Customizable buttons on the Fire TV Pro Remote cannot open Sideloaded Apps

The Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote Pro is easily the best Fire TV remote you can own and you can read all about everything it can do in my review. The one and only issue with the new Pro remote is that the two customizable buttons, which can be assigned to open any app or execute any Alexa command, cannot be assigned to open sideloaded apps.

When configuring the two customizable buttons on the Pro remote, you’re presented with a list of apps to pick from. The list simply does not include any of your sideloaded apps, so you can only assign the buttons to open apps that have been downloaded from the Amazon Appstore.

This is a very unfortunate omission from Amazon, which has been relatively open towards sideloaded apps up until now, since sideloaded apps appear in Amazon’s Fire TV home launcher and app grid. With any luck, this is an oversight that will be corrected in a future software update, but I have my doubts. This could be a deliberate decision to make accessing alternative home launchers more difficult.

For now, if you want to access sideloaded apps through the customizable buttons on the Pro remote, one option is to assign the button to open my “Apps” shortcut app found in the Amazon Appstore. This way, pressing the custom button will immediately display the Fire TV’s default grid of apps, which include your sideloaded apps. Another option is to assign the customizable button to open my “Recents” shortcut app, where you’ll also see sideload apps listed in order of most recently launched, along with other recent apps and content.

Update

There is now a workaround that allows you to launch any sideloaded apps using the customizable buttons on your Fire TV Pro Remote. See this guide for detailed instructions.

24 comments
  1. Simon says:

    I have also made an app on amazon app store, named App Opener, It could be useful for handling sideloaded apk. Check it out. https://www.amazon.com/Simon-HCM-App-Opener/dp/B08PL5NJCY

  2. Thomas says:

    Is there a way to program this remote to change the TV input? I know you can do so by holding the Alexa button and asking, but I’d prefer to do so without my voice if possible. I haven’t really found a definitive answer yet. Also, what are the up/down arrows on the right side of the remote for?

  3. ash says:

    The “app opener” app worked perfectly to assigning the shortcut of a sideloaded app to the pro remote control.

  4. MikeFL says:

    Of course, unless I’m missing something, you can just use it ‘once’, say for button 1, not for 1 and 2 as you can only select the App Opener once as the choice. I guess 50% is an improvement. Thanks again

  5. Joe says:

    This app is perfect. But I also agree with another reply… please please please add a second version of this app to the store so we can map the second button! Thanks for the great work!

  6. Willie says:

    I have tried “Switch to HDMI 2”, “switch to dvr”, “switch source”… All work using voice command but when assigned to a custom button I get the response “You provider couldn’t do that “. Any ideas?

  7. Liz says:

    Thank you life/game changer this app is

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