A week ago, I wrote that it seemed like Amazon halted the 18.104.22.168 software update rollout for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Then, a few days later, the update rollout was back in full swing. Thanks to information I’ve received from a trusted source, I can confirm the update was in fact halted and then restarted, as well as the reason for the pause. The update was not halted due to an issue or bug with the software itself, but rather, due to the increased load on the Amazon Appstore servers caused by the new Fire TV interface.
The new Fire TV interface arriving with the 22.214.171.124 software update is much more visually appealing than the previous interface. This is not only due to the improved layout, but also due to the use of dynamically changing images. As you navigate around the interface, images change to match the content being highlighted. Each section of the interface also has a large featured area with images and videos to highlight interesting apps and content. To give you another idea of these interface changes, app developers were previously only required to submit an app icon and screenshots when submitting their app to the Fire TV appstore. Now, there are 6 different image assets, used in various parts of the interface, that developers are recommended to include when submitting apps.
Amazon knew the new image rich interface would result in a higher number of server requests, but once Fire TVs began receive the new update, the increased server load they saw was higher than they estimated it would be. They halted the update to investigate whether or not they simply underestimated the increased server load, or if there was a problem with the update that was making unnecessary server requests, similar to the old screensaver bug.
After it was determined that the new software update was functioning correctly, Amazon beefed up their Appstore servers a bit to handle the underestimated load, and resumed the update rollout. This explains why, when the rollout resumed, there was not a new version of the update with a new build number, like we’ve seen in the past when updates have been halted. There was never anything wrong with the 126.96.36.199 software update; just an under estimation of the new interface’s server impact.