Amazon updates Fire OS base to Android 11

Amazon’s next Fire 7 tablet comes with a new version of the company’s Fire OS operating system called Fire OS 8 (h/t to Liliputting and AFTVNews† It’s based on Android 11, which is a pretty significant upgrade from the fundamental technology that currently powers Amazon’s tablets; the previous version, Fire OS 7, is based on Android 9which was released in 2018.

According to Amazon’s developer documentation, the update could bring some new user features. First, it brings a system-wide dark mode to the OS that developers can let their app track. Most of the time, though, it’s good for privacy and security. In addition to several permissions system updates, the upgrade should also make it easier for Amazon to push security patches. Google will no longer provide updates for Android 9.

Currently, there is only one tablet that Amazon’s documentation states has Fire OS 8: the 2022 Fire 7† Since the 2020 has Fire HD 8 more or less the same chip, it seems likely it could run Fire OS 8 if Amazon decides to update it. The company did not immediately respond to The edge‘s request for comment on whether it planned to update any of its existing tablets with the new version of the operating system.

Google’s May 9 report on Android version distribution – 58 percent of devices are running at least Android 10.
Image: Google

Even if the update doesn’t mean the 2022 Fire 7 will have a dramatically different user interface than the 2019 version, the Fire OS upgrade could make it easier for developers in the future. While there will be plenty of Fire OS 7 devices around for quite some time to come, the fact that Amazon’s not introducing a device it will run on in 2022 means it will eventually decline. In turn, this will make developers use features and code that wouldn’t work on Android 9, which could be especially useful if they’re developing for both Amazon and Google’s app stores; Right now, nearly 60 percent of Android devices are running at least Android 10.