|Written in||C (core), C++, Java (UI)|
|OS family||Unix-like (Linux)|
|Source model||Based on the Android Open source project, with Proprietary software & Proprietary components|
|Latest release||Fire OS 188.8.131.52 for 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th generation devices / November 25th 2021|
|Marketing target||Budget/Low priced tablet market,|
Members of the Amazon Ecosystem
|Platforms||32-bit and 64-bit ARM|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (modified Linux kernel)|
|Userland||Bionic libc, mksh shell, native core utilities with a few from NetBSD|
|License||Proprietary EULA; based on Apache License 2.0|
Modified Linux kernel under GNU GPL v2
Fire OS is a mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project and created by Amazon for its Fire tablets, Echo smart speakers and Fire TV devices. It includes proprietary software, a customized user interface primarily centered on content consumption, and heavy ties to content available from Amazon's storefronts and services. Apps for Fire OS are provided through the Amazon Appstore.
See also: Fire HD § Software
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.
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.
Based on Android 7.1.2 "Nougat", its main changes and additions include:
In early 2019, 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.
Based on Android 9.0 "Pie", it was released in 2019 for all 8th-generation and above Fire tablets.
In February 2022, Amazon announced that the Docs app would be replaced (in May, 2022) by document creation functionality in the Files app; and introduced an improved home editing system.
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. 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. Another feature is Amazon GameCircle, which is a retired online multiplayer social gaming network released by Amazon. It allowed players to track their achievements and compare their high scores on a leader board. It debuted in July 2012 and was retired September 5, 2018.
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. Apps for Fire OS are provided through the Amazon Appstore.
Fire OS devices do 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, and third-party apps can still be sideloaded via APK files, although full compatibility is not guaranteed if the app depends on Google services.
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, Fire tablets are manufactured by Quanta Computer, which is not an OHA member.
See also: Fire HD § Models
|Fire OS version||derived from Android version||with Android API level||example devices||notes|
|1||2.3.3||10||Kindle Fire||"based on" Android|
|2||4.0.3||15||Kindle Fire HD||"based on" Android|
|3||4.2.2||17||Fire HD (2nd generation), Fire HDX||reported as "compatible with" Android|
|4||4.4.2||19||Fire HD (3rd generation), Fire HDX (2nd generation)|
|5.0||5.1||22||Fire 7 (7th generation)|
|6||7.1.2||25||Fire HD 8 (8th generation)|
|7||9 Pie||28||Fire HD 8/8+ (10 generation)
Fire HD 10/10+ (11 generation)
|8||11||30||Fire 7 (12th generation)||Some Android 11 features such as File Based Encryption (FBE) aren't yet supported in Fire OS 8 |
The releases are categorized by major Fire OS versions based upon a certain Android codebase first and then sorted chronologically.