Introducing Fire OS

Introduction

Introducing Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”, the next generation of software and services that powers Amazon’s best-selling Kindle Fire tablets. Fire OS 3.0 includes hundreds of updates and exclusive new features, as well as continued compatibility with Android and HTML5. Fire OS starts with Android at the core and adds:

  • Low-level platform enhancements, including: the Optimizing Download Manager, a re-designed graphics pipeline, Reading Mode and improvements to touch latency for better performance.
  • Deep integration of the hardware, software and services to deliver features such as X-Ray, the Mayday button, Second Screen and more.
  • Built-in media libraries that provide instant access to music, movies, apps and games both stored on the device or in the cloud and that automatically sync between them.
  • Content-first user interface, with both Carousel and Grid views.
  • Cloud services like Whispersync, 1-Tap Archive and Cloud Collections.
  • Productivity apps with enhanced email, document and enterprise support with hardware and software data encryption.

The all-new Fire OS 3.0 is available exclusively on the new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets.

See below for a look into the developer features of Fire OS 3.0, and check out the Amazon SDK Page for more information on the Amazon APIs and services available on Fire OS.


More Development Options

Native Android App Compatibility

Most Android tablet apps will already run on Fire OS 3.0, as it's built from the Android open source kernel (Android 4.2.2) and runtime libraries. In fact, 75% of the tablet apps that we've tested that run on Android also run on Fire OS, with no additional development work. Of those that don’t, most are a result of easily resolved issues such as incorrect product descriptions, or problems caused by apps being optimized for phones. You can learn more about these issues and how to resolve them here.


Web App Compatibility

Support for HTML5 apps allows developers to offer their web apps and mobile websites on Kindle Fire tablets in the same convenient way as mobile apps. As one of the only platforms to offer HTML5 support, developers can submit and distribute mobile web content without using third-party software or any mobile development. Learn more about HTML5 support and our Chromium-based web app runtime for Fire OS here.


Easier Testing

To support developers targeting the new line of Kindle devices and Fire OS 3.0, Amazon has also released new 2013 Kindle Fire emulators and Amazon AVD (Android Virtual Device) Launcher. The emulator lets you develop and test Kindle Fire applications without using a physical device. The AVD Launcher provides a user interface in which you can create and manage Android Virtual Devices, to help simplify the process of creating and launching emulators.


Low-Level Platform Enhancements

Optimizing Download Manager

The new Optimizing Download Manager enables parallel content downloads. Unlike standard Android, Fire OS adjusts the number of simultaneous downloads per device based on the bandwidth, so that foreground app performance is not impacted by background download activity. In addition, the Optimized Download Manager automatically pauses ongoing content downloads when the customer starts streaming an Amazon Instant Video, to maximize the video quality. Customers can prioritize individual items to download first, and with progressive download they can open videos, Audible audiobooks, or large periodical files and start enjoying them while the download is still ongoing.


Graphics Direct Texture

The Fire OS graphics system is customized to quickly load large graphical assets like the high-resolution cover art in the Fire OS home screen. Graphics Direct Texture enables the Carousel and the Fire OS media libraries to include detailed images and still load quickly and scroll smoothly.


Touch Responsiveness

Low-level changes to the way Fire OS 3.0 handles taps and swipes improve responsiveness across Kindle Fire devices. For example, the system dynamically increases the CPU speed after the customer lifts their finger off the screen, to minimize touch latency in games and apps. And when a customer taps an app in the Carousel or Grid View, the system multi-threads activities across all CPU cores and re-orders the activity calls, so that the app starts to open immediately.


Reading Mode

Reading Mode gives customers up to 17 hours of battery life when reading. Fire OS automatically powers down unnecessary system components when customers are reading static pages, storing the text in dedicated, low-power memory, and powering down the CPU.


Better Customer Experiences

Mayday Button

Fire OS 3.0 delivers revolutionary free on-device tech support, available 24x7, 365 days a year with a 15-second response time goal. After pushing the Mayday button, an Amazon expert will appear on the Fire HDX and can co-pilot a customer through any feature by drawing on the screen, walking them through how to do something themselves or doing it for them. With Mayday, customers are able to focus on content, not troubleshooting. Learn more here.


New Home Screen Enhancements

Fire OS 3.0 features an enhanced, content-forward user interface that lets your app or game shine. The redesigned Home Screen lets users choose between viewing their recent content in the Carousel view or their favorites in the Grid view – the best of both worlds. Additionally, the new Quick Switch feature uses a global swipe gesture from anywhere in the system to give users the ability to go between multiple apps without navigating home.


Accessibility

Accessibility tools including Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier enable access to the vast majority of Fire OS features. Text-to-Speech for book reading features natural-sounding IVONA voices for the following languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and French Canadian. Fire OS 3.0 supports standard Android accessibility and Text-to-Speech APIs, so developers can take advantage of accessibility tools for third-party applications, including IVONA Screen Reader voices.


Second Screen

Second Screen allows customers to fling content from their Fire to their TV, turning the TV into the primary screen and freeing up their Fire as a second screen to email, browse the web, play a game or follow along scene-by-scene with X-Ray. The Fire screen is not just a mirror image of the TV. Instead, when the customer flings the video to the TV, Fire syncs the video and the X-Ray data in the cloud and streams the video directly to the TV or console, so the quality of the video is not dependent on a direct wireless connection between the TV and the tablet. The customer can even take their tablet to another room and leave the video playing on the TV.


Hundreds of Updates and New Features

Fire OS 3.0 comes with many additional new features such as Whispersync, 1-Tap Archive, Cloud Collections, enhanced email, built-in media libraries, X-Ray for Movies, TV and Music. Learn more about the new consumer enhancements in Fire OS 3.0.


Full Enterprise Support

To adhere to the security standards of IT departments, Fire OS 3.0 allows encryption of the user partition to secure data on the device. Additionally, users can connect to secure enterprise Wi-Fi networks at work with their Fire OS 3.0 tablets and securely connect to corporate networks via a native or third-party VPN client while on the road or at home. IT departments can easily manage Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets with an enhanced set of device policies that support Mobile Device Management solutions ranging from Amazon's Whispercast service to third-party vendors such as AirWatch, Citrix, Maas360, MobileIron, and SOTI.


Engage More Users, Make More Money

Amazon has a full set of services and APIs that help developers targeting Fire OS 3.0 to engage customers and monetize, including:

  • In-App Purchasing: The In-App Purchasing API makes it easy for you to offer digital content and subscriptions —such as in-game currency, expansion packs, upgrades, magazine issues and more— for purchase within your apps using Amazon 1-Click settings.
  • Mobile Associates: The Amazon Mobile Associates API allows developers to sell real products from among the millions of items at Amazon, whether physical (e.g. toys, clothing) or digital (e.g. eBooks, digital video), from inside their apps or games, while earning up to 6% in advertising fees from those purchases.
  • GameCircle: Amazon GameCircle makes Achievements, Leaderboards and Whispersync services accessible across platforms. They’re simple and quick for developers to integrate, enabling customers to seamlessly play games and interact with other gamers across any mobile device.
  • Whispersync: Whispersync for Games is the first cross-platform game-syncing solution to automatically resolve conflicts and handle all the complexity and corner cases of syncing for you, like offline and simultaneous play. Whispersync enables developers to get and set values in a data map. It offers both auto-conflict resolution and player-choice conflict resolution as options, and it queues when a device is offline. It only takes a few minutes to set up the data map.
  • Mobile Ads: The Amazon Mobile Ads API helps you better monetize your apps by displaying high-quality, relevant display ads from brand advertisers, including Amazon.
  • Amazon Device Messaging: Amazon Device Messaging lets you send messages to Kindle Fire devices that run your app, such as game updates or messages from friends, so you can keep users up to date and involved.
  • A/B Testing: The Amazon A/B Testing service makes in-app experimentation simple for developers. Integration takes less than a day, enabling you to easily test different in-app experiences, analyze the results, and deploy better experiences without any additional updates to your app.
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