Fire OS

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Fire OS
ScreenshotFire OS 7.3.1.7 running on the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (10th generation)
DeveloperAmazon
Written inC (core), C++, Java (UI)
OS familyAndroid (Linux)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelBased on the Android Open source project, with Proprietary software & Proprietary components
Latest release
  • Fire OS 7.3.3.0 for 8th-11th generation devices / ?, 2023
  • Fire OS 8.3.2.1 for 12th generation devices / ?, 2023
Marketing targetBudget/Low priced tablet/phone market,
Members of the Amazon Ecosystem
Package managerAPK
Platforms32-bit and 64-bit ARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (modified Linux kernel)
UserlandBionic libc, mksh shell, native core utilities with a few from NetBSD
Default
user interface
Graphical (Multi-touch)
LicenseProprietary EULA; based on Apache License 2.0
Modified Linux kernel under GNU GPL v2
Official websitedeveloper.amazon.com/docs/fire-tv/fire-os-overview.html

Fire OS is a mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It is developed by Amazon for their devices. Fire OS includes proprietary software, a customized user interface primarily centered on content consumption, and heavy ties to content available from Amazon's storefronts and services.

History

Amazon began referring to the Android derivative as Fire OS with its third iteration of Fire tablets. Unlike previous Fire models, whose operating system was described as "based on" Android, Fire OS 3.0 was described as "compatible with" Android.

Fire OS 5

Based on Android 5.1 "Lollipop", it added an updated interface. The home screen has a traditional application grid and pages for content types, as opposed to the previous carousel interface. It also introduced On Deck, a function that automatically moves content out of offline storage to maintain storage space for new content; the Word Runner speed reading tool; 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, and an Activity Center for monitoring children's usage. It removed support for device encryption, which an Amazon spokesperson stated 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 it would restore the feature in a future patch.

Fire OS 6

Based on Android 7.1.2 "Nougat", its main changes and additions include:

MediaTek exploits (2019)

In early 2019, security exploits for six Fire Tablet models and one Fire TV model were discovered that could allow temporary root access, permanent root access, and bootloader unlocking due to security vulnerabilities in multiple MediaTek chipsets.

Fire OS 7

Based on Android 9.0 "Pie", it was released in 2019 for all 8th-11th generation Fire tablets.

In February 2022, Amazon announced that the Docs app would be replaced (in August 2022) by document creation functionality in the Files app; and introduced an improved home editing system.

Fire OS 8

FireOS 8 is the latest release of FireOS for 12th generation fire tablets, based on Android 11, information about the release became available via Amazon developer documentation around May 2022.

FireOS 8 incorporates changes from Android 10 and Android 11, such as TLS 1.3 support enabled by default, High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) support, Dark mode, One-time permissions, Sharing improvements, Device auto backups (user needs to opt-in to device backups), etc.

Although it is noted in the Amazon developer documentation that some Android 11 features such as File Based Encryption (FBE) are not supported yet.

Report of migrating away from Android

Around November 2023, a report surfaced of Amazon's plans to migrate away from Android to a custom Linux-based operating system known as "Vega". Apps will be HTML5 based, specifically using React Native. Amazon was reported to be developing the operating system since 2017, and planning to launch TVs running Vega OS in 2024. It is unclear on whether existing Android-based Fire TV devices will get replaced with Vega OS.

Features

Fire OS does not come with Google mobile services pre-installed; therefore, Amazon cannot use the Android trademarks to market the devices. Users are able to sideload the Google Play store; however, full compatibility is not guaranteed if the app depends on Google services.

Because Google services are not pre-installed, Amazon develops and uses its own apps in their place, some of which include Amazon Appstore, Amazon Alexa, Prime Video, Amazon Music, Audible, Kindle Store, Silk Browser, Goodreads and Here WeGo.

Fire OS uses a customized home screen (launcher). As of Fire OS 7.3.2.3, the launcher features three sections:


The OS features a multi-user system, which allows multiple people to set up and use separate user profiles.

Along with Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+, a suite of parental controls is included which allows parents to create managed child profiles, set limits and set restrictions for minors.

Devices

Current Amazon devices running Fire OS:

Discontinued devices running Fire OS:

List of Fire OS versions

Fire OS version Base Android Version Android API level Compatible Devices Notes
1 2.3.3 Gingerbread 10 Kindle Fire Reported as "Based on Android"
2 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich 15 Kindle Fire HD Reported "Based on Android"
3 4.2.2 Jellybean 17 Fire HD (2nd generation), Fire HDX Reported as "Compatible with Android"
4 4.4.2 KitKat 19 Fire HD (3rd generation), Fire HDX (2nd generation)
4.5.1 4.4.3 KitKat 19
5.0 5.1 Lollipop 22 Fire 7 (7th generation)
6 7.1.2 Nougat 25 Fire HD 8 (8th generation), Fire 7 (9th generation) Devices shipped with Fire OS 6 were later upgraded to Fire OS 7 when Amazon abandoned development.
7 9.0 Pie 28 Fire 7 (9th generation), Fire HD 8 (8th generation), Fire HD 8/8+ (10 generation), Fire HD 10/10+ (11 generation)
8 11 (Red Velvet Cake ) 30 Fire 7 (12th generation), Fire HD 8 (12th Generation), Fire HD 10 (13th Generation), Fire Max 11 Some Android 11 features such as File Based Encryption (FBE) are not supported in Fire OS 8

Notes

  1. ^ These exploits usually depend on certain factors such as: Fire OS version, bootloader/fastboot/recovery version, date the device was released (eg. in the case of hardware exploits because the exploit may be fixed with a new revision), etc.
  2. ^ Google stopped publicly using dessert names after Android 9 (Pie), but as of writing the dessert names are still used internally (at Google and in AOSP).

See also

References

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External links