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[APP] AppStarter v4.0 | AppDrawer and Kodi / SPMC Updater for Amazon FireTV

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By sphinx02, Senior Member on 25th May 2015, 09:14 PM
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Or buy me a cup of coffee, donation-link on GitHub

Logo of AppStarter AppStarter

AppStarter: An AppDrawer and Kodi / SPMC Updater for Amazon FireTV:
This App is Open-Source, visit AppStarter on GitHub: https://github.com/sphinx02/AppStarter
  • Lists all user-installed apps including sideloaded / adb installed apps.
  • Apps can be easily sorted / ordered by settings-button or click-drag-and-drop (long-click to start drag-and-drop).
  • Apps can be hidden from app drawer (see settings).
  • Kodi and SPMC can be installed and updated directly out of AppStarter (see Updates section).
  • Possibility to change the time of no action the FireTV waits to go to sleep.
  • Possibility to import / export settings.
  • Show system and device informations like Android-Version, Build-Version, Hostname, WiFi- / WLAN Name (SSID), IP Adress and Uptime.
  • Automatic update mechanism.
  • __No root required!__

Reviews / Articles:
  • Just google for "AppStarter FireTV"


Install AppStarter:
Easy installation in less than 5 minutes with only the FireTV
https://github.com/sphinx02/AppStarter/wiki/Install-AppStarter-and-Kodi-(only-FireTV-needed)

Standard installation via ADB
  • If you don't know how to sideload/install apps via ADB, read a tutorial (e.g. this one)
  • Download latest AppStarter APK and sideload/install with adb:
  • adb install -r AppStarter_v4.0.apk
  • Enjoy..
  • TO UPDATE APP: Simply use the integrated updater mechanism.

Why using it:
  • AppStarter provides a nice possiblity to show all user installed Apps.
  • AppStarter provides an Updater for Kodi and SMPC which allows to keep these two Apps up to date in a very convinient way.

Changelog:

v4.0
  • Renamed App to AppStarter
  • Renamed package to de.belu.appstarter
  • Removed home button observation as not needed anymore

v3.2.3
  • Added SPMC updater (possibility to install and update SPMC).
  • Added simplified chinese translation (thx lostindark).

v3.2.2
  • Fixed wrong app start of apps using the leanback-lib (e.g. MagineTV)
  • Updated translations

v3.2.1
  • Fixed "parse packet error" for Kodi updates
  • Added setting to decide which Kodi version is installed / updated (stable, beta / rc, nightly)

v3.2
  • Added possiblity to install / update Kodi (see Updates section). Thank you very much attilaszasz for your contribution!
  • Made "Background for App Names" a bit brighter. Thanks semitop7 for your contribution!
  • Added semi-transparent background for system, updates and settings section if the "Background for App Names" setting is enabled. Thanks semitop7 for your contribution!

v3.1.1
  • Fixed flashing screen / start app problems (disabled JumpbackWatchdog for FireOS5).
  • Updated translations

v3.1
  • Added setting to show background for app names in the app drawer (helps to read app names when wallpaper is used).
  • Added setting to hide left selection bar when on the main screen (app drawer).
  • Fixed backup (export/import) settings feature for FireOS5.
  • Updated russian and ukranian translations (thanks sem_top7 and Kramar111).

v3.0
  • Optimized ADB connection mechansims for FireOS5. Should now work without disable + enable ADB after reboots. Still no parallel ADB connections possible.
  • Added shortcut to ADB settings in AppStarter settings.
  • Added first try of completely new detecting home-button clicks without adb (which is also used as Fallback after 3 failed ADB connects). The new non-ADB observation of the home-button works only if you are on the original Amazon FireTV Home screen. This means if you are in any other App like Kodi, you have to click the home button once to get to the Amazon FireTV Home screen and then you can single or double click the home-button to perform the action desired. In practice that means, you can also add one home button click if you are in another app. If you are for example in Kodi, you can do a double-click to the home-button to perform the single click operation and according to this you can do a triple click to perform the double click action. Sorry for this strange behaviour but due to technical limitations of Android, there is no other possibility without ADB at the moment.
  • Removed restart-option and replaced it with notification how to restart with the remote.
  • Better handling of the jumback-detection -> fixes some unnessecary jumpbacks especially when the click-action is "- No Action -" or "FireTV Home". You can again safely use the jumpback detection (e.g. with default of 5000ms)!
  • Option to start click-action apps with FLAG_ACTIVITY_CLEAR_TASK -> Previous instances of the App are cleared before start (e.g. AppStarter then starts always on the first icon which is useful for some people with programmable remote's).
  • Everything only tested with FireOS4 on FireTV and with FireOS5 Developer Preview on FireTV-Stick. I am not yet able to test on a FireTV2 with the real FireOS5.

v2.7.2
  • Show device uptime and boot time in system tab
  • Back button returns to main app view if on another tab
  • Removed Go-To-Sleep functionality, as it is anyway possible via long-press home-button. The existing implementation was not reliable enough and made some problems under specific circumstances.

v2.7.1
  • Added russian and ukranian translations (any other language contributions are welcome). Thx to XDA user sem_top7 for the translations!
  • Fixed bug in file selector (no image files found in root-folder)
  • Fixed (hopefully) bug in manual language selection which sometimes lead to a mixed language

v2.7
  • Little redesign of the GUI
  • Added date & time information at top
  • Made the app-icons a little bit smaller (5 apps per row and still big enough)
  • Added customizable icon-size in settings
  • Added possibility to export / import settings
  • Added more informations to the system-tab
  • Added possibility to modify the time of no action till the FireTV goes to sleep
  • Added possibility to go directly to sleep from AppStarter (little hack, setting the time-to-sleep to a very short value and set it back after wake-up)
  • NOTES:
  • Be carefull with the go-to-sleep feature, only tested it on FireTV not on FireTV-Stick. Advanced users give me feedback if it works please .
  • The setting of the general time of no action till FireTV goes to sleep is safe to use. It is a default Android-Setting which can be edited by apps (I don't understand why Amazon isn't giving us this feature..).

v2.6
  • Custom wallpaper via settings (JPG / PNG cropped to fit screen)
  • Renamed "All Apps" to "Apps" and "Infos" to "System"
  • Added WiFi name to System-Tab
  • Added possibility to reboot FireTV to System-Tab
  • Added FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK and FLAG_ACTIVITY_CLEAR_TASK to startup-action (perhaps helps some people reporting weird colors when starting Kodi as startup-action)
  • NOTES:
  • Tried to add sleep-button to bring FireTV to sleep-mode but it seems as this is not possible without root, if anyone knows anything else, please report...
  • Settings ex-/import and more themeable GUI are still on my TODO.
v2.5
  • Check out settings-button: Added menu for apps to move app (same than long-click) or to open app-specific settings
  • Items in the left selection bar are now also clickable with a mouse
  • Added german translation and manual setting of the current language
  • Spelling corrections
v2.4.1
  • Apps are not started with FLAG_ACTIVITY_CLEAR_TASK which lets app resume their last activity.
  • Replaced some icons / made some visual optimizations
  • For timing settings, now the correct inputtype is used (number only keyboard is displayed).
  • Adjusted default-timings (only for fresh installations).
  • Minor fixes.
v2.4
  • Implemented jumpback prevention watchdog which prevents amazon home from coming to the foreground after click-actions (configurable in settings). Thanks XDA user harlekinrains for this idea.
  • Removed now unnessecary action-delay setting.
  • Added FireTV settings application to apps-list. Thanks XDA user fsi09 for this idea.
  • Some code cleanup / optimization.
v2.3
  • Fixed ugly bug in settings (kind of endless loop), which caused huge cpu-load and weird behaviour of settings storage.
  • Fixed bug when sysapp were set visible and apps were reordered, sysapps were not hided again on settings change.
  • Allow greater double-click interval and action delay (up to 1000ms).
v2.2
  • Added adjustable double-click interval and action-delay
  • Reordered settings
  • When going to app-drawer, first icon is automatically focused (configurable in settings)
  • Update service (able to update itself)
v2.1
  • Fixed problems on FireTV-Stick (which by default has multiple local adb-devices), thanks to harlekinrains for logcat-infos
  • Added AppStarter version to info view
v2.0
  • Real Home-Button detection, even double-home-button-clicks are captured
  • Completely new GUI with settings and additional Infos
  • Completely configurable actions
  • Hide-App feature

Screenshots:
Screenshot of AppStarterScreenshot of AppStarter
Screenshot of AppStarterScreenshot of AppStarter


Hit THANKS button if you like it!
Or buy me a cup of coffee, donation-link on GitHub

.
The Following 236 Users Say Thank You to sphinx02 For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift sphinx02 Ad-Free
 
 
25th May 2015, 11:42 PM |#2  
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You can also include some informative things; time, date, weather etc. to the corners maybe.
Different backgrounds option might be a good feature to have.
26th May 2015, 08:23 AM |#3  
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@legendnexus

The current version is my "first shot" and for the beginning a good working solution was more important. But yes I also thought about adding some informative things.. Thank you, I will put it on my ToDo-List


@harlekinrains
Thank you for your detailed (and merciless^^) feedback:
  • You are right, the replacement-icon is grap, but I'm not a designer and in a quick way it shows the replacement capability and is better than the original IkonoTV-Icon. I think about a better one
  • Hiding apps is definetly planed, I add it to my ToDo-List. But at the moment I am not "guessing" which apps the user dont want to see, I simply do not show system apps but only user installed apps (except for kftv-launcher/amazonhome).
  • I am with you, that look&feel is very important and I try to work on this part

Your requirement:
I do not really understand your requirement, do you mean to simply start another app instead of the App but with the same home- and startup-detection? Is this not what AFTV Launcher Helper already does?
26th May 2015, 10:09 AM |#4  
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Ok I understand now, perhaps I will add this in future as an option.

For me it feels more attractive to have only one app without huge configuring steps.. For me the most important part is, that also beginners are able to use the App. That is why on the top of my ToDo-list are better installation instructions and possibility to install / keep updated some of the most famous apps from the App directly. So in the end my focus is really the usability espspecially for non-experts. I also think about a little (windows-) installation tool with auto-detection of the FireTV and Wizard-Charakter for the installation of the App. But this all is a lot of work and I dont know when I find the time to..

Anyway I am really happy to hear other's opinion and to get more inspiration by users, thank you again harlekinrains for your constructive feedback

BTW: Thanks for your uninstallation hint, perhaps I should also add an uninstallation routine, which cleans up the .imagecache-folder and triggers the the App uninstallation then..
27th May 2015, 03:11 PM |#5  
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v2.0
Forget what I realeased in v1.0, I am proud to present a completely new way of detecting the home-button-click in v2.0

The XDA-user g4rb4g3 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...6&postcount=87 pointed me to the right corner of the home-button detection and I think it works brilliant (as long as you keep adb-debugging enabled on the FireTV). As some requested, everything is completely configurable, so you can use my app also to only start your favourite apps.

v2.0
  • Real Home-Button detection, even double-home-button-clicks are captured
  • Completely new GUI with settings and additional Infos
  • Completely configurable actions
  • Hide-App feature

Hit THANKS button if you like it!
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27th May 2015, 04:57 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx02

Forget what I realeased in FireStarter v1.0, I am proud to present a completely new way of detecting the home-button-click in FireStarter v2.0

The XDA-user g4rb4g3 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...6&postcount=87 pointed me to the right corner of the home-button detection and I think it works brilliant (as long as you keep adb-debugging enabled on the FireTV). As some requested, everything is completely configurable, so you can use my app also to only start your favourite apps.

FireStarter v2.0

  • Real Home-Button detection, even double-home-button-clicks are captured
  • Completely new GUI with settings and additional Infos
  • Completely configurable actions
  • Hide-App feature

Hit THANKS button if you like it!

Just tried your app. Works great. Very straightforward.
Thanks for your work
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28th May 2015, 08:19 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlekinrains

On the Fire TV Stick - I get a toast "Starting Home Button observer takes to long"....

Hey harlekinrains, too bad that it is not working on the firetv-stick out of the box. I had no firetv-stick to test, as my sister has it at the moment .

Thank you very much for the log's thats very helpful! I think we can rule out the performance of the firetv-stick, as the new way of catching the home-button click via adb is very performant. The only hard-coded timing is the waiting-time for the second click in the double-click detection. The other timings are only to trigger these informative toast messages. I think the reason could be, that on the firetv-stick usb-debugging is not possible? Could that be? That would not be an problem, I only have to change the way I connect to the local adb.
EDIT : Normally it must not be enabled in the settings. On my FireTV it is disabled and everything works perfect. The question was only: Is there a setting for usb-debugging on the FireTV-Stick?

If you have (and really only if you have) the time to, you can chek the following things (I do it on my own as far as I have the time to and have mit FireTV-Stick back):
  • From the shell of your pc go to the shell of the FireTV-Stick:
    Code:
    adb connect [IP of your FireTV-Stick]
    adb shell
  • Then in the shell on the FireTV-Stick enter the following commands and tell me whats the output:
    Code:
    adb devices
    adb logcat -c
28th May 2015, 08:35 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlekinrains

Give me just a sec - and thank the all mighty RNG for you having access to a FIre TV Stick. ....
....

"All mighty RNG" - I dont get it

Thank you for the output, I think everything is clear now, the fact that there are by default two devices listed is the problem. I have to change my code to use adb with an explicit device. On my FireTV by default I have only the "emulator.."-entry which let it work without specifiing the adb-device..

Perhaps I can provide an update this afternoon, at the moment I am too busy
28th May 2015, 09:42 AM |#9  
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I have a Fire TV box and after a restart it says observer needs too long. That message is only viewable for seconds. The app doesnt work so far for me . Too bad
28th May 2015, 03:58 PM |#10  
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v2.1
After your feedback, I tried to fix the remaining problems especially on the FireTV-Stick. I had again no FireTV-Stick to test the changes but I'm pretty sure my changes will rule out the problems. Please tell me if it works on your devices

v2.1
  • Fixed problems on FireTV-Stick (which by default has multiple local adb-devices), thanks to harlekinrains for logcat-infos
  • Added app version to info view

Hit THANKS button if you like it!
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28th May 2015, 04:33 PM |#11  
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Thanks for your quick support! I can confirm that this even works on the Fire TV BOX now! Big Thanks! One of the must have apps.
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