Amazon has added support for sideloaded apps in the Fire TV interface with the latest 5.0.4 software update. Apps you sideload, like Kodi, will now appear in the Fire TV’s “Apps” section along with apps downloaded from the Amazon Appstore. Sideloaded apps can even be favorited, just like official apps, so that they always appear on the front of your app list. Once older devices, like the 1st-gen Fire TV, are updated to Fire OS 5 next month, they too should gain this ability.
Sideloaded apps still do not appear on the Home screen’s “Recent” app list. Hopefully this is just a bug that will be addressed in the future. The “Apps” section and the “Home” of the Fire TV are completely separate parts of the Fire TV interface. It may appear like you’re in the same interface/app when navigating through the different Fire TV side menu items, but in reality, when you navigate to the Fire TV’s “Apps” section, you’re actually launching an entirely different interface/app that is run by the Amazon Appstore app on the Fire TV. While it’s not perfect, it’s great to see Amazon supporting sideloaded apps and acknowledging it’s what the Fire TV community wants.
Important note for Kodi users:
If you’re not seeing Kodi appear in the “Apps” section, it’s likely because you need to delete Kodi from your Amazon app purchases. If you “purchased” Kodi from the Amazon Appstore back when it was available, it is still associated with your account. You need to go to Amazon’s “Your Apps” page, find Kodi in the list of apps, and delete it. Then go to the “My Account” section of the Fire TV’s settings menu and select “Sync Amazon Content.” Kodi should then be available in the Fire TV’s “Apps” section.