Amazon appears to be imposing a ban on apps that allow users to remap the buttons on Fire TV remotes, and it’s not the first time the company has made this move.

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As reported by AFTVNews earlier this week, the latest update to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max has blocked the installation of “Remapper,” an app developed by AFTV’s Elias Saba. The app first launched in 2021, and this is now the second time Fire TV has blocked support.

The first time the app was blocked, it was due to a change Amazon made with its Appstore, but a later update allowed the app to continue working. This time around, Amazon has more explicitly blocked the app’s functionality through an update to the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

Now, Fire TV monitors for when an app launches, and if an unexpected app is launched instead, it aborts the app launch. This affects Remapper because the app is designed to simply open a different app than the one listed on one of the Fire TV remote’s four dedicated app buttons, giving the user the choice of which app can be opened.

This comes, notably, not long after Amazon introduced a “Pro” remote for Fire TV, which unlocks two customizable buttons for users. That remote costs $35.

Remapper still works on other Fire TV devices, but it’s expected that the same change will arrive in further updates to the rest of Amazon’s catalog. Amazon blocks these sorts of apps from the Appstore on Fire TV, and the decision likely boils down to, at least in part, advertiser partnerships since the services listed on your remote are effectively paid advertisements.

Meanwhile, Android TV OS, the underlying platform for Android TV and Google TV, allows users to remap buttons on the remote though third-party apps. One of our favorites is Button Mapper, which is free and works quite well.

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