Published in IoT

Amazon plans to ditch Android

by on10 November 2023

Coming up with its own OS

Amazon wants to ditch Google’s Android and build its own Linux-based operating system for its Fire TVs, smart displays and other connected devices.

We have been hearing rumours of the operating system, known internally as Vega for a while, but it is now rumoured to have been tested on Fire TV streaming adapters.

Amazon has told select partners about its plans to transition to a new application framework soon. Rumours are that it could start shipping Vega on select Fire TV devices as early as next year.

Amazon devices like its Fire TV sticks and television sets, Echo Show intelligent displays and Fire tablets have been using a forked version of Android known as Fire OS. But Vega is a web-forward operating system for smart home devices.

Amazon’s Fire OS experience helped it build a foundation for Vega which will presumably allow third-party developers to bring apps running on Android phones, tablets and TVs to Amazon devices without having to rebuild them from scratch.

Vega will also get Amazon out of the Android Open Source Project which has resulted in the development of the Fire OS regularly trailing Google’s efforts by multiple years.

Current-gen Fire TVs run Fire OS 7, based on Android 9. Google released Android 14 this fall; the company’s streaming hardware currently runs Android 12; developers began testing Android 13 on Google’s Android TV developer devices close to a year ago.

Vega would mean that Amazon could dump a lot of the technical baggage that comes with Android which it no longer needs for modern smart home devices.  Even Google never used Android for its own smart displays recently switching to Fuchsia.

Amazon has published multiple job listings that suggest that Vega will be critical to its automotive efforts; the company brought Fire TV to select in-car entertainment systems in 2021.

Last modified on 10 November 2023
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