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.