Amazon is now allowing developers to test the latest version of its operating system: Fire OS 5 based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.
In an increasingly-competitive mobile market, the ecosystem and capabilities of the software platform has a big say in a device's success. Amazon, for its part, might be able to compete spec-wise with its Android-based devices, but its software likely limits their success.
Amazon's proprietary Fire OS is a heavily customized version of Android that doesn't come with Google Play store access. The limitations of Fire OS place Amazon's Android devices far behind rivals, but the company is apparently looking to change that.
While so far Fire OS has not moved beyond the older Android KitKat, Amazon has now announced a new developer preview of Fire OS 5, finally reaching the new Android 5.0 Lollipop. The company is now giving developers a glimpse of Fire OS 5, inviting them to test and create applications for the platform.
Fire OS 5 is the next-generation operating system from Amazon, based on Android and set to fire up (no pun intended) the company's line of Fire tablets, Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
According to Amazon, the fact that it's based on Android 5.0 Lollipop allows the Fire OS 5 to reach a greater compatibility with existing Android apps.
"This means that even more of your apps should work on Fire devices with no additional engineering effort," noted Amazon.
Without further ado, Amazon is now allowing interested parties to enroll in its Fire OS 5 Developer Preview. In other words, Amazon developers can now enjoy early access to the latest Fire OS 5 to test their apps on a Fire HD 6 or Fire HD 7 tablet. Interested developers who don't own an Amazon Fire tablet yet, meanwhile, can also take advantage of a $50 discount Amazon is offering for the Fire HD 7.
Amazon is expected to release its latest Fire OS version sometime during the third quarter of this year, but no additional details are available at this point. For now, developers can take part in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview by registering at this link to see how Amazon plans to implement its take on Android 5.0 Lollipop.