FTVLaunchX enables custom launchers on Amazon Fire TV devices without root
Amazon doesn’t officially make any Android-powered smartphones but the e-commerce giant does have a range of products that utilize Android. Amazon’s Fire TV devices, for example, run a fork of Android, called Fire OS, with Amazon’s customized user interface on top. Although the underlying software is based on Android, Amazon doesn’t make it any easier for users to customize or tweak the software to their liking. Using third-party launchers is something we take for granted on our Android smartphones and tablets, but on the Fire TV you don’t have that freedom because Amazon prevents you from using custom launchers.
There used to be a popular app called LauncerHijack to get around this restriction. The app simply redirected the home button press on the Fire TV remote to instead take you to a third-party launcher of your choice. Using ADB, users could then disable the stock Amazon launcher, effectively replacing the stock launcher with a custom one.
Unfortunately, Amazon rolled out a Fire OS update that blocked the LauncherHijack package and also removed the ADB shell command to disable packages, effectively stopping users from running custom launchers without rooting.
Luckily, a new workaround has been found by XDA Junior Member TheRealQubix that once again makes it possible for Fire TV owners to replace the default launcher with a custom launcher of their choice without root. Dubbed FTVLaunchX, the new solution is inspired by LauncherHijackis and also overcomes some of the issues of the old method.
The FTVLaunchX has been successfully tested on the Fire TV Stick 2nd Generation, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Nvidia Shield 2017. However, it could work on other models as well. To learn more about this project, download the APK and get step-by-step instructions on how to set it up on your Fire TV, visit the linked thread below.