Fire TV new Auto-Offload Feature impacts Notifications for Fire TV and breaks Hubitat Automations

I use Fire TV sticks on all my TV's. I have several Hubitat Rule Machine and Webcore Apps that make use of the "Android TV Notifier" app that I have loaded on my Fire Sticks. On Hubitat I use the "Android TV Notifier Driver" to send popup messages to the to the TVs when events occur in the house or when I simply voice request some "status". This is an awesome powerful capability and has worked for years.

This afternoon it suddenly stopped working and I spent a couple hours determining why. Eventually, I discovered that Amazon has added a "feature" to save the limited memory on the Amazon Fire TV sticks called "Auto-Offload" that can be found in the settings -- Applications screen of the Fire TV devices.

The intent of this feature is to uninstall unused apps and just leave a small stub on the device. The next time the offloaded app is run by the user, it automatically reloads without losing any of its configuration including passwords and such.

Sadly, Amazon didn't think when they developed this. The "Notifications for Fire TV" application is a background app and is RARELY launched by the end user and instead is simply "resident" when the Fire TV boots. Amazon interprets the fact that the end user does not click on the app to mean that it is unused and therefore can be automatically "offloaded" thus breaking notitications.

The work around is to turn off "Auto-Offload" in the in settings -- application menu. Had Amazon more thoroughly researched this feature, they would have provided an option to set it per application or to determine if the application had actual "activity" even if it was background activity. It's true that you can click on the "Notifications for Android TV" app to review past notifications and that would signal to Amazon that you are using it, but that's not normally how this background app is used.

Score +1 point again for being negatively impacted by yet another "cloud" service over which we, the end user have no control.

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