Amazon Fire TV devices are promised four years of software updates

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Software updates have become a hot topic in the Android world, especially with manufacturers using different policies. Most used to only guarantee two years of updates, both major platform upgrades and security fixes, but things have gotten a lot better these days. Samsung, for example, just one-upped Google last year by extending its promise to four years, but Amazon may have just stolen everyone's thunder by promising to support its 2016 Fire TV Stick with updates until 2025.

The big news is that Amazon will offer at least four years of software security updates to its Fire TV devices. These include the Fire TV Recast, smart TVs bearing its name, and even soundbars with Fire TV built-in. That covers over a dozen of devices, including those from third-party manufacturers like Toshiba, TCL, and Insignia.

There is, however, one part of the guarantee that actually extends the support period beyond just four years. Amazon's countdown starts "after the device is last available for purchase.". This is in stark contrast to what smartphone makers do, using the phone's launch date as the starting point for two, three, or four years of software support.

In practice, this means that all of the existing Fire TV devices are guaranteed updates at least through 2025, though there's a possibility the company might go beyond that, too. The only ones not included in that list are the first-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, which were launched in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

This announcement definitely puts Amazon in a positive light, far better than most Android device makers. That said, Amazon has always been doing its own thing from the beginning and pretty much controls the Fire TV platform in its entirety. It might also have an easier time pushing these updates if it doesn't upgrade the underlying Android platform underneath anyway.