Amazon reportedly may ditch Android on future Fire TV devices

A report from Janko Roettgers on Lowpass states that Amazon is working on a new in-house operating system, called Vega, as a replacement for its Android-based Fire OS, according to sources. While the project has been in the works since as early as 2017, it is said to be far enough along that it could appear on future Fire TV and smart display devices as early as next year.

Much like most modern operating systems, such as Android and iOS, Vega is said to be based on a flavor of Linux. It is said to use a web-forward application model that focuses on the React Native software framework. React Native is currently used by numerous developers in apps that run on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, the web, and more. While switching away from an Android-based OS on devices like Fire TVs would obliterate the wide selection of apps that currently run on Fire OS, the support of React Native on the new OS would mean that most major apps would have no problem transitioning to Vega.

The existence of Vega doesn’t seem up for debate, as Roettgers has found definitive evidence of it being discussed by Amazon employees, including a job listing posted last year from Amazon mentioning Vega OS by name, however, only in reference to it being used in cars. The real question is how seriously is Amazon considering using it over its Android-based Fire OS platform. Roettgers says he first heard about Amazon working on Vega in 2019 and Amazon has brought it up with chip makers as early as 2017, so it doesn’t seem to be a priority considering how long it has been in the works. I can certainly see such an OS being used on more focused platforms, like smart displays and cars, which require very little 3rd-party app support, but the disadvantages of moving Fire TVs or Fire tablets, which have a much larger dependency on 3rd-party apps, to a new OS seem to greatly outweigh the advantages.

42 comments
  1. Eric says:

    Then I will no longer be using future Fire TV devices.

  2. Shirley Dulcey says:

    A switch on Fire TV devices might be acceptable, depending on how much support for the usual streaming apps Amazon can line up for the new OS. (I find little use for other apps on a TV.) But a switch on Fire tablets would mean I would no longer consider them for future tablet purchases.

    • I agree and for that reason, I just don’t see it happening anytime soon. They have to keep Android on Fire tablets, otherwise it’s a death sentence for Fire tablets, so there’s not much reason to take it off Fire TV if they have to keep developing for it anyway because of tablets.

      • Craig S. says:

        Yeah… I mean? Changing out the Echo Show and Fire TV operating systems might be slightly jarring, but if they can get the developers onboard? It would have some growing pains, but it’s entirely plausible to migrate. But Fire Tablets being on a different OS, would be a non-starter. I dunno? I mean? Are they crazy enough to go the ChromeOS route and release tablets based mostly on web apps with Silk on Linux and HTML5 push notifications, Elias?

        • Slim says:

          ChromeOS can also run Android and Linux apps

        • Anthony Rossetti says:

          I don’t know I love my fire max 11
          the play store and sideloading have some issues on it though

          but from what I understand this new vega OS is just a new flavor linux and should be able to support anything tah rins on Linux
          I have enough android tablets and am quite bored with them not that I would want to live without them but he prospect of a cheap linux tablet with a build quality on par with the max 11 is kind fo exciting to me, I bet early adopters will be able to get it so any linux apps wil on it, there will be grrat interest from the linux community I am sure.
          maybe someoen could even find a way to run something like bluestacks on it too , since Androis is based on Linux.
          i fele liek they will keep vega confined to auto devices show devices though.
          What Iw ould really be interested in is a new fire tbalet that has an alex auto mode and show mode, that can sac as as an andorid auto scree, just mount it to your dash and pair it to the app on tyour phone, like a fire tablet that can also be used an echo auto but with a screen
          android auto suck and so does gogoe assistant, they are both out of control trash fires, I would love 7 or 8 inch tablet that i can take in the car and mount to the dash and use for music seriveea dn navigation with the alexa voice assitant
          you can bet they will have this for new vehicles and that is a good thing because I will never use IOS or car play and android auto is trash so another competitior that space would be great and s encourage more innovation, because google are the laziest MF’ers on the face of the planet

      • terry Knapper says:

        I just purchased another 2nd gen 4KMax Stick, in hopes THEY
        leave the fire sticks alone.
        Terry K

  3. Matt Rizzo says:

    Any Streaming device I use (such as the Cube 3 currently) MUST be able to run off of the Android OS.

    I’m a big fan of Amazon, but if they change their OS, that will make them obsolete to me.

  4. Tech3475 says:

    Playing devil’s advocate, I can see why Amazon might want to switch Fire TV’s over because it could potentially limit what users can do with the devices e.g. prevent Kodi for dodgy TV streams, force Alexa skills, etc.

    That said, I’d probably ditch fire TV if they make such a move, I moved from Roku to Fire TV because I wanted Android apps. I just hope they don’t retroactively install this on existing hardware if they do switch.

  5. xnamkcor says:

    The only reason I ever bought Amazon devices was because it ran on Android. In some cases installing a clean OS was possible, but in other cases, installing APKs was possible. Either one was ok. The latter less so, but still not horrible.

    I can see what they’re trying to do, but honestly, I don’t think I ever bought an Amazon device for anything but a “cheap” TV-orientated Android box.

  6. Danner says:

    If it would make the theoretical Cube gen 3 less buggy I would be for it. My cube gen 2 is so laggy, and I am a very light user.

    Having said that, I will believe it when I see it. It costs them nothing to stay on Android other than keeping up with Android updates for new devices.

  7. Hank says:

    Any indication that Amazon would install Vegas on existing devices.

    Wow. I’m off to Android boxes.

  8. Tj says:

    I can’t see developers rushing to transition their applications for this as they didn’t do anything for Amazon’s app store throughout the years. Amazon may be making a mistake. And an android less Fire tablet would basically be a heavy paperweight if you can’t sideload anything on it.

  9. Roy says:

    Welp…it’s been fun. This will be about as successful as the Amazon App Store or the Fire Phone…Onn 4K box here I come (Can live without Dolby for something that’s 80% cheaper and not enveloped in Amazon’s ever expanding walled garden)

  10. Rick says:

    I keep wondering if the onn brand streaming boxes will become the new firestick if amazon were to change OS…

  11. Rik Emmett says:

    Will Vega permit a browser that can be fully controlled with the Fire TV remote?

  12. Ivorman says:

    I have to say that, in my opinion, a Linux OS will hopefully significantly limit the bloatware that is inherent in Android. I do, however, need to side load Kodi as I use it most days. If I could not fins a work around to install Kodi then I too would head to other devices.

  13. Mac says:

    In the UK there are only 3 devices that are certified for all the UK terrestrial tv apps and only current fire devices are android, the others are roku and apple. So generic android boxes are out and that includes the shield. I suffer the ads and sponsored content and having to change the frame rate manually as auto is fixed at 60hz when the UK is 50 because of the certification and ability to side load. If that goes roku is cheaper and apple is cleaner, either will be a better choice for me.

  14. Stephen says:

    Ye great idea, because when they did it on a phone it was such a great success and a sales smash, oh wait

  15. Dan V says:

    I would definitely look for other streaming options cancel all amazon related membership’s as well music ,audible,etc

  16. AZ Guy says:

    It might be an improvement! Fire OS on the Fire tablets is a mess. Limited apps and poor quality ones at that.

    • Shirley Dulcey says:

      But it’s not difficult to install the Google Play store, after which you can install all your favorite apps. A new OS would have nearly zero app support.

  17. spiffy says:

    I can’t see them doing this for the basic Fire tablets, but the introduction of the Fire Max 11 with somewhat more of a focus on it being a tablet on which one can get some actual work done might mean that they could introduce a SKU of even higher end tablets or even full blown laptops to that end. Basing it off of Linux would bring with it the possibility to enable Linux applications, ala what Google has done with ChromeOS. So maybe they keep the base level FireOS devices running on the current Android based OS, and introduce a FireOSMax (or FireMaxOS) for such hypothetical higher end devices. It would provide them the ability to have a two-tier SKU system in place: the lower end models and the higher end models. Thoughts?

  18. EmoBrianEno says:

    For me this is good news. This new OS will likely be Linux based and if done properly will be more efficient and optimized for ARM based CPUs and GPUs.

  19. John117 says:

    if Amazon commits this mistake, it will be a death sentence for the FireTV lineup

  20. Raymond says:

    I hope this never happens because I hardly use my laptop anymore since I installed opera browser on my fire stick

  21. Nick says:

    They will do anything to block your apps lol

  22. Russ says:

    I wonder if any of this is related to the patent lawsuit they lost. They might be trying to avoid any more of that with a rewrite.

  23. TJ says:

    It seems the third gen Echo Show 5 is running this new OS.

  24. Mike says:

    Yep, I’m done buying firesticks, (I have 7) and fire tv, (I have 2), not to mention 3 amazon shows.
    I’m sick of all the crap they keep adding that I cannot get rid of, there is 1 advantage to firesticks, if they do away with it, I’ll buy elsewhere…
    Bye Amazon..!!

  25. Chris baughman says:

    I don’t think amazon realizes the tightrope there walking with this os change. The sun times conducted a poll of which 80.8% said if sideloading ends the fire tv is headed for the garbage can.

  26. Michael says:

    If they convert the Firestick, I’m gone. I have 6 of them and frankly their games with the massive forced adverts has been almost the breaking point.
    Thus change sends me over to one of the other 5000 Androud boxes.

  27. Daz says:

    I am watching all on ONN it’s filled to the brim with sideloaded apps and doesn’t skip a bit. A couple of days ago I bought an extra ONN in casa the one I am using conks out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Get AFTVnews articles in your inbox!

Get an email anytime a new article is published.
No Spam EVER and Cancel Anytime.

FOLLOW