Update: Amazon Now Promising Fire OS 5 Bellini to Kindie Fire HDX Owners

Amazon's custom version of Android 5.0 Lollipop has a number of nifty features, including an integrated blue light filter, a speed-reading option for the Kindle app, improved parental control tools (including a web browser), and other features.

And now it is reportedly going to be released for the 2013 Fire HDX tablets.

Update: Nope. Amazon informed me on Friday that this was an error. "We inadvertently sent the message about the update to a small portion of our tablet customers who have earlier versions of Fire tablets, and we are following up with them to apologize for the inconvenience," a spokesperson told me in an email. Only the 2014 Fire HDX 8.9 will be getting the update.

Earlier today a Fire HDX 7 owner posted a screenshot on MobileRead which shows a notice from Amazon promising an update for their tablet:

fire os 5 bellini update HDX 7

I am still waiting for additional detail (and confirmation) from Amazon, but this sounds like great news for Fire HDX tablet owners. Amazon had previously said that Fire OS 5 Bellini would only be released to the newest generation Fire tablets, and last year's models.

Amazon started rolling out the latest Bellini update in early December, although they have yet to update the Fire HD7 and Fire HD6 tablets which were released last year.

Perhaps last year's models will be getting an update at the same time as the 2013 models?

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

45 Comments on Update: Amazon Now Promising Fire OS 5 Bellini to Kindie Fire HDX Owners

  1. The HD6 will get it (I got the letter), and I believe HD7 (2014) as well. These were both on list of devices you could use for the Fire OS 5 Bellini beta.

    I think that 2013 HDX 8.9 may not get it. I remember they announced which devices would get the update around the time of the Fire launch this year. But I can’t find this now.

    It seems the 1st gen Fire TV devices may get Bellini update as well. Both of mine (stick and TV) are shown as ‘eligible’ when I login at developer.amazon.com

  2. I have the 2013 HDX 8.9 and received the letter notifying me the tablet would receive the upgrade.

  3. This is strange – it isn’t a small portion of owners & it makes no sense not to update the 2013 HDX, which is similar to the 2014 edition, expect the latter has some improvement to audio and GPU (if I remember correctly). I would also think a number of Amazon customers would be annoyed that their two year old device isn’t being updated, for no clear reason, when the current generation is significantly inferior (unless there is an hardware impairment preventing an upgrade). In other words, it would be a major botch up for them to send a large portion of their users a letter and then say – sorry it wasn’t meant for your devices!

    • yeah- i agree_
      _ i bought an expensive hdx tablet just 3 years ago- and they’re gonna give updates to thee people who bought the cheap $50 tablets and screw their customers who buy their premium tablets…. that is so screwed up.
      ___ i am gonna have to stop buying amazon products if they are only going to update them for 2 1/2- 3 years at most. i have a feeling my fire phone won’t be getting much better via software updates either.

  4. By golly, I got an update for my Fire Phone this morning. To 4.6.6. It’s just bug fixes, and now Stage Fright checker app reports everything is okay (they previously patched all but one issue).

    It’s too much to hope they’ll update it to Fire OS 5 but despite ‘failing’ they sold every Fire Phone they produced, and people like me use them more than any other Amazon device. So it is good to see some attention given.

  5. The official statement back in September was “Our new tablets ship with Fire OS 5, with features coming to the 4th generation Fire tablets (released in 2014) as part of free, over-the-air Fire OS updates later this year.” So that would cover the 2014 HDX 8.9 at least. They kind of missed the end of year promise.

    • Yep.

      And the idea that the 2013 models would also get the update stems from the confusing model names. The 2013 and 2014 HDX tablets might have the same name but they are also different hardware generations.

  6. Yeah. I got a notification yesterday that I would be getting the update on my Fire HDX, and this morning I got an email saying “Oops, we made a mistake.”

  7. The exact wording was:

    “Recently we inadvertently sent a message to your Amazon Fire tablet about a software update coming soon. We wanted to let you know that this message was sent in error, and apologize for any inconvenience or confusion we may have caused.

    Thank you for being an Amazon customer.

    – The Amazon Fire Tablet Team”

  8. I received the same ‘error’. Not sure I would want the new update with the new system but can’t understand why they wouldnt when there is minimal difference between hdx 3 and 4 and both have more power/ memory than their new versions!
    Perhaps if we all complain?!!……

    • The differences might be negligible, but we do know that Amazon revises the hardware every year. So wouldn’t that mean in order to update the 2013 tablets, Amazon would have to run a complete development cycle (test, debug, etc) for that model year?

      That is what I have been told, anyway.

  9. My device is a fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation it at be very aggravating if it is not upgraded

  10. Okay, I was online with Amazon Customer Service today (1/21/2016) and was told that the 3rd Generations WILL BE RECEIVING the updates “soon”.

  11. My son and I both have the 6 HD. I purchased them at the same time (Dec 2014). His WAS updated, mine was not, and does not have the option to do so.

  12. In addition to my previous comment, my son & I have the 6 (4th generation)

  13. Yet another update to my previous comments. Just spent about thirty minutes chatting with Amazon, and they say the update to Bellini is not tied to “Generation” but with the currently running OS. If the device is using Fire OS 4, it will be updated to Bellini. The wait continues…

  14. I also have the 2013 Fire HDX 64Gb wifi and cellular. No update to the OS will probably mean me saying goodbye to Amazon Prime and definitely to the tablet. Good as it it, the interface sucks!

  15. I just got the update on my Fire HD6. Worst OS ever! You can’t even organize your own apps anymore. Now you just have one big list of apps in the order that Amazon wants to arrange them for you (instead of being able to put shortcuts to your most used apps on the home screen and you only have to go through the full list if you want to go to the app page). What idiot decided it would be a good idea to make users always view their full list of apps? For example, I use email constantly and used to have it on my home page/in my carousel for quick access. Now I have to scroll through a full page of apps until I get to where the ones that start with “E” are located in order to get to my email. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Being able to arrange your own apps and create shortcuts to the ones you use most often should be standard functionality on a mobile device (and it is standard in all other OS’s). Amazon really screwed up on this one.

    And don’t even get me started on Word Runner…reading one word at a time on the screen? Dumb, dumb, dumb. The most inconvenient way to read ever! I can’t how many times I read something and want to skim back a couple of sentences to re-read something…Word Runner made reading one of the most unpleasant things to do (and I historically read for multiple hours at a time).

    Amazon basically made the Kindle unusable. I guess I’ll have to spend money on a “real” tablet now.

    • You can create “folders” by setting one app over top of another. You can also move the apps around–they don’t have to stay alphabetical.

      • You can drag and drop the icons on the Fire Tablet OS 5 and move them to the top. Be careful not to drop them right on another app icon or you’ll make a folder and have two in one that don’t belong together. Drop them in between the app icons to organize them.

    • I have to agree, I do not like this update. I will try the folder thing another commenter made. The other thing that happens is every time I download a sample book and then download the full book, I get a download error. I mean every time! Frustrating!

  16. Is there a reason that I hadn’t gotten the update yet??

    • I have no clue. I don’t even have the update. (just a second while I go see if it is listed for download on Amazon.com)

      Edit: There’s no download option, either, so I’ll go ask Amazon about it.

    • You can create “folders” by setting one app over top of another. You can also move the apps around–they don’t have to stay alphabetical.

  17. I was recently sent an email from an Amazon tech representative that gave me instructions on how to revert the OS on my HDX 8.9 should I not like the OS 5 software upgrade when it is finally available for download. That sounds promising!?!

  18. I have the HD7, my daughter has the HD7 kids version (which is basically the same but less memory). Her tablet has upgraded to OS5 a few days ago, but mine says no upgrade available.. wtf?

  19. New OS really blows. Cannot delete useless apps on my home page. Lags like crazy. Piece of friggin garbage. Guess I will use my nexus 7 2013 full time now.

    • You can delete “useless” apps by uninstalling them. If they’re useless, why do you want them on your device at all? True, there are some apps that came pre-installed that you cannot delete, but what I did for those was create a folder called “Amazon Preinstalls” and I moved that folder to the very bottom of the page. I don’t see it at all unless I go down there.

      With this update the icons on the Amazon home page behave just like the icons on an iPad. EVERYTHING ends up on the home page, and you have to use folders to organize. The only difference is that–when the number of icons exceeds your desktop–an iPad moves the new icons to a new screen to the right of your original home screen (You can end up with dozens of screens if you’re not careful). Amazon OS5 keeps everything on a single screen that just extends down infinitely.

      I actually LIKE the new os5 very much. I purchased one of the $50 tablets back in the fall when they were first announced, and though it was slower than my old HD7, I was jealous of the new os. I was excited when it was announced that my HD7 would update to the new os, and I’ve been very pleased with it as it’s sped up my device quite a bit. Of course, when I heard the update was coming, I also thought, “I wonder if Amazon has any idea how much this is going to freak out people who’ve gotten used to the carousel and the current setup?”

  20. And now, as I was adding to my post, the page reloaded and I couldn’t edit or finish. But, there is a horrible bright white page when opening my book. I use a black background on purpose, so I can read at night without waking my husband and this defeats the purpose. Give us the option to go back to the previous version without wooing our systems!

  21. If this is truly moderated, post this for me instead of the other two incomplete posts…
    I wish I’d kept my Kindle off-line so it would not have updated automatically. There’s no carousel or favorites, so I can’t just have apps that I use every day up there. The home page has apps I would delete if I could. The keyboard sucks and has no option to have secondary characters on the top with the usual letters. Having to swipe all of my apps to close them is annoying. I don’t have a cell and don’t like this on my Kindle. I don’t like ads on my home page and had disabled it on my Kindle before. There is lag when opening anything now. There’s a horrible bright white page when opening my book. I use a black background on purpose, so I can read at night without waking my husband and this defeats the purpose. Give us the option to go back to the previous version without wiping our systems! I can’t figure out how to remove books and apps from my Kindle now, to store them on my cloud. My Kindle will be full soon and I won’t buy again if this isn’t addressed. Everything I download now, I will not be able to remove and just store on my Kindle? AND Where it’s the documents section??? The last update, there was at least a document showing the changes. Now, I can’t even find my documents!!!

  22. I didn’t get any warning about this upgrade, and am a bit cross. My whole family have fires, all a bit different, but similar enough to be able to help each other out over the phone. Can’t do this any more because mine is suddenly different? can anyone advise ‘re email display, please? I am now getting initials in circles at the left of my in box which take valuable screen space and are distracting,, they weren’t there before the upgrade, and I’d like to revert to how things were.
    Not impressed by all the apps on home page either, tho have dragged my faves up to the top.

  23. I have a 4th generation ereader Kindle and received the message that I needed to update the software. Having tried through Wi-Fi and then manually updating. Neither seem possible. Am currently at 4.1.0 and need to go through 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 to get to 4.1.3.
    Amazon have had the problem since Feb 22 and still haven’t found a solution. Guess the ereader will be useless after March 22.

  24. I want to revert back to the old OS, is that possible? I really don’t like anything about the new OS.

    • Ha! You can revert your OS back for Kindle Fire 7HD by logging onto your account and going to “manage my content and devices.” Toggle switch at the bottom allows you to reset your kindle fire.

  25. Hello All, HD 8.9, Paperwhite, HD7 and New 5th gen. 7. Very upset w/Bellini FONT SIZE there is no way to change it. I have bad eyes and HUGE is not even acceptable, what were they thinking.

  26. It was available on the manual firmware download page for the HDX 8.9 2013. But I guess They pulled it and I guess it wont be back? Time to sell it for a Pixel. I am phasing out all Amazon Hardware too limiting and note updated enough. I can’t watch Facebook videos nor use the new like feature. My phone would be in the same range as a HDX I get 2 years major updates and 3 year monthly security updates.

  27. I hope my kindle fire HDX will still be useable, after the update confusion. A refund will have to be considered for owners if the worst happens. Your comments please!.

  28. Becky Kirschbaum // 14 March, 2016 at 12:33 pm // Reply

    If you can not get this so called “upgrade” count your blessings. As someone else posted, I also had a hard time finding my docs, which made me extremely nervous as I have legal docs stored there. When I finally did find them I could no longer print. I tried opening my games and after opening 3 and only having 1 that would actually work I gave up on those. When I got into my books I had to hunt for the book I was currently reading which was a pain as I have many books in my library. By the time I got to my email and tried to open that and found out that I had to go through a tutorial just get in to it I had had enough of their fun and games and shut my kindle off. Amazon has render my kindle completely useless. DO NOT let them convince you just downgrade to your previous operating system. This will do a COMPLETE FACTORY RESET and you will lose everything that you have. And as far as a refund goes, that is a complete joke. I spent hundreds of dollars not only for the initial purchase price of my kindle but for in app purchases as well and they gave me a whopping $10 on my next purchase to make up for their incompetence. Don’t hold your breath on them trying to make it right. I used to order pretty much everything from Amazon. Since they have rendered my kindle useless and there is sign that they are going to correct their screw up without me having to start over from square one, I have cancelled my prime membership, which I have had for years, and refuse to order from Amazon for anything.

  29. I spoke with an Amazon rep this week who said that my 2013 Fire HDX7 will be getting the upgrade, but the techs are still working on it. He said it may be available in 3 – 4 weeks, but there is no definite date.

  30. Has my HDX 3rd generation kindle been updated, serial numb. DOFB AOAO. 3452 op6r

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