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Is Fire HD 8 Android? (What is the Operating System?)

Last Updated Jan 14, 2022

Many people around the world have caught the Android craze since it became the most popular operating system in the early 2010s. The Android operating system is now in many smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices worldwide. As a result, many people who wish to buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet have been wondering, “Is Fire HD 8 Android? If not, what Operating System does it use?”

No, the Fire HD 8 does not run directly on the Android operating system, but it uses the Fire OS and is based on the Android Open Source Project.

So while the Fire OS found in the Amazon Fire HD 8 is not the same as the Android OS, it is run using a lot of Android code. So keep reading to find out what the Fire OS is, how it works and how it is different from the Android OS.

The Importance of a Good Operating System

The operating system of a device is the software on which a device runs. It helps provide a platform that can act as an interface between the user and the computer hardware. 

So when a user passes an instruction to the device, the operating system acts as the messenger or go-between to ensure that the instruction is carried out the right way. 

From this little definition, it’s clear why many people would want a solid operating system for their mobile devices. The right operating system would mean ease when using the device. It would also mean that the device is secure and essential details like the memory are well managed.  

What is Fire OS?

Fire OS (or Operating System) is a mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project. Amazon created it for use on its Fire tablets and other devices. It has a lot of similarities to the Android OS, but it uses its own app store.

Many people only want to use devices they are familiar with, so they are skeptical about using the Fire HD 8 and other Fire tablets. Still, the Fire OS continues to exceed expectations and perform very well. 

If you would like to learn more about the Fire HD 8, check out this article.

What Fire OS Versions are Used on Fire Tablets?

The Fire OS 3.0 was the first operating system to be referred to as being “compatible with Android,” while the others before it were listed as “based on Android.” The different Fire OS versions that have come out since then are explained below.

Fire OS 5.0

This one was based on the Android 5.1 Lollipop version, and it had an updated interface. It featured a traditional application grid and pages for content types. It also had the “On Deck” feature, which helped move content out of offline storage to create space for new content. 

Fire OS 6

The Fire OS 6 was based on the Android 7.1.2 Nougat, and it came with some updates of its own. For example, it has adaptable storage, allowing users to format and use their SD cards as internal storage. It also has a feature that forces the system to sleep when not used to conserve energy.

Fire OS 7

The Fire OS 7 is currently available for all 8th generation Fire HD tablets and is based on the Android 9.0 Pie.

The Difference Between Android OS and Fire OS

Fire OS and Android OS are very similar, as one is based on the other. However, there are significant differences between the two of them.

App Stores

The Fire OS and Android OS have different native App Stores. The app store for Android OS is Google PlayStore, while the Amazon app store is present in Fire OS devices. Both of them have different applications, so you should check to see if the Amazon app store has the apps you want before you purchase a Fire tablet. For example, Whatsapp is currently not available on Fire HD devices.

Thankfully, you can download and install Google PlayStore on your Fire HD 8, so there’s no problem there.

Home Launcher

Another significant difference is that the Fire OS does not let you change the home launcher, so you must use the one provided for you. The home launcher on Fire HD tablets is tailored to show you more Amazon products like ebooks, music, videos, and even ads. Of course, you can pay to cancel ads from your home screen if you don’t like them. 


The Fire HD 8 device is not an Android device, but it has a similar operating system. However, there are a few differences you should be aware of before you buy the device to decide if you can cope with them or not.

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