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Fire OS guide: Everything that you need to know about Amazon’s operating system


Amazon's Fire OS vs. Google's Android: What's the Difference?


Although it might be very difficult to tell, Amazon Fire tablets all run on Android. Amazon skins over the operating system so excessively and immensely that it doesn’t look much like Android anymore, but it’s there! The software that ships with the Amazon Fire tablets is known as Fire OS.

Below, we are going to give you all the information that you need on Fire OS. We’ll tell you how you can update it, how to tell which version you’re running, the history of the Android skin, and a whole lot more! Do make sure to note that, technically, Fire OS also comes on the Fire TV products as well as the Echo smart speakers. In this blog-post, though, we are going to focus and concentrate on the tablet version.

Amazon Fire OS at a glance


Fire OS guide: Everything you need to know - Android Authority


The most important and vital thing to know about Fire OS is that it is an uncertified version of the Android. That means that it does not include and inculcate any Google services. That includes the Google Play Store itself, as well as any of the Google-owned properties such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and more.

However, underneath the hood, everything is powered by Android. With the pre-installed Amazon Appstore, many of the Android apps you know as well as love is available on the Fire tablets — but some of the big players will be missing.

Amazon also revamps and upgrades the look of Android with Fire OS in order to make and create it more focused on the media consumption and (obviously) shopping on Amazon. When you first turn a Fire tablet on, you will almost immediately be able to tell how different it is from any of your other cell phones or any other Android devices.

Finally, Amazon is a very liberal with advertising throughout the Fire OS. That’s one of the reasons as to why its tablets are so cheap as compared to their competitors. There are ways to remove the ads, but it generally involves paying Amazon some extra money, or the technical know-how.

The latest version of the Fire OS


Amazon Fire OS 6 brings Android 7.1 Nougat to its 2017 Fire tablets  (Update: maybe not) - Liliputing


Amazon does not keep Fire OS up to date and trendy with Android versions. Even the most advanced Amazon tablets today are still on the Android 9 Pie, despite that version being three generations old by now. Amazon most likely doesn’t feel it’s important to keep things up to date because the target market for Fire tablets does not prioritize their software updates.

This is important to know, though, because if there are any other Android apps you use that need a later version of Android, they won’t work properly with the Fire OS.

The most recent and stable version of the Fire OS is based on the Android 9 Pie.

Gradually, Amazon will update its Fire OS to a more recent version of Android. There’s no telling in how and when that could happen, though. There’s also no telling which of its current and existing tablets would see that update.

We have certain steps on how to check your version number in the next section.

How to see your Fire OS version and check for the new and interesting updates

If you do not know which version of the Fire OS is on your Amazon tablet, you can easily check it out. Here are the steps:

  1. Head to the Android Settings by finding and surfing the shortcut on your home screen or notification shade.
  2. Scroll towards the very bottom of the list and tap on the Device Options section.
  3. Now, tap on the System Updates.
  4. At the very top of the page, you will see which version of the Fire OS you are running.

If you are running an older version of the Fire OS, an update could be waiting for you in this section. If there is i.e., it will install in the background and then prompt you to restart the device. Depending on how behind you are on your updates, you might actually need to repeat these steps several times.

If your software is up to date but if you do not have the latest version of Fire OS, that means your tablet hasn’t received the update yet. It is also possible that your device is too old to get new updates. Thankfully, Amazon’s new Fire Tablet Software Updates page has all the info that you need on the most recent and current versions of its software.

A brief history of the Fire OS

The first devices to land with the Fire OS are technically the third-generation Fire High Definition tablets launched in the year 2015. From the year 2011 until 2015, Amazon tablets did not come with an officially named operating system. All Amazon would say that it is the software was “based on Android.”

Nowadays, Amazon calls the software Fire OS and says it is “compatible with the Android.” Anyways, the operating system hasn’t changed much since the very beginning.

Fire Operating Systems has never had the access to the Google Play Store. Amazon develops and maintains the Fire OS through the Android OS Project, which gives it total control over how to maintain the operating system’s looks and works.

In the year 2014, Amazon launched the Fire Phone, its first smart phone. The phone was a failure critically and commercially. Since that time, Fire Operating Systems has only existed on the tablets, Fire TV streamers, and the Echo smart speakers.

Since the year 2016, Fire Operating Systems tablets have had access to Amazon Alexa, its popular digital assistant. In the year 2017, hands-free Alexa support arrived.


Thank you for reading this blog post! I hope you have a great rest of your day!

December 22, 2021

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