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Amazon’s replacement for Android-based OS on Fire devices is closer than you think

In fact, it may already be upon you

Recent reports indicate Amazon is building an operating system, codenamed “Vega,” to replace Android on its suite of Fire devices. It may already be active on some of your devices.

In November 2023, Janko Roettgers revealed his evidence that the Vega OS was in development. All of Amazon’s Fire devices run on an Android-based Fire OS, including the Fire tablets, Echo Show displays and Fire TVs.

Roettgers pointed out that switching away from Android has many benefits. Google doesn’t use Android for its own smart displays, for one thing. Further, Android includes “significant technical debt,” Roettgers said. “Essentially, a lot of its code is unnecessary for running many modern smart home devices.”

The major downside of switching to a brand-new OS is that all the apps must be rebuilt. Most major apps have an Android version, so developing versions for Fire wasn’t a complicated process because Android was its basis with a new OS and all changes.

Chris Welch, a writer at The Verge, speculated that Amazon could “compel developers to play along” because of the Fire TV’s popularity. He referred to an Amazon announcement that more than 200 million Fire TV devices have been sold globally.

Meanwhile, Android Police recently asked: “Why did Amazon decide to reinvent the wheel?” Writer Faith Leroux argued that Amazon should not attempt to overhaul the Android-based system because the company “doesn’t have the best track record with software.” LeRoux cited the Scribe e-reader, saying it “went from being a potentially good, competitive product to fine upon release. That’s all thanks to Amazon cutting corners by launching with half-baked software it has been busy updating all year.”

Whatever your thoughts are, this change may already be in your home. Not long after Roettgers’ report, Adam Miarka found his kid’s variant 3rd-Gen Echo Show 5 was already running Vega OS: the options page reads that the device is “running OS 1.1” instead of Fire OS 6, 7 or 8.

Among users, one major concern about the new OS hitting the Fire TV is whether it will allow you to side-load apps.

Sources: Amazon, The Verge, Janko Roettgers, Zatz Not Funny!, Reddit

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