Amazon blocks long-running Fire TV capability — Breaking popular apps with no warning and giving developers the runaround

Amazon’s recent streak of unpopular Fire TV changes continues, and its latest change is a doozy. The most recent Fire TV software update has blocked a Fire TV capability that has been present since the original model’s release in 2014. This is a basic Android capability that, to my knowledge, no other Android-based device manufacturer has ever had issues with, let alone blocked. This change has rendered popular Fire TV apps, which have been in Amazon’s own Appstore for years, useless. Worse yet, Amazon seems to have been careless in implementing this change without even a courtesy email to the affected app developers, all under the, seemingly false, guise of enhanced security. Read more ›

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Older Fire TV devices are now more secure with newly added prompt for ADB connections

Part of the new software update that is rolling out to all older Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television models that were released over a year ago is added security for Android Debug Bridge (ADB) connections. Newer Fire TV devices running Fire OS 6 prompt the user to accept ADB connections before the connection is permitted. That same behavior has now been added to Fire OS 5 devices. This will help protect Fire TV devices from things like the malware worm that was infecting Fire TVs earlier this year. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Cube supports Safe Mode, Shutdown, Fastboot, and ADB over USB

I spent some time poking and prodding the Amazon Fire TV Cube today and discovered a few undocumented capabilities that I figured I’d share. None of the things I found are terribly exciting or lead to anything significant at this point, but they may interest those of you who might like to tinker with the underlying Android roots of the Fire TV Cube. Read more ›

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How to Remotely Control an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick via ADB

While tweaking your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, you may need a way to remotely control the device over the network via ADB. This is especially useful for the Fire TV Stick since there is no way to connect a USB peripheral. Blog reader Will found out the hard way that mistakenly disabling bluetooth on the Fire TV Stick essentiualy bricks the device since the remote control no longer works. This guide will help Will and others out of such a jam. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick USB Port Not “For Power Only” — ADB over USB Confirmed

Amazon has stated the USB port on the Fire TV Stick is “for power only”. That’s not entirely accurate. I’ve discovered that connecting to the Fire TV Stick via ADB using a USB cable is possible and fully functional. Simply plug the Fire TV Stick’s USB “power” cable into a Mac or Linux computer, open a terminal window, run the command adb start-server, and then run the command adb devices to see that the Fire TV Stick is detected as a connected device. I was able to sideload apps and navigate the file system as you would expect with any ADB connected device. Read more ›

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