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Amazon working on Linux based OS for its Fire TV devices

Amazon is reported to be working on a Linux based OS for its Fire TV deices and tablets after several years using Android Open Source Project

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon is reportedly developing its own Linux-based operating system, codenamed “Vega,” aimed at replacing Android on its Fire TV devices and smart displays. This initiative is being led by a dedicated team within the Amazon Device OS group, including talent such as former Mozilla engineer Zibi Braniecki. The development of Vega appears to be well underway, with most of the core work reportedly completed and an SDK being prepared for developers to transition their applications in anticipation of its launch.

The shift to Vega from the current Android-based Fire OS represents a significant strategy change for Amazon. Vega is not just another Android fork or an iteration based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP); it’s a completely new, proper Linux foundation. This move allows Amazon to innovate more rapidly and reduce its reliance on Android, which is particularly important as many of its devices currently run on outdated versions of Android. Vega is designed to offer a more agile, lightweight, and unified platform across Amazon’s device ecosystem, potentially leading to enhanced performance and a more streamlined user experience, especially on lower-power devices like Fire TV, smart speakers, and IoT devices.

The use of React Native as the application framework suggests that Amazon is aiming for a web-forward approach, making it easier for developers to create native applications with JavaScript-powered interfaces. This cross-platform strategy could simplify the process for developers already familiar with building iOS and Android apps, facilitating a smoother transition to the new Vega OS.

While Vega’s success and its impact on the broader Linux and smart device ecosystems remain to be seen, its development indicates Amazon’s commitment to controlling its technology stack and reducing dependencies on external platforms like Android. The move towards a Linux-based system could also mean faster, more efficient devices and an opportunity for Amazon to further integrate its services and features across its product lineup.

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