Amazon is reportedly developing its own operating system to power the range of Fire TVs and smart displays.
Currently, the ecosystem for devices like the Echo Show and Amazon Fire Stick run upon a forked version of Android, minus access to the Google Play suite of services and Google’s stock apps.
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However, according to a report from Lowpass, Amazon wants to dump Android for a homegrown solution.
The report’s sources say Amazon is developing a Linux-based OS codenamed “Vega” and that most of the development – which has taken place over a number of years – has now been completed.
Now Amazon is working on software development kits that would convince app makers to embrace the platform. Should Amazon succeed in its endeavours, it could mean a total break from Android, according to the report.
Development of the new operating system, which is internally known as Vega, appears fairly advanced. The system has already been tested on Fire TV streaming adapters, and Amazon has told select partners about its plans to transition to a new application framework in the near future. A source with knowledge of the company’s plans suggested that it could start shipping Vega on select Fire TV devices as early as next year.
Janko Roettgers, Lowpass
Users, however, would be unlikely to notice much of a difference on the front end. The Fire TV operating system has very little resemblance to what we see on, say, a Pixel phone or tablet, or even Google TV devices.
The interface is vastly different, there are separate App Stores and, although it’s possible to side load Android versions of apps onto the device, this isn’t a common practice in most use cases.
Amazon could also use the operating system for car infotainment systems and “other future hardware products” according to the report. It remains to be seen whether it is eyeing ‘Vega’ to replace Android on Fire Tablet’s too.