If you are unfamiliar with Amazon Fire TV, they are devices used to provide a smart TV experience based on Android, coming preloaded with applications and support for all major streaming services. The applications which are installed are just Android applications, as the devices themselves run on Android (albeit lacking in Google Apps). The Amazon Fire TV Gen 3 was only announced a few days ago and will be launching with Fire OS 6 based on Android Nougat.
We don’t know the specs of the new device, but we do know it is launching with 4K and Alexa support. Previous devices had decent mid-range SoCs at the time of launch, so we expect no different from the third generation of Amazon’s TV boxes. Now we have learned that these new boxes will also be launching with Fire OS 6, based on Android Nougat.
Launched quietly, it’s no wonder that Amazon isn’t touting their new release for everyone to see. On the same page, we are told that “At this time, the previous Fire TV devices will not uplevel to Fire OS 6.” which may indicate Amazon’s knowledge of the backlash they may receive from an admittedly small part of the overall consumer base of this technology. It’s not really a big deal, but some of the TV-specific features would certainly be nice.
What’s interesting to note is that Amazon specifically mentions that they will be implementing Android Nougat’s new TV-specific features, including the following:
- Picture in Picture (PiP): Allow users to pin a video to a corner of the screen while navigating to other areas in your app.
- Content Recording: Lets users record content on their TV, similar to a DVR.
- Time-shifting APIs: Lets users pause, rewind, or fast-forward live content.
It’s important to note again, you can’t use Google services on Amazon Fire devices. This means no Google Play store or any other such apps on your Amazon Fire TV. Other than that, Fire OS 6 is basically just Android Nougat but for Amazon’s newest generation of TV products.