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What is Amazon Fire OS?

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Amazon is First Kindle Fire tablet in 2011..The original Kindle Fire, a budget device aimed at bringing the fast-growing tablet form factor and Amazon services to the masses, was pushed as follows: The first viable iPad alternative.. Since 2011, Amazon has released a number of devices running Fire OS, from updated Kindle Fire tablets to Fire TV streaming devices. Fire OS is now 11 years old, but the confusion over what it is continues. Is Fire OS the Android version? Can I download the Android app on my Fire tablet? Do Google services work on Amazon tablets? These are some questions since the launch of Fire OS.

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Is Fire OS based on Android? Does my app work?

It’s easy to answer the first question — yes. Fire OS is a forked version of the Android operating system. Google manufactures Android, which is an open source operating system. Anyone or company can freely use Android and use it in various applications. That’s what Amazon does with Fire OS. Amazon will adopt the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and change to its own operating system such as tablets and streaming devices.

Can I download the Android app? Do Google services work? That’s a more complicated question. Fire OS devices run Android apps, but only apps that are downloaded via the Amazon App Store or sideloaded via an APK file. Officially, Google services such as Play Store and Gmail are not available. Google allows companies like Amazon to create forked versions of Android based on AOSP, but there are some major restrictions in doing so.


What is an Android Fork?

Android forks are based on AOSP, but not managed by Google. For Fire OS, Amazon creates a new Android project, maintains it, and adjusts it to your liking. However, the company regularly upgrades Fire OS with the latest AOSP changes, so it’s not completely removed from Google’s development cycle. You can think of Fire OS as a custom ROM like Lineage OS, but it’s not a volunteer, it’s a company.

How is this different from Android skins such as Samsung’s One UI? In many respects they are the same. Samsung will adopt Android and add its design and features. The difference is that Android skins need to be certified by Google to ensure that developers don’t change the APIs they depend on and that all of Google’s apps and features work properly.


Google does not allow the use of Google Mobile Services (GMS) because Google has not confirmed that Android forks work with its APIs and features. As a result, Fire OS devices have no official access to the Play Store, Gmail, or even YouTube.

Amazon chose this route on Fire OS for the simple reason of money and management. If a manufacturer includes Google’s GMS package, there are many conditions that must be agreed. Certain Google apps must be pre-installed and Google Search should be the device default. In addition to giving up that level of control, most users prefer to use the Play Store as an alternative to Amazon, and Amazon doesn’t make any money from it.

By eliminating Google and creating your own Android Fork, Amazon has complete control over the OS and the devices it runs on, giving you all the benefits of the Amazon AppStore without sharing it with anyone.

There is a way to run Google Mobile Services on Fire OS devices, but it’s unofficial and can easily stop working if Amazon or Google changes something.If that’s what you want to try, you can check out our guide Install the Google Play Store on all Amazon Fire tablets..

Need to buy a Fire tablet?

Fire OS is a successful product for Amazon. It’s an optimized operating system that works well with slow hardware, and the company can ship cheap devices that work well despite the discreet spec sheet.

However, there are some caveats that customers should be aware of before purchasing a Fire tablet. Despite Amazon’s best efforts, the number of apps available on the Amazon Appstore is inferior to that of the Google Play Store. There are well-known apps like Facebook and Twitter, but not all Google apps, including YouTube. You can install Google services by sideloading, but it’s far from a sophisticated experience.

If you can tolerate those restrictions, Amazon tablets may be perfect for you, especially if you Once you get it, make some tweaks.. However, if you depend on Google apps and services and don’t want to sideload them, a tablet running a Google certified version of Android is better suited for your needs.


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