Jun 19, 2014

What is the operating system for Amazon’s new Fire smartphone?

Amazon has the OS system listed as Fire 3.5. What is Fire OS? Will it run apps from any of the other OSes (Windows, Android, iOS)?

Fire OS

"Fire OS is a Linux-based mobile operating system produced by Amazon for its Fire Phone and Kindle Fire range of tablets, and other content delivery devices like the Fire TV. It is forked from Android. Fire OS primarily centers around content consumption, with a customized interface and heavy ties to content available from Amazon's own storefronts and services.

While the Kindle Fire line has always used customized distributions of Android, particularly 2.3.3, API level 10 (Kindle Fire) and 4.0.3, API level 15 (Kindle Fire HD), Amazon only began referring to the distribution as Fire OS beginning with its third iteration of Kindle Fire tablets, which includes the Fire HD 2nd generation and Fire HDX models. Unlike previous Kindle Fire models, whose "Fire OS 3.0" operating system is listed as being "based on" Android, their operating system is listed as being "compatible with" Android.[8][9][10]"

Fire 3.5 is a forked version of Android 4.2.2. That means two things in particular: it won’t support the latest LE Bluetooth devices, and it doesn’t have all of Google software, including maps. You will need to either depend on Amazon’s app store, which is inferior to Google’s Play in terms of updating and number of apps, or I assume you can sideload apps. I haven’t had a chance to use Fire 3.5 in person, so a lot of my assumptions are based on the Kindle Fire and what I’ve read. Since it is an Android based OS, it will not run applications for iOS or Windows, obviously.

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