From the slew of Echo products to the new Fire TV with 4K HDR and Alexa support, it’s fair to say that Amazon was busy this past week. With such headline-grabbing announcements, it’s no wonder that something like Amazon announcing its Android-based Fire OS 6 went under the radar.
According to one of Amazon’s developer pages, Fire OS 6 is based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat. This means that picture-in-picture (PiP) and the ability to record content on their TV are supported in the new version. Also onboard is Nougat’s time-shifting APIs, which allow folks to pause, rewind, or fast-forward live content.
It is unknown whether Fire OS 6 will support other Nougat staples, such as multi-window, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the focus remains on TV-specific features.
Similar to previous versions, the updated Fire OS 6 does not introduce Google services. This means you will not be able to use the Google Play Store, as well as Gmail and other Google-created apps. Folks have worked around that quirk in previous Fire OS iterations, so the same could be said for Fire OS 6.
Finally, and more enigmatically, is hardware compatibility. Fire OS 6 will debut on the recently-announced Fire TV, but Amazon stated that, “At this time, the previous Fire TV devices will not uplevel to Fire OS 6.” There is a bit of wiggle room with such a statement, but it would leave existing Fire TV customers in the dust if it stands.
There also remains the possibility of Fire OS 6 making its way to other devices, such as Fire tablets. Amazon did not say whether that possibility could turn into a reality, but given the popularity of Fire tablets, it’s likely that Fire OS 6 will make its way to the devices.
If you want first dibs on Fire OS 6, the new Fire TV will launch on October 25 for $69.99 and is available for pre-order now through the link below.