What we know about Fire OS 5 for Fire TV devices

With Fire OS 5 for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick announced only a little while ago, here’s a list of things we already know about the update and developer preview.

Based on Android 5.1 Lollipop
Fire OS 5 is based on the latest version of Android, which is version 5.1 Lollipop. This means developers will have access to the latest Android APIs, which are level 22. The current Fire TV OS is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean which uses API level 17. This means the latest Android apps will run on Fire TV devices without much customization, ensuring the Fire TV app selection stays updated.

Supports Android TV and Leanback Library
Fire OS 5 for Fire TV will support apps created for Android TV. This includes the v17 Leanback library, which allows developers to easily create TV friendly interfaces. This means Android TV apps will be easy to port to Fire TV devices.

Developer Preview can be rolled back
If you install Fire OS 5 Developer Preview, you can easily roll back your Fire TV device to the current latest software version based on Fire OS 3. All you need to do is fill out this rollback form with your Fire TV serial number, and your Fire TV will receive an over-the-air update that re-installs Fire OS 3.

Rolling back to Fire OS 3 will force a Factory Reset
If you install the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview and then later decide to roll back to Fire OS 3, you will be forced to factory reset your Fire TV. This means you will lose all of your apps, app data, and settings.

Latest Fire OS 3 required to install Fire OS 5 Developer Preview
This forum post by an Amazon representative seems to imply that, in order to install the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview, your Fire TV device needs to be running the latest version of Fire OS 3. Currently, the latest version is for the Fire TV and for the Fire TV Stick.

Fire OS 5 Developer Preview contains no new features
The purpose of Fire OS 5 is to keep the Fire TV compatible with the latest great apps made by developers. It is not being released to add any specific features. You will likely not notice any changes between Fire OS 3, which is currently on Fire TV devices, and Fire OS 5.

Fire OS 5 will install via a standard OTA update
Fire OS 5, the Developer Preview, and updates to both will be installed via the standard over-the-air update process used by Fire OS 3.

Fire OS 5 will not support all Fire OS 3 apps forever
Certain aspects of the Fire TV software development kit are being deprecated with Fire OS 5. At first, Fire OS 5 will fully support all current Fire OS 3 apps on the Fire TV. But at some point in the future, the older Fire TV SDK add-on will no longer be supported. This means apps will be forced to use the newer APIs if they want to work with the latest Fire TV software version.

  1. Ulises Rodriguez says:

    Although Amazon will Support Android TV and Leanback Library in the latest FireOS 5 for Fire TV, Amazon has made some Important Changes to their Amazon Video App on Google TV Devices!

    I just received the following note from Amazon Customer Service:


    We’re writing to let you know that the Amazon Video app will no longer be available on the Google TV platform after September 14, 2015, which includes streaming devices from Sony, LG, Vizio, Hisense, ASUS, Netgear, and Hausbell.

    This means you won’t be able to stream movies and TV shows directly from the Amazon Video app on your Google TV platform device. As we continually seek to improve our service, this occasionally means we can no longer support certain devices or features.

    You can continue to stream Amazon Video on hundreds of other devices, including newer Smart TV and Blu-ray models, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku, game consoles, Android and iOS phones and tablets, and your computer’s web browser.

    You can learn more about compatible devices and register a new device at:



    Customer Service

    • AFTVnews says:

      I don’t blame Amazon for stopping Google TV support since Google themselves have abandoned Google TV.

      • Ulises Rodriguez says:

        100% agree, I also don’t blame Amazon for stopping support for Google TV.

        Google and Sony abandoned all users of Google-TV, without saying anything, they had promised to upgrade to at least Jellybean, and the update never came!

        I currently own 4 Google-TV Units (2 Sony and 2 Revue), but since Google abandoned totally the Google-TV, to be then replaced by the newer Android TV, then decided to put away my 4 Google-TV units and buy 2 Amazon Fire-TV that are working flawlessly and also have excellent support from Amazon!!

  2. Juggie says:

    Has anyone intercepted the url for the update bin yet?

  3. Keith says:

    I registered to try the dev preview on my ftv stick. My other aftvs are running rbox firmware. Only problem is I haven’t received the latest update…is this unusual? I don’t use the stick very much and wasn’t even aware of which version I had till I just now.

  4. sdasd says:

    I hope this means FiOS will be available at some time on the FireTV. Verizon really doesn’t want that though.

  5. Synologix says:

    The big Question is….

    Rbox working also on a rootet Image for Interested People ? ;-)

    • AFTVnews says:

      If the bootloader has changed with Fire OS 5, which it likely has, then currently rooted Fire TVs will not be able to install a pre-rooted version of Fire OS 5. We’ll see once I get the developer preview and can capture the download. Rbox is standing by waiting.

  6. Geraint Morris says:

    Has anyone who has loaded this tried Kodi to see if refresh rate switching works?

    • AFTVnews says:

      I’ll test for it when I get it.

      • Geraint Morris says:

        Well both my devices are signed up for the update. Gotta be patient I guess :-(

      • eskay993 says:

        This is the big one for me! I’d be happy with this and no new features. Would be very interested to hear any test results once you get your hands on it.

        • Geraint Morris says:

          Yup, I’d be more than happy with this. I don’t know if the hardware supports it but full bitstreaming of TrueHD across HDMI would also be appreciated. I’d settle for for refresh rate switching though :-)

  7. Hugh Mungous says:

    Internal server error. Anyone else getting this?

  8. Chris says:

    Someone please say if refresh rate switching works! I’m dying to know

  9. Y2Bogus says:

    So does this mean I can sideload the CinemaNow androidTV app and finally have access to my Ultraviolet Library? If so, I’m sold. It’s not quite as good as Vudu, but it’s better than nothing if it works.

  10. Ujn Hunter says:

    “Fire OS 5 will not support all Fire OS 3 apps forever
    Certain aspects of the Fire TV software development kit are being deprecated with Fire OS 5. At first, Fire OS 5 will fully support all current Fire OS 3 apps on the Fire TV. But at some point in the future, the older Fire TV SDK add-on will no longer be supported. This means apps will be forced to use the newer APIs if they want to work with the latest Fire TV software version.”

    This here is bullshit… forced to update Fire OS, which could cause Apps that you’ve purchased to stop working. This is the biggest problem with Phone/TV devices with “Apps”. Either the Apps force you to update your OS or your OS forces you to update your Apps… these aren’t FREE Devices and Apps, if I pay money for something it should work, shouldn’t be forced to become obsolete.

    • ahoihoi says:

      Blame the app developers.

      • Ujn Hunter says:

        I believe the blame lies in both camps, but my specific complaint was about “Fire OS 5 will not support all Fire OS 3 apps forever” which has nothing to do with app developers and everything to do with Fire OS developers. Not all apps are being constantly developed, nor should they be, but dropping support for apps that people have spent money on is ridiculous when OS updates are forced.

  11. shwru980r says:

    As forgiving as Amazon customer service is, I would think they would issue a refund for any application that ceases to function after the Fire OS 5 upgrade.

  12. Kevin says:

    Will it have native Chromecast support similar to the Nexus Player (Android TV) box? If so, then I don’t have to buy the YouMap cast receiver app and I can sell my Chromecast dongle.

  13. Hugh Mungous says:

    Anyone know how to install the Android TV Launcher on this now?

  14. AN990 says:

    Hey, has anyone tried using the Leanback Launcher APK with OS 5? I’m curious to see if it works..

    • Hugh Mungous says:

      Failed when I tried to install it. Same with Android TV Launcher. Might need some other services running.

      Can anyone think of an Android TV app that’s not on AFTV already? Seems the AFTV is miles ahead of the ATV.

  15. xnamkcor says:

    Anybody with a DisplayLink device willing to test if it works in any capacity?


    My dad has one, but he’s using it at the moment.

  16. Grinder says:

    Got it this morning. Breaks FireStarter. This is a biggie.

  17. Geraint Morris says:

    Well my FireTV stick has been updated, no sign of refresh rate switching working (Kodi 15.1)

    • chris00780 says:

      Do you have it turned on in the Kodi settings? Someone else claimed it was working…I haven’t received the update to check it myself.

      • Geraint Morris says:

        Yes it’s turned on, mind you it is connected to a cheap LG TV so I don’t know if that may be an issue. If I don’t get the update on my main Fire TV this evening, I’ll move it to my main TV (which is much better) and try it there.

  18. Joeseph Franklin says:

    All this – yet another reason to NOT BUY Amazon Fire TV at all!
    I bought a good dozen for friends, office workers and family.
    I’m DONE!

  19. Nigel stickley says:

    I got chromecast I can’t seem two download on play store how els am I able two get app google chromecast/setup

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