex’s local media server features are taking a backseat to its more recent ad-supported streaming success

Plex originally made its name as a great way to consume and organize your own local media through its server capabilities. I, personally, switched from using Kodi to Plex in recent years as the primary way of watching my own media collection for a number of reasons. The days of Plex being a constantly improving hub for your local media might be numbered as the app now has more users watching its ad-supported streaming content than using it to watch local content from a Plex Media Server. While that shift is likely great for Plex as a business, it’s reason enough to be concerned if you enjoy its local media capabilities. Read more ›

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Amazon now forbids Fire TV apps from directly launching content within other streaming apps

Amazon has changed its policy regarding how Fire TV apps interact with other apps. Specifically, Fire TV apps can, allegedly, no longer directly launch movies or TV shows within other Fire TV apps. The practice, known as deep-linking, is important to the convenience of streaming aggregator apps, like Plex, JustWatch, and Reelgood, as it allows users to jump from one app directly to content in another app. According to Plex vice-president of marketing Scott Hancock, who spoke with Jared Newman from TechHive, Amazon asked Plex to remove deep-linking from its app. Read more ›

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Prime Video Channel subscribers get to dodge HBO Max price hike for 3 months

Last month, HBO Max returned as a Prime Video Channel subscription. For the same $14.99/month price as subscribing through HBO directly, Prime members could once again bundle HBO Max with other streaming subscriptions with some small advantages. This week, HBO announced it will be increasing the regular subscription price to $15.99/month, effective immediately. However, if you managed to subscribe through the Prime Video Channel offering before the price increase was announced, you’ll be given a three-month grace period where you’ll continue to pay $14.99/month before the price increases to $15.99/month. Your first billing date after April 11th will be the first time you’re charged the increased price.

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Amazon Luna cloud gaming is coming to LG Smart TVs

LG has announced that Amazon Luna cloud gaming is coming to its line of smart TVs. Samsung was the first non-Fire TV Smart TV to add built-in support for Luna when it was added last year and now LG joins the group of Luna-compatible devices. LG says Luna support is coming to its “latest TVs” but hasn’t specified which models or model years that entails. LG TVs as far back as 2020 models now support NVIDIA GeForce NOW cloud gaming, so, hopefully, Luna support will eventually be applied that far back as well.

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First signs of a new Chromecast with Google TV spotted

The original 4K Chromecast with Google TV was released in 2020 and is starting to show its age. Google released the 1080p Chromecast with Google TV late last year after months of leaks and rumors, but nothing has been found related to a new 4K model. That is, until now, since the first evidence of a new 3rd Chromecast model has been spotted. Read more ›

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Channel Up/Down buttons on Fire TV Remotes have gone mainstream

Over the years, the number of buttons on Fire TV remotes has slowly increased. Among the most recent button additions are channel up and down buttons, which first appeared a few years ago when Amazon updated the remote that ships with Fire TV Smart TVs. Stand-alone Fire TV streaming media players typically haven’t included remotes with channel buttons, that is, until the release of the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube last year which is the first stand-alone model that includes a remote with channel buttons. Amazon has now made a change that elevates channel buttons on Fire TV remotes to default status. Read more ›

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