A new software update is starting to roll out to nearly all Fire TV models. The new update is marked as version 18.104.22.168 with a build value of 587600920. While Amazon has not yet edited their Fire TV Software Update page to include this latest update, they have added the new update to their Fire TV Source Code Notice page. That page indicates that this update is rolling out to the Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, Fire TV Stick 1, Fire TV Stick 2, and Fire TV Edition televisions. The page has never been updated to include the Fire TV 3, so it’s unknown if those devices are also being updated.
I’ve received this update on a Fire TV 1 and have not found any obvious differences yet. Since the latest version number has moved from 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199 with this new update, there might be something significant hidden under the hood since lately Amazon has just been updating the build value when just releasing bug fixes.
It’s very unusual for Amazon to release a Fire TV update in December. I’ve been told in the past by trusted sources that Amazon avoids releasing updates whenever possible between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. That’s because if an unforeseen issue is introduced with an update during that period, it’s extra troublesome because a lot of staff is on vacation and there are a lot of new devices being set up for the first time due to the big sales that occur during that time.
One possibility for this unconventional software update is that it contains something to resolve Google’s upcoming YouTube block. If Amazon does plan to bypass the block, as some reports suggest, that would certainly be reason enough to release an update during this dark period when they otherwise avoid releasing updates. Another explanation for releasing an update in December is that this update has just been in the pipeline for some time and only now made it through QA testing.
As always, I’ll be digging into this update to try to uncover what changes it contains. Be sure to leave a comment below if you notice anything different after receiving this update.
Bottom-line, If Google wants to break Youtube on FireTvs other amazon devices, they will. Amazon fighting a losing battle here.
Not at all. Devices access YouTube through a standard URL. It’s just a website.
The only mechanism Google has to block access is via browser fingerprinting. Amazon could change their “YouTube” app (which is really just a web wrapper) to imitate a Samsung Smart TV in every particular, and Google would have zero recourse.
For more info on fingerprinting, check this site. These are the kind of things Amazon would need to imitate.
Not sure I agree. Hacker almost always are able to stay ahead of companies. There will be ways to get Youtube on FTV, and Google has no way to stop it.
Is Amazon a hacker or a company?
It is absolutely a cat and mouse game between those who control the walls of their walled garden and those who seek to push the boundaries of those walls (E.g. Magisk is a perfect example of this).
I will however say, as noted by others here already, it would be incredibly difficult for Google to discern between AFTV users and other hardware users if even moderate device obfuscation measures are put in place.
While Google most certainly is perhaps the biggest tech giant on the block, Amazon is no slouch, and I am quite sure they employ some very clever software engineers as well. Even if there isn’t a desire by Amazon to take Google to task, there are always options for rooted (and to some extent non-rooted) end users to achieve this on an individual basis.
No particular need for root, the “Smart YouTube TV” app linked here previously is just a web wrapper around https://www.youtube.com/TV using the LG Smart TV user-agent and it works great sideloaded without root access.
As a side benefit it also blocks YouTube ads, which normally I would be against as a moral issue, but in this case… screw ’em.
But the “Smart YouTube TV” app misses an icon in the amazon launcher or is there any way to get it?
Not sure what you mean. If you see a red TV with an S in it. That is the icon. You can also mod the APK’s icon very easily if you don’t like it. Just Google it.
Really like that the Smart YouTube TV app is a very active project by the amount of updates I’ve seen so far.
Ok a reboot did it. Now I see the app icon in my apps and also in the recent menu.
Thanks I will try it if it blocks ads. I can pay for Play Music to get no ads but until they upgrade there mud MP3 sound quality to AAC or FLAC and fix the skipping tracks it is not worth it for ad free YouTube so you can watch boring unboxing videos, low quality cat videos and fake reviews that’s just music and text done in Movie Maker with no actual content which is so boring now.
“Google most certainly is perhaps…”
What does that mean exactly?
I think Amazon will loose a lot of customers if they block “You Tube” I for one. I listen to a lot of my music I can’t get on Amazon. My grandson of 9 years old play a lot of “Mindcraft”etc on “You Tube “.
How comes that so so so many people get it wrong like that?
No one ever announced that Amazon would block YouTube. Google announced to block access from Fire TVs to youtube.com/tv, not vice versa. Still I read in user comments everywhere complaints about how Amazon would now want to block YouTube. Is the attention span of people nowadays really so minimal that they won’t even read the entire news in order to get it right? So annoying.
That gentleman is talking about his grandkid playing “Mindcraft”. Cut him some slack.
This mis-perception is exactly what Google is playing to its advantage. If YouTube stops working on a consumer’s Amazon device, but keeps working everywhere else the average consumer will blame Amazon. Amazon will take the PR hit and the huge cost of servicing customer support calls and messages.
Great find! I will definitely keep that in mind.
My reference to root was more or less me referencing the cornucopia of Xposed modules which would be a “set it and forget it” solution.
All this to say – our original point still stands. This is definitely a game Google can engage in, but will ultimately not 100% succeed in.
Comment was meant for “Paul T” above.
Amazon just made Amazon music Chromecast compatible early this morning in beta.
Looks like that actually happened last month, on Android anyway. So I wouldn’t take it as a positive (or negative) sign for the Amazon/Google relationship.
Chromecast function in Amazon Music is gone on my smartphone. It was working some days ago and now i can’t see the cast icon anymore.
Why would a new FTV OS update be required to make changes just for YouTube? (If that’s Amazon’s intention)
Why not update just the YouTube app itself?
I just hope it fixes the stuttering issues with Hulu but knowing Hulu and Amazon just like the annoying Apple TV Hulu mono bug it can take about six months and several updates until it is actually fixed.
System apps can’t be updated independently from the OS. Any app that can’t be fully uninstalled but just “uninstall updates” is a system app. I’m not at home so I can’t check if YouTube is a system app, but it seems likely.
Actually reading my post, that makes no sense– ignore it. Early morning here.
Hopefully they add the option in the Advertising ID section to change/hide/offuscate the devices id/type globally on all apps to stop Google or anybody else from continuing this stupid game that Amazon started.
Maybe someone from Amazon is reading this blog but the source code page was updated and now also includes the Fire TV 3. And it seems there is an update on the way for this device too (Version 188.8.131.52).
Has the audio been fixed? I had to move my Fire tv 3 to another room because it would only output stereo instead of 5.1
184.108.40.206 just got picked up by my firetv 4K
display switching is back, but not seeing 24hz settings
HD audio is still screwed up.
Thanks for the heads up! (BTW, I’m assuming think you meant 220.127.116.11)
Since this latest update I can no longer get 5.1 audio from Netflix on my Gen1 Firestick. Still working fine with Amazon Prime videos tho. Anyone else having this issue?
just this second got the update
Question: Anyone having issues with their OTG cable working on the Firestick latest version?
any chance of a rbox custom rom for 18.104.22.168?