Amazon job listing confirms that Fire TV is dropping Android-based Fire OS

A report last year claimed that Amazon was working on an operating system, called Vega OS, as a replacement for the Android-based operating system it has been using on Echo and Fire TV devices for years. Shortly after, the new operating system was all but confirmed to already be running on Amazon’s new Echo Show 8 but whether or not it would be coming to Fire TV devices was still up in the air. Now, a new job listing from Amazon has confirmed that Fire TVs are transitioning away from Android and Fire OS.

A new job listing (mirror) was posted yesterday for a Fire TV Experience Software Development Engineer that leaves little doubt that Amazon will be switching Fire TV devices away from Android. Under the listings “A day in the life” section, it states that the hired individual will “Implement and deliver features on the Fire TV client codebase as it transitions from FOS/Android to native/Rust and React Native.”

While the name Vega OS is not explicitly mentioned in this job listing, the initial report about Amazon’s in-house operating system stated it would use the React Native software framework, as mentioned in the new listing. Regardless of the new operating system’s name, the job listing confirms that Fire TVs will be transitioning away “from FOS/Android,” where FOS stands for Fire OS, to something else that is, presumably, not based on Android.

What does this mean for the millions of Fire TV devices currently in use? Probably very little. As it is, Amazon doesn’t bother updating Fire TV devices from one major version of Fire OS to another (e.g., Fire OS 7 to Fire OS 8) so it seems extremely unlikely that any existing Fire TV device will be updated from Fire OS to Amazon’s new non-Android operating system. Instead, Amazon will most likely release a future new Fire TV model that runs only its new operating system.

Thankfully, Amazon has a long history of continuing to support and update older Fire TV models, so, even if the new non-Android operating system works out for Amazon, existing Android-based Fire TV devices should continue working for a long time to come. While Amazon is now up to Fire OS 8, there are Fire TV models running Fire OS 5, which was released in 2015, that are still being updated by Amazon. The vast majority of Fire TV apps, from both Amazon and 3rd parties, also continue to support the older versions of Fire OS. For those reasons and others, there’s little reason to avoid the existing Android-based Fire TV models, especially because the first Fire TVs running the new operating system will very likely be limited in features and app support, compared to the existing models.

38 comments
  1. Jim says:

    Folks will Segway away from FireTV.

  2. Powerfader says:

    Bezos wants control of all aspects. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ‘new’ os will block any app not downloaded from his App Store. In other words, no more sideloading!

    • Matt Rizzo says:

      This new OS is not Android. So I think sideloading will be non-existent on it.

    • 0990 says:

      A little late to the party? Bezos is no longer with Amazon.

      • Bryan says:

        This is not true
        Jeff bezos is still Amazon company chairman.
        So there is still connection and decision making that he can do with Amazon he just is not CEO so not dealing with day to day but more on bigger decision making.

  3. Kathy W says:

    No Android/No Sideloading = No Me!

  4. Peter says:

    Just leave things alone always got to do this and that

  5. D Banginn says:

    I can’t see Amazon adopting an OS that is incapable of running Android apps. Streaming services are not inclined to develop apps for devices with a small userbase. Is Amazon going to develop apps for them ? I doubt it.

    • Dav_Daddy says:

      Fire OS devices are hardly a small user base. The FireTV is the most popular streaming device by quite a bit. Far larger market share than say Apple TV.

      Roku is the only one even close with Chromecast a distant 3rd and the rest of the Android TV devices being a rounding error even if lumped together.

      • Ace says:

        The demand for Chinese Android tv boxes will soar if Amazon kills Android on the VS.

      • Gary Buzzhill says:

        Exactly…will move on

      • paulson says:

        I promise, I used plenty of paragraph breaks when I wrote the service monstrosity, but when I hit post, it unformatted the text into the blob/wall of text you see now(assuming it and this are both mod approved).

        Apologies, but there’s no edit option (maybe once approved? Or maybe the formatting will return to the way it was when submitted?) but I understand if it’s too much to look at. There is good info therein for those that dare to brave reading it anyway, though!

        • paulson says:

          Interesting… My second reply stressing the 1st seems to have been approved but not the one it refers to (reply #1). An algo steering the “post approval” ship, maybe?

      • paulson says:

        Ok the monstrosity comment I originally replied with and referred to in my second reply at 3:40 p.m. clearly isn’t going to be approved, most likely due to its length so I’m going to try again, but more succinctly this go around.

        I had originally explained that exactly as you stated, I too was under the impression that Fire OS/tv was the most popular platform for smart TVs. TVs. I was under the impression that at the very least this were true of the US market, but the fact of the matter is this assumption was wrong. In fact, your numbers are all way off and completely incorrect, respectfully. Here are the most recent numbers (Q422 there are no more recent numbers for comprehensive analysis):

        Top 5 Smart TV Platforms – Globally:

        #1 Samsung Tizen
        #2 Android TV/Google TV
        #3 LG WebOS
        #4 Roku TV
        #5 Fire TV

        Top 5 Smart TV Platforms – US Market:

        #1 Roku TV
        #2 Samsung Tizen
        #3 Fire TV/Fire OS
        #4 Android TV/Google TV
        #5 LG WebOS

        As indicated, some of this came as a surprise but, there it is in black & white and these are not sourced from a solitary report but corroborated by 3 separate sources (primarily Strategy Analytics’ “Global Smart TV OS Market Share,” FutureSource Consulting’s “Quarterly Home Entertainment Platform Market Analysis” & “Parks Associates’ “US Connected Home Quarterly.” All from Q422)

        This doesn’t make the first sentence of your reply incorrect, only every one thereafter. Since I had been under the same impression at one point(but fact checked myself before running with it in public comment), I want to give you the benefit of the doubt but since you not only didn’t fact check yourself but also proceed to make a bunch of *additional* baseless assumptions, every single one of which is patently incorrect, and then attempted to pass them off as fact (or at least, it was implied), I’ll just drop a friendly suggestion/best practice for claims made while engaging in public discourse; maybe fact-check yourself before you riggity wreck yourself… or riggity wreck the integrity of the conversation anyway?

    • Tingo says:

      The new os is ready to go and already on the latest echo. The fact that it only has one authorised streaming app, amazon prime shows in my opinion its the lack of app support that stopped a fire device running it to be released already. Their app store doesn’t have enough apps. I’ve sideloaded a UK programme guide as it doesn’t exist with Amazon. No sideloading no sale. They may have a large slice of the streaming device pie currently but will it remain that way. Who knows.

  6. D. Williams says:

    I transitioned from fire sticks a few years ago. I now run Nvidia shields all throughout my house. Way more options and very fast. My home is now fully networked. All of them have 256 USB drive for on board memory. I have the regular shield TV’s in most rooms and the pro unit with a 12tb hard drive with all of my movies running plex in my theater room. And have a tablo hooked up to the network. I could never run a set up like this with a fire stick system.

    • Muchmo says:

      The shield is outdated and lacks the juice to adequately run 2K and 4K content. Independent tests prove this. Enjoy your shield on a 10 year old tv.

      • Adam says:

        I run 4k rips, including high-bitrate UHD rips I did myself on my Shield with no problem.

        The Shield may definitely be dated, but your statement is nonsense.

      • Gary Buzzhill says:

        It will be like Bud Light

      • paulson says:

        As others mentioned, the “point” you make regarding 4k content is simply wrong, however, you’re not completely wrong across the board. I agree that Nvidia needs to release a new shield (and not just a 2024 rerelease/refresh), but in spite of this, it doesn’t change the fact that it is by a fairly large margin, still the best Android TV device available.

        Also to your point, they really should have gone (or “go with,” in the event of a updated model) a beefier SoC. At present, at least the 2019 Pro model has the same Tegra processor that powers the Nintendo Switch but while it’s apparently well suited for that device, it is not an ideal choice for a device which, TV-based or not, is an Android and power Android users are absolutely going to use it in the same way they use any Android handset/tablet, etc. This equates to multiple running apps/heavy workloads and occasionally (or frequently/often depending on the user) demanding much more system resources than the Switch ever would running a single game that is optimized for exactly that device. Android apps by nature can’t be optimized for a single device due to the sheer number of devices that run Android.

        Regardless, there’s zero reason I should be experiencing sluggishness, sometimes leading to a completely frozen/unusable state necessitating a soft reset, on a device that’s considered top of its class and costs the user $200+

  7. Jim says:

    The Shield is way past due for a refresh/upgrade. It needs a new make over.

    • D. Williams says:

      On that I agree with you. But it still works better for what I’m doing as apose to a fire stick. And don’t believe the hype. It runs my 4k content on my so call old 86″ Lg oled tv with no issues. So I don’t know what the first commenter is talking about.

      • Adam says:

        So I don’t know what the first commenter is talking about.

        Nor I suspect does he.

        I run 4K high bitrate Blu-ray rips as well as less demanding steaming service “4K” streams with no problem at all, all while my Shield automatically adjusts my 4K TV’s framerate and negotiates HDR and surround sound. For less than 4K media, it does all that and uses it’s AI upscaling to admirable effect.
        As I said, the Shield is definitely dated. But to say it lacks “juice” to “adequately” run 4K content is either trolling or is an inadvertently public revelation of ignorance.

  8. Russ says:

    I wonder if the OS change has something to do with the patent lawsuit and avoiding future ‘issues’.

  9. Deng Li says:

    Many people, including myself, are unwilling to buy Amazon devices because Amazon is reluctant to update their devices. When Amazon chooses to update their software, invariably they start with an outdated version of Android.

    Before Amazon moves to a new OS they should first establish a track record of timely updates. What about Amazon’s Android app store? How will Amazon customers add apps to their Amazon devices using the new OS?

    • Mr. Nobody says:

      Great statement and all facts . Android and galaxy take notes from each other of how not to achieve a proper updating systems . When this happens as we all know it will, I suggest fills start meaning to flash custom roms. It’s in Android devices, cubes , firesticks, etc as well as galaxy devices . GraphiteOS & LineageOS will do well on those device , you’ll just have to leave out some of the “phone type” options and any telemetry options . All is not lost , but completely agree with your comment sir !

      • Mr. Nobody says:

        Auto correct sucks apologies. Should have said start learning to flash custom roms /OS( operating systems ) to these devices , they are very capable and not hard to do, much easy than a phone for example. However , once they take away Android at least have much much better options using custom options while using legitimate google play store as well as still side load Fires devices steokignaay from Android is suck a bad business move , in my opinion, so many will step away . I did read that this will apply to new devices, for example my 3rd gen cube should be just fine staying in Android OR I def have the option to block that update they would push the new OS but again don’t see this affecting fire devices already out just ones moving forward which will leave those device as “unsupported” but that’s fine with me as there are plenty of developers already working in solutions including myself . Best of luck to all ! If anyone wants to take a look at some of my work already out here free to my fellow users , I am not hard to find

        • Adam says:

          ChatGPT has entered the Chat.

          • paulson says:

            Who are you suggesting is AI or copying and posting verbatim? Because the post you replied to does not at all sound like either. Not even remotely. It’s fairly common but there’s are also telltale giveaways none of which do Mr. Nobody’s post reflect

        • paulson says:

          While I 100% agree with the sentiment, the fact of the matter is that Amazon has patched nearly every modern FireTV device so that it CAN’T be rooted and therefore can’t have custom ROMs installed (and/or all the other goodies that come with rooting). Heck, the same is true for most newer, non-TV Fire devices(as well as any older devices that updated, whether they meant to or simply didn’t take measures to keep the device from auto-updating, which unfortunately must be done if there’s any hope of gaining root access)

    • Mike says:

      You can run Android programs on an OS system all you have to do is go to Developer options and you can switch it to Linux and it will run Android apps it takes you time to do it but it’s worth it I have done it on my Google Chrome Book

      • paulson says:

        Uh. Ok, you’re not wrong regarding ChromeOS (though you could’ve been more thorough/comprehensive, as there are more steps involved) however, ChromeOS and FireOS are apples and oranges/night and day, i.e., not the same at all. So yeah, you were able to do that in your Chromebook but ChromeOS isn’t the same as Android. It will run Android apps but it does so via an Android containment layer (which is why if you look at the file system from a file tree/hierarchical perspective, you clearly see a separate partition for Android and ChromeOS. Further supporting the fact that ChromeOS≠Android is if you enable Linux dev environment (as you have), which works in a very similar way as the Android containment layer (effectively the same as a sandboxed virtual machine), you’ll then see a *third* partition when examining the file tree.

        I love ChromeOS for this flexibility but it’s not exactly pretty or intuitive but that’s the nature of programming and maintaining something, especially when adding more features/capabilities/robustness. Fortunately, Google has since a commendable job at updating ChromeOS monthly and refactoring code to make it more efficient but it’ll take some time to wrangle that mess. It works pretty damn well though, all things considered and in grateful for the innovative and unconventional adoption of 3 simultaneously running systems.

        But again, this is all completely irrelevant as it has no bearing on Amazon FireTV devices, and therefore I have to ask if you meant to post this elsewhere or were you having a bad brain day or just misinformed? No worries either way, we all learn in our own way/time/pace.

  10. opp says:

    no android means no more reason they are better than Roku, time to drop them

  11. Chuck Fluri says:

    No side loading means it’s time to switch. I was getting very tired of the ever more invasive Prime advertising anyway. Time to try the Mecool box now, I guess

  12. Zakir Hussain says:

    They might keep support for apk file type cause most of the apps made for Fire TV are android based so developing a new OS and completely remove apk support will cause problems.

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