New Amazon Fire HD 8 to be the first Fire tablet to run Fire OS 6

Amazon announced a new Fire HD 8 tablet yesterday that will be released in about a month. The tablet is identical in many ways to the model it’s replacing, but a key difference that isn’t mentioned in the announcement or on the product page is that the new Fire HD 8 will be the first Amazon tablet to run Fire OS 6, Amazon’s newest operating system. While an update to Fire OS 6 is preferred, it could cause app incompatibility issues at launch.

Amazon debuted Fire OS 6 on the Fire TV 3 (pendant) and has since also used it on the Fire TV Cube and Toshiba Fire TV Edition televisions. The arrival of Fire OS 6 on Fire TV devices was fairly smooth, but some Fire TV apps did initially have issues that needed to be fixed by their developers.

The Fire TV appstore is relatively small compared to the number of apps available for Fire tablets, so there’s potential for more app incompatibility issues when the new Fire HD 8 tablet launches next month. It shouldn’t be a long-term issue, but customers who have pre-ordered the tablet should be aware that all of the apps they expect to use with the tablet may not work correctly during the first few days or weeks.

Many Fire tablet owners sideload the Google Play Store because it is a very simple process that opens the tablet up to many apps that are not yet available in the Amazon appstore. With the switch to Fire OS 6 on the new Fire HD 8 tablet, it might be a few days before the tinkering community figures out the right combination of Google Play apps and services that make Google’s appstore compatible with Amazon’s new tablet operating system.

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6 comments
  1. Charlie says:

    Just a little info: My remote for my Toshiba fireTV Edition TV could no longer go home and Alexa stopped working. Figuring I would get the usual factory reset suggestion,I called and discovered that apparently Amazon and Toshiba have worked out who is supporting the TV’s. The directory asked if my call was about TV’s and I was given the option to press one, which took me directly to Toshiba support, in the Philippines as it turned out. The support guy spoke very good English knew what to do. He had me deregister the TV from Amazon, restart it, and then re-register with Amazon. Problem solved and learned something new.

  2. Charlie says:

    Just now getting update to 6.2.5.4 on my Toshiba fireTV Edition TV.

  3. Roger Wald says:

    Will the 2017 HD 8 get the 6.0 OS at some point? If so, when is that likely to be?

    • Shirley Dulcey says:

      Who knows? Amazon usually doesn’t do major updates to older devices, so perhaps not. But the 2016 and 2017 versions of the HD 8 have most of the same hardware inside, including the same MediaTek SoC, so there is no technical bar. (The big difference in the 2018 version is a better camera.)

      The 2015 HD 8 and all the 7″ Fire tablets to date use a different and slower SoC with no 64 bit support, so they are almost certain not to see Fire OS 6.

      Information about the exact hardware inside Amazon tablets is sometimes hard to track down. But there is a page on Amazon’s developer site with all the details: https://developer.amazon.com/docs/fire-tablets/ft-device-and-feature-specifications.html

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