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Home / News / The latest Amazon Fire TV Stick update stops some apps from working without warning

The latest Amazon Fire TV Stick update stops some apps from working without warning

Amazon's latest software update to the Fire TV Stick stops certain third-party apps from working as expected, without any warning.

Amazon's Fire TV Stick pictured alongside a remote

Ever the popular smart device, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick gives you instant access to an arsenal of shows and films. While Prime Video has a pretty decent library, much more watching is done via third-party apps. But the latest Fire TV Stick update has stopped some apps from working, essentially stopping some users from using the streaming device.

The latest Fire TV Stick software update stops third-party apps from accessing the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). Anyone that’s ever tinkered with an Android smartphone will know that this lets developers get their its on system settings that aren’t normally accessible. Lots of apps use this to add extra features that aren’t normally available, but this update stops them doing so.

It mostly affects more advanced apps, such as those that clear the cache (to speed things up) or skip over the native home screen. But, interestingly, it’s also had an effect on certain emulator apps, such as those to run a console game. Since the update stops apps from accessing the ADB controls, the software is essentially rendered useless.

Why would Amazon want to stop third-party apps from using the ADB? The tech giant says its all done in the name of security. ADB connections can access the device at a deeper level. It would, technically, leave your Fire TV Stick vulnerable should an app try to dig around maliciously. But, you do have to give specific apps explicit permission to access ADB. Although, this wouldn’t help if a bad-acting app was in disguise. While this will help keep users safe, developers aren’t happy as they didn’t get a heads up. And, something Amazon failed to mention, is that using the native Fire TV home screen lets you see ad content on there.

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Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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