There are a lot of Android “forks” around, both official and unofficial, designed by world-renowned hardware vendors and independent software developers, pre-installed on popular smartphones and available for (mostly) safe download and installation from various places on the web.
Amazon’s Fire OS is undoubtedly among the most popular customized versions of Android, mainly because its e-commerce-specialized creators load the platform up by default on ultra-low-cost Fire tablets.
Inaugurated way back in 2011, when it was based on 2.3 Gingerbread, the Amazon services-centric operating system obviously received a number of major updates over the years, as it (loosely) followed Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and Lollipop cues.
Bizarrely enough, Fire OS 6 appears to skip a key Android release, very discreetly moving from iteration 5’s Lollipop roots straight to a Nougat core. What’s perhaps even weirder is the “all-new” Fire HD 10 slate, which was unveiled only a few weeks ago with 1080p screen resolution in tow, seems to run the outdated Fire OS 5 out the box.
Meanwhile, the heavily modified platform’s sixth main version will apparently debut on the latest Fire TV media streamer (Gen 3) on October 25. The Gen 1 and 2, as well as both Fire TV Stick editions, are set to “remain on Fire OS 5” for the foreseeable future, though something tells us at least second-gen models will eventually get the OS 6 update. Which, by the way, is based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, gaining neat stuff like advanced Picture in Picture capabilities, Content Recording and Time-shifting. Why is Amazon so shy about these changes, though?