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.