2nd-Gen Amazon Fire TV Edition televisions will launch with Fire OS 6

Amazon’s developer blog has noted that the new Fire TV Edition televisions set to launch this summer will indeed run Fire OS 6, the latest version of Amazon’s Fire TV operating system, which is currently only available on the 3rd generation Amazon Fire TV. This was probably to be expected, but it’s still good to see confirmation. A concern many smart TV buyers have is that the television hardware will outlast the manufacturer’s willingness to update its software. For this reason, it’s important for a smart TV to at least launch with the latest operating system version available to it. Launching with the latest version of Fire OS is an important indicator that the Amazon treats Fire TV Edition televisions as equal citizens in the Fire TV lineup.

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10 comments
  1. Fredrik Svensson says:

    Maybe possible little sign Fire TV 2 will get Fire OS 6 also later summer?

    • AFTVnews says:

      There’s no way to know. I honestly don’t think Amazon even knows at this point if older Fire TVs will be updated or not, which is why they haven’t definitively said if they will or won’t.

      My theory is that development of the cube-shaped Fire TV is taking up more time than they initially hoped, so they’re not committing to Fire OS 6 for older models until the cube is released and they can better assess where they have time to put their effort. If you’re working on a project that is already late, it’s a really bad time to start making promises about a different project.

      That’s actually the mess they put themselves in when Fire OS 5 launched on the Fire TV 2. They promised Fire OS 5 for the Fire TV 1 and Fire TV Stick 1, but when the Fire TV 2 launched with a bunch of problems, they had to put Fire OS 5 for older devices on the backburner, which annoyed a lot of existing owners. This time they learned from their mistake and are not committing early to Fire OS 6 on older devices, which makes sense.

      • King Nothing says:

        Another point that needs to be considered is that even if Amazon would want to provide updates to Fire OS 6 for the devices still running OS 5, it also depends on the hardware manufactures to provide Nougat compatible firmware and hardware drivers.

        Owning a 2nd Gen stick I tried to find a MT8127 based device which is already running or received an update to Android Nougat, but I couldn’t find one. The most recent Android version running on a MT8127 based device seems to be Marshmallow on the 7 inch Lenovo Tab 3.

        And the hardware base of all devices still running OS 5 is quite outdated, maybe with the exception of the Fire TV televisions. But now they announced the new models with OS 6 and stopped selling the previous ones.

        So personally I don’t think that any device running OS 5 will ever be updated to OS 6. But this is just my personal opinion. Of course I could be wrong and Amazon could for example ask Mediatek to provide Nougat compatible drivers and maybe they would. But I guess most people don’t care about the OS of their device. I would think many people don’t even know that their Fire TV does some occasional firmware updates because they happen during the night when the device is idle.

        Fire OS 5 also introduced the new interface. So the situation was a little different. But on the surface Fire OS 6 seems to look exactly like the previous one. So there is really no reason for Amazon to bring it to the previous devices even if the hardware manufactures would provide the needed drivers.

        • AFTVnews says:

          Component manufacturer support is a very good point that I hadn’t considered. Thanks for pointing it out! I do think at Amazon’s size that they wouldn’t let Mediatek make such a decision for them, but who knows.
          It doesn’t negate your point at all, but the new interface came out a year after Fire OS 5 was released.

          • Reflex says:

            You’d be amazed at how little leverage even large companies have in this space. ARM driver support is a nightmare in general, even from the big players like Qualcomm. Within a year of release getting even minor firmware/driver fixes is almost impossible.

          • King Nothing says:

            Thanks for the info. I really thought the new interface was part of the initial Fire OS 5 release. I didn’t already own a Fire TV back then.

            I wonder if this update issue could also be a reason why we still haven’t seen this “Cinema Mode”. Maybe Amazon has decided to drop it because they could only support it on devices running OS 6. And they want to avoid introducing features that would not be supported on all devices. Because this could upset people and make them demand for an update for their old devices. That might not be possible because of missing support from hardware manufactures.

            I know I could have automatic refresh rate switching if I would buy an Apple TV 4K, but it would be great if this would also be available on the Fire TV platform.

  2. Dan Dutra says:

    Eh, not a fan of os6. Can’t seem to get Google play services working on os6. But from to wording, it looks like only new hardware is launching with 6. No mention of older hardware being updated for 6.

  3. tech3475 says:

    “A concern many smart TV buyers have is that the television hardware will outlast the manufacturer’s willingness to update its software.”

    I’ve been stung by this in the past, it’s why I’ve gone against relying on Smart TVs, considering ‘smart’ a bonus if anything.

    Fire Stick slow? Only £40 to replace. TV loses support? £500 to replace. Amazon are particularly bad when it comes to support on a few difference smart devices I’ve had.

    • pmcd says:

      Quite agree. The smart aspect of TVs rarely gets good upgrade support. One possible exception seems to be Sony which has adopted Android TV as it’s smart basis. Sony has been very good for me in that regard.

  4. Charlie says:

    Ahhhhhhh. “The Cube.”

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