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Amazon's Fire OS finally ditches Android 9 Pie for something a bit more recent

Fire tablets should now be closer to modern software standards, but don't expect Android 12.
By
May 20, 2022
2020 Amazon Fire HD 8 review photos 10
TL;DR
  • Amazon’s Fire OS 8 will be based on Android 10 and Android 11.
  • This is the first upgrade of Fire OS in years, with even recent Amazon tablets running Android 9 Pie.
  • It is not clear which existing tablets will get the new Fire OS — if any.

Earlier this week, Amazon launched its latest tablet refresh: the best-selling Fire 7. The refreshed tablet gets a USB-C port, finally, as well as more RAM and a faster processor.

However, Amazon didn’t clarify which software would land on the Fire 7 tablet, so we assumed it would be Fire OS 7. Based on Android 9 Pie, Fire OS 7 has been on all recent Amazon tablets over the past few years. So color us surprised when, today, Amazon revealed (h/t 9to5Google) that the tablet will have Fire OS 8, which targets Android 10 and Android 11.

Now, this is certainly better than Android 9 Pie. However, don’t expect every Android 11 feature to appear on an Amazon tablet. Amazon says as much:

All features implemented in Fire OS 8 are at feature parity with Android 11, which doesn’t necessarily mean that everything in Android 11 is available in Fire OS 8. Some Android 11 features such as File-Based Encryption (FBE) aren’t yet supported in Fire OS 8.

Still, it is great news that Fire OS is finally getting some software love. The Android fork has been languishing on Android 9 Pie for way too long.

Unfortunately, Amazon hasn’t clarified if any other tablets will get the new Fire OS 8. As of now, the only sure way to get it will be to get the Fire 7 tablet when it launches on June 28.