Amazon wants to remove Android OS from their Firesticks and Fire TV devices.
Amazon is forging a new path in connected devices by developing an alternative operating system, code-named Vega, to replace Android on its Fire TVs, smart displays, and other devices.
This strategic move, evident from discussions with informed sources, job listings, and other materials, marks a significant shift in Amazon’s approach to device software.
The Emergence of Vega
Vega’s development appears to be in an advanced stage, with tests already conducted on Fire TV streaming adapters.
Amazon has begun informing select partners about transitioning to a new application framework soon.
Insiders suggest that Vega could debut on select Fire TV devices as early as next year, highlighting the rapid progress of this initiative.
A Long-term Vision
Amazon’s journey towards an independent OS began years ago, with initial explorations traced back to 2019 and discussions with chip makers dating as early as 2017.
These efforts have gained momentum recently, as indicated by an Amazon employee on the tech worker forum Blind, who revealed that most of the OS development is complete, with current focus on SDK and enticing developers.
Behind the Scenes
Braniecki’s LinkedIn announcement in early 2023 about working on a next-generation OS for various Amazon product lines underscores the breadth of this project.
Vega’s Distinctive Approach
Vega is envisioned as a web-forward operating system tailored for smart home devices and beyond.
Currently, Amazon devices operate on Fire OS, a forked version of Android, allowing easy portability of apps from Android devices to Amazon’s ecosystem.
However, using Android has its drawbacks, such as lagging behind Google’s development and carrying unnecessary code for modern smart home devices.
This approach facilitates app development across a broader range of devices, including iOS and Android hardware, as well as smart TVs.
The Transition and Strategic Advantages
Amazon plans to transition all its new devices to Vega eventually, encompassing not only Fire TVs and smart displays but also in-car entertainment systems and future hardware products.
This move aligns with Amazon’s automotive ambitions, as evidenced by job listings and its introduction of Fire TV to select in-car systems in 2021.
By adopting Vega, Amazon can avoid conflicts with Google over Android use and gain more control over its ecosystem.
Beyond Competitive Pressures
Industry insiders suggest that Amazon’s switch to Vega is driven not merely by competitive pressures with Google but by a broader vision.
Amazon aims to capture the attention of millions through a range of affordable devices, monetizing this audience with ads and services.
A custom-built OS like Vega could be the most effective strategy to achieve this goal.
In summary, Amazon’s development of the Vega operating system represents a bold step towards independence from Android, aiming to enhance its control over its device ecosystem and align with its long-term strategy of reaching a vast audience across various platforms.
This move could reshape the landscape of smart device operating systems, positioning Amazon as a more self-reliant and influential player in the tech world.
For more information on this story, refer to the report from LowPass.
Amazon’s potential shift from Fire OS to its new Vega operating system could significantly impact the popular Amazon Firestick, one of the leading streaming devices in the market.
Amazon has already shown tendencies towards restricting these devices, such as blocking third-party launchers and customizing shortcut buttons on the Firestick remote.
While the introduction of Vega may not immediately overhaul the Fire TV ecosystem, it represents Amazon’s ongoing effort to innovate and assert greater control over its device software, potentially shaping the future of its product lines and consumer interactions.