Since the Amazon Fire TV 2 was a 64-bit device, many people seem to have assumed that the new Fire TV 3 would also be a 64-bit device. In reality, that’s only partially the case, because while the Fire TV 3 has a 64-bit CPU, the current version of Fire OS 6 running on the device is actually a 32-bit operating system.
The 3rd generation Fire TV has a brand new Amlogic S905Z CPU. It’s so new that not much is known about it. What we do know is that it’s part of the S905 family of processors, which is Amlogic’s first line of 64-bit products. However, trying to install a 64-bit app will result in the installation failing, as many trying to install the 64-bit version of Kodi have learned.
If you run the ADB command
Running the ADB command
Now that we know what’s going on, what does it mean? Not much really, but that’s just my opinion. You can find thousands of pages of forum posts full of people arguing the pros and cons of the 32-bit vs. 64-bit debate, and honestly, I don’t know enough about it to confidently give an opinion. What I do know is that most people are in agreement that a device benefits most from a 64-bit architecture if it has 4GB or more of RAM, which the Fire TV 3 nor any other Fire TV model have.
If had to guess why Amazon put a 32-bit operating system on 64-bit hardware, I’d say it’s because this is the first release of Fire OS 6 and making it universally usable was probably a priority. By making the first version of Fire OS 6 a 32-bit operating system, it means it can be used on both 32-bit and 64-bit devices. Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire Tablet models consist of a mixture of 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It makes sense to, at first, concentrate on an OS that could theoretically be installed on all devices and then work up to a 64-bit version later.
Amazon’s Fire TV Hardware Specifications page for developers lists whether the CPU of each Fire TV and Fire TV Stick model is 32-bit or 64-bit, but the new listing for the Fire TV 3 is distinctly missing that information. This could be because they don’t yet know if they’ll be updating the Fire TV 3 to a 64-bit version of Fire OS 6 at some point in the future.
For now, all this just means you should stick to choosing a 32-bit app when sideloading, if you have the option to choose between a 64-bit or 32-bit version. Apps installed from the Amazon Appstore will automatically install the correct version, so there’s no need to worry there.