What is Amazon Fire OS?

What is Amazon Fire OS?

Amazon unveiled its first tablet in 2011; a low-cost model to popularise the new tablet form factor. As the first iPad substitute, the Kindle Fire was promoted. Even though that contrast was never completely convincing, it was effective enough for Amazon to introduce a number of the top Amazon Fire tablets, expanding the line to include a variety of streaming and smart home gadgets.

Even after 11 years, there is still some ambiguity about what Fire OS is. Is Fire OS an Android variant? On Fire tablets, can I get Android apps? Do Google services function on tablets made by Amazon? Since the launch of Fire OS, some people have asked these questions.

Is Fire OS based on Android, and will my apps work?

The first question is simple to respond to: yes. A derivative of the Android operating system is called Fire OS. Despite being created by Google, Android is an open-source operating system. Android is available for use by any individual or business for many purposes. With Fire OS, Amazon accomplishes that. To create its operating system for tablets, streaming devices, and other gadgets, Amazon takes the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and alters it.

Will your Google services function, and can you download Android apps? Only Android apps that have been sideloaded through an APK file or downloaded from the Amazon App Store are supported by Fire OS devices. Google doesn’t officially offer the Play Store and Gmail. While Google permits businesses like Amazon to fork Android based on AOSP, doing so comes with several severe restrictions.

What is an Android fork?

AOSP serves as the foundation for an Android fork that is not Google-maintained. With Fire OS, Amazon started a fresh Android project that it now manages and customizes to its tastes. Although Fire OS is periodically updated with the most recent AOSP modifications, it still participates in Google’s development cycle. Consider Fire OS a volunteer-driven custom ROM similar to Lineage OS that a firm is developing.

What distinguishes this from an Android skin like Samsung’s One UI? They resemble one another in many respects. Samsung adopts Android and incorporates its features and design. The distinction is that an Android skin needs to be certified by Google for all Google apps and features to function properly and to ensure that no alterations damage the APIs that developers rely on.

Google does not permit the usage of Google Mobile Services (GMS) because it does not certify that Android forks are compatible with its APIs and features. For this reason, the Play Store, Gmail, and even YouTube are not officially accessible on Fire OS smartphones.

Amazon made this decision with Fire OS for two straightforward reasons: money and power. Manufacturers must abide by several terms and conditions before integrating Google’s GMS package. Pre-installed Google apps are required, and Google Search must be set as the default on the device. Most customers choose to utilize the Play Store rather than Amazon’s alternative because they don’t want to lose that degree of control.

Amazon can keep control over its OS and the devices it runs on, enjoy the revenue from the Amazon App Store without sharing it with anybody else, and bypass Google by creating its fork of the Android operating system.

There is a workaround to enable Google Mobile Services on Fire OS devices. However, it is unofficial and is subject to breakage if either Amazon or Google makes any modifications. Check out our instructions for adding the Google Play Store to any Amazon Fire tablet if you want to give it a shot.

Your Fire HD tablet becomes a smart display when you use Show Mode:

Utilizing an Android fork can allow you to combine new features with your current services. Show Mode, which transforms a Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 (7th generation and newer) into an Echo Show, is one instance.

In the upper-right corner of your fast settings panel, there is a toggle labeled Show Mode. Swipe down to reveal it. When enabled, the tablet inherits the Echo Show’s user interface, transforming it into a smart display that can be used the same way as an Echo Show. One application would be using the tablet as your alarm clock in the morning by placing it on a nightstand in your bedroom while it is plugged in. When you awaken, you can take it into the kitchen and use it to experiment with a brand-new breakfast dish. Once Show Mode has been turned off, your tablet will function normally.

We’d like to see more businesses use this clever feature, and if rumors about Google’s upcoming tablet are to be believed, that may happen.

Another illustration is the device dashboard, which you can access by clicking the button in the bottom-left portion of your navigation bar. By opening it, you may easily turn off your lights or pause any media now playing in your house, thanks to smart home gadgets connected to your Alex account.

Will I be happy with an Amazon Fire tablet?

Amazon has had success with its Fire OS product. It is a highly-optimized operating system that functions well on older hardware, enabling the manufacturer to deploy low-cost products that deliver solid performance despite their basic feature set. The Amazon Fire 7 from 2022, which we tested earlier this year, can be a little slow sometimes, but it offers adequate performance for the money and works well as a video player.

However, customers should be aware of a few restrictions before purchasing a Fire Tablet. Despite Amazon’s best efforts, the Google Play Store has far more apps than the Amazon App Store does. While well-known apps like Facebook and Twitter exist, Google’s apps, including YouTube, are not.


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