Amazon to Replace Android with Custom Fire OS for Its Devices

According to a report from Lowpass, Amazon is apparently planning to remove the Android core from its future Fire TVs, smart displays, and other devices. Janko Roettgers, a veteran journalist, cites “multiple sources with knowledge of these plans” along with job listings and other materials to support the alleged move to a new Linux-based operating system, internally codenamed “Vega.” The new OS is said to be running on devices like Fire TV Sticks, TVs, and other connected devices.

Reportedly, Amazon has been working on this idea for years and has been discussing it with chipmakers since 2017. It is also reported that “hundreds of people” in Amazon’s Device OS group have been working on the software, including Zibi Braniecki, a former Mozilla engineer who joined Amazon in 2022. According to Roettgers, Braniecki mentioned on LinkedIn earlier this year that he was “working on a next-generation Operating System for Smart Home, Automotive, and other Amazon Devices product lines.”

The release timeline is not specified in the report, but it is mentioned that “most of the OS development is already done.” Amazon is now apparently focused on preparing an SDK and planning perks to attract developers to invest their time and money.

The move would allow Amazon to cut ties with Google’s Android Open Source Project, which currently powers the Fire OS. This dependence has led to Amazon’s software being several generations behind the most recent Android versions. Additionally, switching to Vega could allow Amazon to cut underlying bloat from its OS and use React Native for app development, a framework created by Meta that uses a single codebase for iOS and Android.

Roettgers’s report states that 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.”