Google may be putting the finishing touches on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but unless you have a recent Nexus phone or tablet, it’ll probably be a while before Android 6.0 is available for your device.
But the list of devices that can run Android 5.0 or Android 5.1 is growing every day, and soon we may be able to add two new devices to the list… kind of. Amazon plans to bring Android 5.1 Lollipop to the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick soon.
The company has released a developer preview of Fire OS 5 to help developers update their apps to support the upcoming software update.
Fire OS doesn’t look much like Android, but it’s based on Google’s open source operating system.
The latest version of Fire OS available for Amazon’s smart TV boxes was Fire OS 3, which was based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. So the move to Android 5.1 is a pretty major one. You might not see much difference: Fire OS is a heavily skinned version of Android that doesn’t look much like Google’s operating system, and Amazon Fire products come with their own app store instead of Google’s.
But there should be some big changes under the hood. Among other things, the operating system uses the standard Android Notifications API and Android’s GameController API. That means apps that had been using Amazon’s notification or gamepad tools will need to be updated to work with Fire OS 5. But it also means that many Android apps which were never optimized for Amazon’s Fire OS might work with the Fire TV and TV Stick with few modifications.
Amazon released a preview of Fire OS 5 for the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 tablets in June.
via Android Police