Blacklisted Fire TV apps display new notices with questionable accuracy

Amazon has been blacklisting and disabling specific apps on Fire TV devices since at least 2016, which is when it first blocked two popular apps that replaced Amazon’s own ad-filled Fire TV home screen with much simpler alternatives. The battle between Amazon and the Fire TV modding community over control of the streaming device’s home screen has been raging on ever since, with new apps being added to the dreaded blacklist of disallowed apps once they become popular enough to garner Amazon’s attention. While Amazon has been blocking and disabling Fire TV apps for years, it hasn’t been straightforward about the behavior. Recent Fire TV software updates show that Amazon is now being more upfront with customers about apps being disabled, however, many would disagree with the truthfulness of Amazon’s reasoning. Read more ›

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New method to use custom launchers on Fire TVs can disable Amazon’s app blacklist

The cat-and-mouse game continues between Amazon and the modding community over the use of custom alternate home screen launchers on Fire TV devices. Several months ago, Amazon hit back hard by blacklisting Launcher Manager, a popular app that had been used for years by Fire TV customers wanting to use a custom launcher on their device. Now, a new method has been developed to, once again, use alternate launchers, and it does so by, essentially, disabling Amazon’s app blacklist using a feature already built into the Launcher Manager app. Read more ›

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Amazon blacklists Launcher Manager app for taking control of Fire TV remote buttons

It was inevitable, but it looks like Amazon has already blacklisted the Fire TV app, Launcher Manager. The sideload-only app, which was updated earlier this month with the ability to remap the Home and App Shortcut buttons on Fire TV remotes, can no longer be opened on Fire TV devices. Selecting the app displays the message seen above about the app needing to be updated. Read more ›

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Amazon blocks sideloaded Fire TV app that auto-launches Kodi on boot

It was expected, but Amazon has blacklisted OnBootKodi, a 3rd-party app that automatically launches Kodi when the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick boots up. This is now the third app that Amazon has blocked from running on Fire TV devices, joining FireStarter and FiredTV Launcher. If any of these three apps are found installed on the device, then the app is disabled. Read more ›

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How to disable Amazon’s app blacklist on a rooted Fire TV 2

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Amazon has decided to disable FireStarter and FiredTV Launcher through an app blacklist in their new 5.0.5.1 software update. If you have a rooted device, here is how to disable the app blacklist and restore blocked apps. Read more ›

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Amazon essentially declares war on alternate Fire TV launchers that replace the default home screen

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It turns out FireStarter isn’t the only app being disabled by the new 5.0.5.1 Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software update. FiredTV Launcher, another alternate home screen replacement app for the Fire TV, has also been blacklisted by Amazon and is now being automatically disabled. This is damning evidence that the reason behind Amazon disabling FireStarter has nothing to do with its unconventional use of internal ADB connections, and everything to do with forcing you to use the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick their way. Read more ›

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How to continue using FireStarter on Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software version 5.0.5.1

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Starting with software version 5.0.5.1, Amazon has started disabling FireStarter by name on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. XDA member jkchr1s has done a great job figuring out the details of FireStarter’s removal and has released a clone app that currently works with the new software version. Here’s what you need to know about the new clone app, called FireStopper, and the proper way to cleanly switch to using it for the time being. Read more ›

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Strong evidence that Amazon has blacklisted FireStarter app by name in latest Fire TV update

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There is strong evidence that FireStarter, the alternate launcher that can replace the Fire TV home screen and provide custom remote home button functions, has been explicitly blacklisted, by name, by Amazon. Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners that have manually installed the unofficial app through sideloading will find that it has been disabled after their devices update to the latest 5.0.5.1 software version. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app will restore it, but once the Fire TV reboots or sits idle for a period of time, the app is once again disabled. Amazon has always rejected apps that “override the native user experience” and blocked their entrance to the official Fire TV appstore, but this appears to be the first time they’ve deliberately targeted and prevented the use of a specific unofficial app. Read more ›

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FireStarter not compatible with new Fire TV software update 5.0.5.1

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It appears that the new 5.0.5.1 Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software update is disabling FireStarter. The app remains on the Fire TV, but is removed from the “Apps” section and cannot be launched. The app is also removed from the “Manage Applications” section of the Settings menu. If you uninstall FireStarter using the ADB command adb uninstall de.belu.firestarter and then reinstall it, you will be able to launch the app. However, once you reboot the device, the app will once again be inaccessible.

It’s unclear at this point why FireStarter is being disabled by the Fire TV. One theory is that it is being disabled and quarantined due to its unconventional practice of establishing an internal ADB connection, which is one of the ways it detects home button presses. Once more people, including myself, receive the new software update and get a chance to diagnose why FireStarter is being disabled, we should know more. For the time being, if you are a fan of FireStarter, and don’t want to lose its functionality, you may want to block software updates until more is learned.

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