Reportedly, Amazon is said to be considering the removal of the Android core from its upcoming Fire TVs, smart displays, and other devices. According to veteran journalist Janko Roettgers writing for Lowpass, multiple sources familiar with these plans, along with job listings and other materials, suggest that Amazon is transitioning to a new Linux-based operating system internally referred to as “Vega.” This operating system is expected to run on devices like Fire TV Sticks, televisions, and various connected devices.
Roettgers notes that Amazon has been contemplating this move for years, with discussions with chipmakers reportedly dating back to 2017. The development of the software has reportedly involved numerous individuals within Amazon’s Device OS group, including Zibi Braniecki, a former Mozilla engineer who joined Amazon in 2022. Earlier this year, Braniecki purportedly mentioned on LinkedIn (a comment that seems to have been deleted) that he was actively involved in “working on a next-generation Operating System for Smart Home, Automotive, and other Amazon Devices product lines.”
Although the report doesn’t specify a release timeline, it suggests that a significant portion of the OS development is already complete. Amazon is now said to be focusing on preparing a Software Development Kit (SDK) and strategizing incentives to encourage developers to invest their efforts and resources in the new platform.
If this move materializes, Amazon would sever ties with Google’s Android Open Source Project, which currently forms the foundation of the existing Fire OS. This dependency has resulted in Amazon’s software lagging behind recent Android versions, as the current Fire TV software is based on Android 9, a software update from five years ago. Shifting to Vega could potentially enable Amazon to streamline its OS by eliminating unnecessary elements inherited from Android, which caters to a broader range of devices beyond the specific requirements of Amazon’s smart-home products.
According to Lowpass, the Linux-based Vega is expected to utilize React Native for app development, a framework created by Meta that facilitates a unified codebase for both iOS and Android. Amazon likely anticipates that this will streamline cross-platform development. While the report doesn’t explicitly mention Fire tablets, it suggests that Amazon aims to entirely distance itself from Android on all new devices in the future, designing Vega to be compatible with systems ranging from car infotainment systems to “other future hardware products.”