There appears to be a bug on select Amazon Fire TV devices that prevents the icon of some sideloaded apps to display correctly on the Home screen and Apps screen. Instead of the app icon appearing, a gray icon with a slash through it appears. The bug seems to only affect apps that store their APK icon in a specific way, which is why some sideloaded apps are not affected. Until Amazon fixes the bug, there is a way to make broken icons appear and it involves modifying the APK itself. Here’s how to get around the issue and make icons appear.
From what I’ve been able to determine, it seems like apps that store their app icon in the
If the missing icon doesn’t bother you too much, you should probably just wait for a software update to fix the issue. That’s because you have to modify every APK individually to fix the issue and you’ll need to do it each time you update the sideloaded app with a new version. Every APK is created differently, so these instructions might not apply universally to all APKs and some APKs just can’t be modified at all. In other words, this solution is a very crude and finicky bandage to the issue, but I wanted to provide some sort of solution because a lot of people have been asking about how to fix this issue.
- Download and install APK Editor Studio on a Mac or Windows PC. You’ll also need to download the affected APK onto your computer as well.
- Launch APK Editor Studio
- Select “Open Apk” and load the APK that you want to modify/fix.
- On the bottom-right of the app, right-click on the “XHDPI” icon and select “Save Resource As.” (Note that you should only need to follow these steps for the “XHDPI” version of the icon, but if your APK doesn’t have an “XHDPI” version or you run into issues, you may need to do this for all listed icon versions.)
- At this point you should see that the icon is in a directory that starts with “mipmap” so we want to save it in an equivilant directory that starts with “drawable.” Go up one level in the directory tree to the “res” directory and in there you should find a “drawable-xhdpi” directory. Select it and save the icon in the “drawable-xhdpi” directory and be sure to keep the name as “ic_launcher.” (Note that if you do not see a “drawable-xhdpi” directory, then either create it or place the icon in the next closest directory, such as the “drawable-xxhdpi” or “drawable-hdpi” directory.)
- Lastly, you need to modify the Android Manifest file so that it specifies the icon is in the “drawable” directory and not in the “mipmap” directory. Do this by first selecting the “File System” tab in the very bottom-left and then double-click the “AndroidManifest.xml” file to open it.
- Near the top of the file, find the line that starts with “<application” and scroll to the right until you find the section of the line that has “android:icon” in it. The line will probably say
android:icon=”@mipmap/ic_launcher”so you want to replace “mipmap” with “drawable” so that the line now reads android:icon=”@drawable/ic_launcher”. Be sure not to delete the “@” or modify any other part of the line.
- Close and save the Android Manifest file using the small “x” in AndroidManifest.xml tab in the top-center of the screen.
- You’re done, so click “Save APK” and give the APK a new file name. (Note that if you get an Error in the top-left when trying to save the APK, your best bet is to close everything and follow the guide again from the start. There is also a possibility that the APK you are working on simply cannot be modified. To test this, try just opening the APK in APK Editor Studio and then immediately saving it without any modifications. If you get an error, then the APK can’t be modified.)
- This modified APK has a new signature that no longer matches the original APK, so you will not be able to install it as an update to the original APK. This means that you must uninstall the original APK from your Fire TV before you’ll be able to sideload this new modified APK.