Fire OS

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Fire OS
Fire HD 10 7th Generation.png
Fire OS running on the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet
Written inC (core), C++, Java (UI)[1]
OS familyUnix-like (Linux)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelProprietary software based on Open source Android[2] and in all devices with proprietary components[3]
Latest releaseFire OS for 8th, 9th, and 10th generation devices[4] / September 2020
Latest previewFire OS 5 Developer Preview for Amazon Fire TV[5] / June 12, 2019; 16 months ago (2019-06-12)
Marketing targetKindle Fire, Fire HDX (tablet computers), Amazon Fire TV, Fire Phone
Package managerAPK
Platforms32-bit and 64-bit ARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (modified Linux kernel)
UserlandBionic libc,[6] mksh shell,[7] native core utilities with a few from NetBSD[8]
Default user interfaceGraphical (Multi-touch)
LicenseProprietary EULA; based on Apache License 2.0
Modified Linux kernel under GNU GPL v2[9]

Amazon Fire OS is a mobile operating system based on Android and created by Amazon for its Fire Phone and Fire brand of tablets, Echo, and other content delivery devices like Fire TV. It is forked from the open source Android operating system and includes proprietary software, customized user interface primarily centered on content consumption, and heavy ties to content available from Amazon's own storefronts and services.

While the Kindle Fire line has always used customized distributions of Android, Amazon only began referring to the distribution as Fire OS beginning with its third iteration of Kindle Fire tablets. Unlike previous Kindle Fire models, whose operating system is listed as being "based on" Android, the "Fire OS 3.0" operating system is listed as being "compatible with" Android.

The tablet versions of the Kindle e-readers are the Fire range.


Fire OS uses a customized user interface designed to prominently promote content available through Amazon services, such as Amazon Appstore, Prime Video, Amazon Music & Audible, and Kindle Store.[10][11] Its home screen features a carousel of recently accessed content and apps, with a "favorites shelf" of pinned apps directly below it. Sections are provided for different types of content, such as apps, games, music, audiobooks, and video among others. A search function allows users to search through their local content library or Amazon's stores. Similarly to Android, sliding from the top of the screen exposes quick settings and notifications. Fire OS also provides integration with Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. X-Ray is also integrated into its playback functions, allowing users to access supplemental information on what they are currently viewing. The OS features a user system, along with Kindle FreeTime, a suite of parental controls which allow parents to set time limits for using certain types of content.[12]

Fire OS 5, which is based on Android 5.0 "Lollipop", uses an updated interface. The home screen now features a traditional application grid and pages for content types as opposed to the previous carousel interface. It also introduces "On Deck", a function which automatically moves content out of offline storage to maintain storage space for new content, the speed reading tool "Word Runner", and screen color filters. Parental controls were enhanced with a new web browser for FreeTime mode featuring a curated selection of content appropriate for children, as well as "Activity Center" for monitoring usage by children.[13][14][15] Fire OS 5 removes support for device encryption; an Amazon spokesperson stated that encryption was an enterprise-oriented feature that was underused. In March 2016, after the removal was publicized and criticized in the wake of the FBI–Apple encryption dispute, Amazon announced that it would be restoring the feature in a future patch.[16][17]

Amazon's ecosystem[edit]

Fire OS devices comes with Amazon's software and content ecosystems such as Here WeGo with a clone of Google Maps API 1.0. Amazon cannot use the Android trademarks to market the devices.[3]

Fire OS devices does not have Google mobile services, including the Google Play Store or proprietary APIs, such as Google Maps or Google Cloud Messaging. Google Play Store can be installed,[18] and third-party apps can still be sideloaded via APK files, although full compatibility is not guaranteed if the app depends on Google services.[19]

Members of the Open Handset Alliance (which include the majority of Android OEMs) are contractually forbidden to produce Android devices based on forks of the OS, therefore Kindle Fire tablets are manufactured by Quanta Computer, which is not an OHA member.[3]

List of Fire OS versions[edit]

Fire OS version derived from Android version with Android API level example devices notes
n/a 2.3.3 10 Kindle Fire "based on" Android
n/a 4.0.3 15 Kindle Fire HD "based on" Android
3 4.2.2 17[20][21][22] Fire HD (2nd generation), Fire HDX reported as "compatible with" Android
4 4.4.2 19[23][24] Fire HD (3rd generation), Fire HDX (2nd generation)
4.5.1 4.4.3 19[25][26][27]
5.0 5.1 22[28]
6 7.1.2 25[29]
7 9 Pie 28[30]

The releases are categorized by major Fire OS versions based upon a certain Android codebase first and then sorted chronologically.

precursor version of Fire OS – based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread
system version = 6.3.1
system version = 6.3.2 – longer movie rentals, Amazon cloud synchronization
system version = 6.3.4 – latest version for Kindle Fire (2011)
precursor version of Fire OS – based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
system version = 7.5.1 – latest version for Kindle Fire HD 7" (2012)
system version = 8.5.1 – latest version for Kindle Fire HD 8.9" (2012)
system version = 10.5.1 – latest version for Kindle Fire (2012)
Fire OS 2.4 => Android 4.0.3(?)
Fire OS 3 Mojito – based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
3.2.8 – rollback point for Kindle Fire HDX (2013)
3.5.0 – introduces support for Fire Phone; Android 4.2.2 codebase
3.5.1 – Fire Phone maintenance version
Fire OS 4 Sangria – based on Android 4.4 KitKat
4.1.1 – latest version for some tablets released in 2013 (e.g. some Kindle Fire tablets of 3rd Generation) – latest version for some tablets released in 2013 (e.g. some Kindle Fire tablets of 3rd Generation) – Fire Phone – latest version for the Fire Phone – Last version for the fire phone (2019) – Last version for the fire phone (2019)
Fire OS 5 Bellini – based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
5.0[32] – introduction of Fire TV
5.1.4 – Fire TV devices – August 2016 – November 2016 – December 2016 – March 2017 – Latest version for Fire HD 8 (6th Generation) – Latest version for Fire HD 8 & Fire HD 10 (7th Generation) – June 2017 – August 2017 – November 2017: Only for Fire HD 10 (2017) with hands-free Alexa – November 2017 – January 2018 – March 2018: Latest version for tablets released in 2014 (e.g. some Fire tablets of 4th Generation) – July 2018: Hands-Free Alexa For Fire 7 & HD 8 (2017) only – April 2018: Latest version for first and second generation Fire TV devices – November 2018: Latest version for Fire 7 (5th to 7th Generation); Due to a mistake, this version was accidentally released as on some Fire tablets instead of, but includes the same update features. – April 2019 – May 2019, September 2019: Latest version for Fire HD 8 – May 2020 – August 2020: Latest version for Fire 7 & HD 10 (7th Generation) – July 2019 – August 2019 – September 2019
Fire OS 6 – based on Android 7.1 Nougat – October 2017, released on third generation Fire TV – December 2017[34] – May 2018[35] – November 2018 – July 2019: Latest version for Fire 7 (9th Generation) – September 2019: Last version for Fire 7 (7th generation) - November 2019
Fire OS 7 – based on Android 9.0 Pie – October 2019: First version for Fire HD 10 (9th Generation)[36] – October 2019: Second version for Fire HD 10 (9th Generation) – February 2020: Third version for Fire HD 10 (9th Generation), – April 2020: Fourth version for Fire HD 10 (9th Generation) – June 2020: Latest version for Fire HD 10 (9th & 10th Generation) – August 2020: Latest version for Fire 7 (7th Generation); Latest version for Fire HD 8 (8th Generation)[37] -- October 2020

List of Fire OS devices[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Android Code Analysis". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Philosophy and Goals". Android Open Source Project. Google. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Google's iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  4. ^ "Fire Tablet Software Updates".
  5. ^ Jesse Freeman. "Announcing the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview for Amazon Fire TV".
  6. ^ "libc - platform/bionic - Git at Google".
  7. ^ "master - platform/external/mksh - Git at Google".
  8. ^ "toolbox - platform/system/core - Git at Google". Archived from the original on February 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Licenses". Android Open Source Project. Open Handset Alliance. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Hands On With Amazon Kindle FreeTime". PC Magazine. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "What's new in Amazon Fire OS 5 Bellini?". Pocket-lint. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Amazon's Fire HD 10 tablet a rare misfire for company". Fortune. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  15. ^ "Feature-stuffed Fire OS update makes Amazon's tablets even more kid-friendly". PC World. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  16. ^ "Amazon quietly disabled encryption in the latest version of Fire OS". The Verge. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  17. ^ "Amazon pledges to bring device encryption back to Fire OS this spring". The Verge. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Segan, Sascha (December 2013). "How To Run Free Android Apps On the Kindle Fire". PC Magazine.
  20. ^ Hollister, Sean (September 28, 2011). "Amazon's Kindle Fire UI: it's Android, but not quite". This Is My Next.
  21. ^ "Amazon confirms Kindle Fire HD models use Android 4.0 under the hood". Engadget. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  22. ^ "Kindle Fire Device and Feature Specifications". Amazon developer portal. Inc. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  23. ^ "Updating Your App for Fire OS 4 - Amazon Apps & Services Developer Portal". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  24. ^ "What's new with Amazon's Fire OS 4.0 "Sangria"?".
  25. ^ Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. "Amazon begins rollout of Fire OS 4.5.1". ZDNet.
  26. ^ " Help: Fire HD 6 (4th Generation) Software Updates".
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Publish to Fire OS 5".
  29. ^ "Developing for Fire tablets". Amazon. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  30. ^ "Fire OS 7 for Fire Tablets". Amazon. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "What's new in Amazon Fire OS 5 Bellini? - Pocket-lint". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  33. ^ " Customer Discussions: Fire OS 5.1.1 Available for Download". Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  34. ^ Saba, Elias. "Software update rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV 3".
  35. ^ Saba, Elias. "New software update released for the Amazon Fire TV 3".
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Fire Tablet Software Updates". Amazon. Retrieved October 14, 2020.

External links[edit]