Amazon rolled out a software update for Fire TV devices that prevents customers from remapping the shortcut buttons below the remote. There are apps available in the Google Play Store that allow users to remap virtually any button on their Android TV and Google TV devices, but Amazon has never allowed users to remap predefined Fire TV buttons. There have been several instances in which Amazon has actively prevented workarounds allowing users to remap buttons over the years.
A select few 3rd-party app shortcut buttons, such as Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, could only be remapped by this app, as it mimicked the app it was supposed to launch by simulating it. Several limitations came along with this, including not being able to install the actual app associated with the button on the device. However, many users were okay with that. It took Amazon a year to update Fire TV devices, so that Remapper no longer worked by checking if the app being launched by the app button was installed by Amazon. If it wasn’t, the app was halted. To trick the Fire TV into thinking the Remapper app was installed by the Amazon Appstore, a few more steps had to be added during the setup process, so remapping app buttons was once again possible. Fortunately, adding a few more steps during setup tricked the Fire TV into thinking the Remapper app was installed by the Amazon Appstore, enabling the ability to remap app buttons.
This has changed with the recent arrival of version 188.8.131.52 for Fire TV Stick 4K Max. This update has improved its detection of whether the app being launched by the remote app buttons is the expected app. When using Remapper to remap an app button, the Fire TV log file shows the line “App [app name] is not trusted. Aborting launch.” Currently, this change is only available on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max,
Since then, Amazon has created the Alexa Voice Remote Pro for Fire TV devices, which features two customizable buttons for launching apps. The best thing you can do if you need remote buttons to perform your bidding is to buy that remote. In spite of the fact that paying $35 for functionality you already had for free is not ideal, at least Remapper offers a legitimate alternative now which didn’t exist when the product was initially released. Although it is not ideal to pay $35 for functionality that you already had at your disposal, Remapper now offers a legitimate alternative to the original product.
Alexis Boutilier is from Vancouver, British Columbia. She has a high interest in all things tech and loves to stay engaged on all the latest appliances and accessories.