This is a general question for anyone who knows about such things, but not specific enough to post on the developer site.
Amazon is selling new devices (Fire TV and the new Fire 7 Tablet) with Fire OS 6 installed. Fire OS 6 is based on Android 7.1 API level 25.
However, G**gle are mandating that developers update their apps to a minimum of API level 26, along with any new apps. From November, they must target API level 28!
What does this mean for Fire OS?
The question arises as my wife has had apps no longer supportable by the developer because they say the OS is too old, also, I've got a ton of apps I bought on my Fire tablet and the Amazon Android App Store which have problems on newer phones with Android Oreo or Pie because the apps are too old.
I often wonder if G**gle are doing this to cause problems for Fire OS, but I also wonder why Amazon are busy rolling out a Fire OS based on such an old Android? I know Fire OS doesn't have the objective of being in parity with Google, but surely the end-effect for devs and us as customers is a decrease of new apps?
@Efjay: Hey there. Your comment seems to be based on a technology/software background. However, you seem to be ignoring the paradigm shift that Android / app / microware brought about many years ago.
Once upon a time Software, Firmware, O/S and suites were created, configuration controlled, archived, stress tested and compatibility modeled. They were "too expensive" and people wanted cheap stuff that kinda worked. Ish.
Along came Android and open systems and a huge enfranchisement of micro / pico companies that built stuff and if it worked that was cool. If it didn't, no problems, it only cost a few bucks and a newer shiny version based on "hip" latest confectionery named O/S build would come out. Really cheap - but of course things like configuration control, archiving, stress testing, comparability and interchangeability all went out of the window. That was cool. Big companies could buy the big expensive quality stuff. We could just get by with the cheap dross anyone could build.
And so we are on the current Donkey Kong game level platform of today. Consumers want cheap stuff for johhny and jemmima to enjoy; Softies want to produce stuff that works today - who cares about tomorrow; Hardware savants have to build with the lowest cost items and THEY have to model their hardware platform on what they perceive will be the software "baseline" for their ecosystem for their sales plateau.
My personal view - Amazon have maintained a high degree of inter-operability with hardware and software - heck, the old Keyboard Kindle and now museum piece Kindle 1 and 2 still have working examples!
If the Amazon ecosystem ever has any visible congruity with other hardware / software / firmware or O/S builds is a lucky surprise. They build to administer THEIR ecosystem primarily - if anyone else moves on/up/down/out then Amazon will react in accordance with their business model.
I have no idea if this remotely true - it's how I perceive it. I have no idea if it's good or bad - I believe it's terrible in every way and the capitalistic model will not be around that much longer.
How it relates to Amazon, their aims, goals, ambitions, decisions or processes - I suspect that's a deep secret held by a tiny cabal.
How it relates to Customers? Simple. Buy it if you want, need, like and/or can afford it. Otherwise, don't. Very little of this "technology" is critical - much is nice and/or fun.
I do believe your question is, ultimately, only valuable in the developers site. Customers are seldom asked the right question for fear that they give the right answer. "I want it to work for as long as i own it. It can slow down or look old fashioned, but I want a 1-time-buy that works. Thank you." And that holds true for cars, pens, cookers, tablets and houses. :)
Best regards, CW.
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Fire OS serves a specific purpose l.e. Support Amazon’s media products and site sales. That it does other things too is an added bonus.
Reliability (which at times is laughable) is the Amazon key, as it also has to support various devices it produces.
it has no need to continually update to the latest fun and games (and not quite working properly) latest cake that Android throws out - which usually requires new hardware to utilise.
that some apps cease to work is solely the fault of the app provider not being bothered to continue to support their product (the Fire not being very lucrative no doubt) coupled with their desire to utilise the latest whizz bangs, whether the app needs any of them or not, which leaves Amazon “behind” along with all other devices limited to that version of Android.
Amazon makes something that works. It is not the right choice if anyone wants an all singing and dancing tablet featuring the latest gizmos (which Android has a history of not implementing very well). The Fire fits the tablet that does something at a very, very affordable price niche very well. The device is unbeatable at its price mark.
That Amazon has now reached OS number x and that the disparity and discontinuity has always existed from day one when compared to Android, any investment in the sub utility (apps) should always be treated with consideration of its possible longevity considering the potential financial demographic of the users.