Amazon reportedly plans to remove the Android core from future Fire TVs, smart displays and other devices. Writing for Lowpass, veteran journalist Janko Roettgers cites “multiple sources with knowledge of these plans” along with job listings and other materials supporting Amazon’s alleged move to a new Linux-based operating system. The OS supposedly uses the internal codename “Vega” and runs on devices like Fire TV Sticks, TVs, and other connected devices.
Roettgers says Amazon has been working on the idea for years, with the company supposedly floating the idea to chipmakers as far back as 2017. “Hundreds of people” in Amazon’s Device OS group have reportedly worked on the software, including Zibi Braniecki, a former Mozilla engineer who joined Amazon in 2022. Earlier this year, he allegedly posted on LinkedIn (a comment that appears to have since been deleted) that he was “working on a next generation Operating System for Smart Home, Automotive, and other Amazon Devices product lines.”
The report doesn’t list a release timeline but mentions that “most of the OS development is already done.” Amazon is now apparently focusing on readying an SDK and planning perks to convince developers to invest their time and money.
The alleged move would allow Amazon to cut ties with Google’s Android Open Source Project, which lies at the heart of the current Fire OS. That dependence has led to Amazon’s software falling several generations behind the most recent Android versions. For example, the current-gen Fire TV software is based on Android 9, Google’s big software update from five years ago. Switching to Vega could also let Amazon cut underlying bloat from its OS; Android contains code enabling it to work on many different devices stretching far beyond the relatively minimal needs of Amazon’s smart-home gear.
Lowpass claims the Linux-based Vega would use React Native for app development. The Meta-created framework uses a single codebase for iOS and Android, and Amazon likely hopes that will help with cross-platform development. The report doesn’t specifically address whether the OS will eventually run on Fire tablets, which become much more versatile when users sideload the Google Play Store to run a wider variety of Android apps.
Roettgers’s report says Amazon plans to eventually make a clean break with Android on all new devices. The company allegedly designed Vega to run on systems as diverse as car infotainment systems and “other future hardware products.”