Amazon’s 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube will ship with Fire OS 7, not Fire OS 8

Amazon revealed the much anticipated 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube earlier today and there is a lot to like about the new device. However, one surprising omission is a new version of Fire OS. Even though Fire OS 8, based on Android 11, was introduced on the new Fire 7 tablet earlier this year, the new Fire TV Cube will, unfortunately, be shipping with Fire OS 7, based on Android 9, when it’s released next month.

In the past, Amazon has typically released a new major update to Fire OS for Fire TV devices at least every two years. The original Fire TV launched with Fire OS 3 in 2014 and Fire OS 5 was introduced the following year in 2015 with the release of the 2nd-gen Fire TV box. A couple of years later in 2017, Fire OS 6 debuted on the 3rd-gen Fire TV pendant.

Most recently, Amazon stuck to its two-year cadence when Fire OS 7 made its first appearance when the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube was released in 2019. When the Fire TV Stick 4K Max was released last year, I fully expected it to be the first device to launch with Fire OS 8. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and it wasn’t until a few months later the following year that Fire OS 8 finally made its way to customers on the new Fire 7 tablet.

Given that Fire OS 8 has been out for months, it’s pretty surprising that the new Fire TV Cube will launch with the older Fire OS 7. Granted, there are very few improvements between Android 9 and Android 11, especially when it comes to the Android TV variant of the OS, which is what Fire TVs use. Amazon does a very good job of keeping the actual features across Fire TV models equivalent, regardless of the underlying OS version, but a new base operating system does have its advantages.

Kicking off the most powerful and most expensive Fire TV device ever released on a base OS that was first introduced over 4 years ago is a shame. A device like the Fire TV Cube 3 is very future-proof thanks to its cutting-edge WiFi 6E connectivity and ample processing power. If it were to remain on Fire OS 7, I think the software may not last as long as the hardware, especially when app developers start favoring newer versions of Android and possibly start dropping support in the coming years.

If Amazon had a better track record of updating its Fire TV devices to new versions of Fire OS, this wouldn’t be a concern at all, but that’s sadly not the case. The last time a Fire TV device was upleveled to a new version of Fire OS was in 2015 when the original Fire TV box and Fire TV Sticks went from Fire OS 3 to Fire OS 5. The Fire TV Stick 4K is still being sold new and was recently updated with a new remote to extend its longevity, yet it is still stuck on Fire OS 6 and its shortcomings, which include poor external storage support and no Dolby Atmos support in apps like Netflix.

I’ve asked Amazon if the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube will receive Fire OS 8 in a future update but have not received a responce.

  1. clocks says:

    This is a bummer, as it was almost a perfect device, having most of what I wanted.

  2. Kir says:

    will definitely buy when there is a discount.
    especially if the AI ​​works honestly: SD > HD, HD > FullHD (?)
    still interested in whether there will be support for exFAT/NTFS ???

  3. Hebert Bernardo says:

    Honestly, this is a huge blow. If Amazon ever upgrades to Fire OS 8, this newer OS version will make the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen run slower.

    Every device that I owned with the notable exception of the Nvidia Shield TV suffered from that i.e Ipads, Android Smartphones, Fire TV, Fire TV Sticks, Rokus…

    I was thinking of getting one of these. Since I own the AWFUL FireTV Cube 1st Gen I was wary of getting another FireTV Cube without scrutinizing.

    Elias, looking for the CPU performance chart of this device. if the FTV Cube 3rd Gen were considerably powerful enough to future-proof software decode of future codecs (i.e. VVC) I might jump for it.

    Just to explain myself here. My Fire TV OS daily-driver device STILL is the Fire TV 2nd Gen (which was released in 2015!) simply because it still powerful enough to software decode AV1 (1080p)

    Keep up the great work.

  4. Carbon says:

    Some things to note:

    Looking at the trade in offers, neither the fire tv cube 1st nor 2nd gen are listed as an options.

    Also the new $35 fire tv remote pro isn’t compatible with the cube 1st or 2nd gen. Which is really a bummer cause I like most would just get the new fancy remote and skip the 3rd gen ftv.

    All this means we have to pay for this next gen device in full in order to enjoy the new remote and functions while our old devices collect dust holding no value. Not a very consumer friendly business plan, but I see why they did it

    • The new Pro remote is compatible with all Cube models, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-gen. It’s just the 2nd-gen Fire TV box, 1st-gen Fire TV box, and 1st-gen Fir etV Stick that it’s not compatible with. “Box” refers to the flat square Fire TVs, not the cube-shaped ones.

      • carbon says:

        Hey Elias, scroll down to features and details and look at the last one:

        Features & details
        “Alexa, find my remote.” – Use a device with Alexa, the Alexa app or Fire TV app and Alexa Voice Remote Pro will emit a ring. No searching cushions.
        Backlit for your convenience – Navigate movie night with a motion-activated backlight that illuminates buttons in dimly-lit rooms.
        Two customizable buttons – Create your own shortcuts to favorite channels, apps, or any Alexa commands.
        Dedicated headphone button – A new shortcut to the on-screen Bluetooth menu that lets you pair your wireless headphones fast.
        Integrated TV controls – Control power, volume, plus surf live TV with dedicated channel buttons all from one remote.
        Press and ask Alexa – Use your voice to find your shows, open apps, manage volume, and even control compatible smart home devices.
        Compatible with most Fire TV streaming media players, Amazon Fire TV smart TVs, and smart TVs with Fire TV built-in.
        Not compatible with Fire TV (1st and 2nd Gen), Fire TV Stick (1st Gen), Element Fire TV Edition, Insignia HD/Insignia FHD, or Hisense U6HF 4K ULED Fire TV Series.

  5. Kir says:

    I have a Cube 2. when I have a Cube 3, I will ask the specialists to physically replace the microUSB port with USB-C on the Cube 2.
    I think this is possible, because the 922 processor will allow this

  6. Charlie says:

    Is the Echo function going to more like an actual Echo, where it doesn’t have to turn on a TV to load a radio station, for example?

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