Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What is Fire OS? The Android operating system explained

Anyone who owns an Amazon device may have come across Fire OS before. But what sets this operating system apart from the rest?

We’re going to be taking a closer look at Fire OS so you have a better understanding of how this operating system works, and what the latest version is. 

What is Fire OS?

Fire OS is a forked version of the Android operating system. Since Android is an open-source OS, companies can take Android and adjust it to fit their needs, which is what Amazon did here. 

This means that any app that runs on Android can likely be used on Fire devices as well, although this will depend on the app itself. You can download Android apps onto Fire devices via the Amazon App Store or if it’s sideloaded via an APK file. 

What is an Android fork?

An Android fork is an OP that is based on Android but not maintained by Google itself. Fire OS, for example, was created by Amazon and has been tweaked and changed to the company’s liking. 

This is a commonly used technique in Android devices, with Samsung phones running on Android but still keeping the features and aspects that Samsung wants to see in its devices. 

kindle scribe front
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

However, since Google does not allow Android forks to work with its own features and application programming interface (API), users cannot access Google Mobile Services (GMS) via platforms like Fire OS.

Amazon developed Fire OS to help keep its users inside the Amazon bubble, giving them access to services like the Amazon App Store instead of the Google Play Store. It also allows the company to better adapt its products, with integration with Kindle and Audible being very accessible on Fire devices. 

Which is the latest version of Fire OS?

There are currently three versions of Fire OS, with the most recent being Fire OS 7, which is based on Android 9. Fire OS 6 is based on Android 7.1, while Fire OS 5 is based on Android 5.1.

Which devices run on Fire OS?

There are a few products that run on Fire OS, with the most obvious being Amazon devices. Below, you can find a short list of some of the devices that run on Fire OS. 

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words