Amazon is rumored to be planning to ditch Android on its Fire devices

The Amazon Echo Show 8 (2023)
The 3rd-gen Amazon Echo Show 8 (Image credit: Future)

Pick up an Amazon Fire TV or an Amazon Fire tablet and it comes running Fire OS, a version of Android that Amazon has extensively modded. According to the latest rumor, however, Fire OS isn't going to be around for much longer.

As per Lowpass (via Android Police), Amazon engineers are hard at work on an alternative operating system that won't have any Android in it. The new software will be rolled out across all of Amazon's many different devices too.

The OS has the internal codename Vega, and it's described as being "fairly advanced" in the report. Apparently, some of Amazon's partners have already been told about Vega, and it's already been tested out on Fire TV streaming sticks.

This isn't really a new development either, according to Lowpass: Amazon is said to have been working on the software since 2017, although the efforts to get it ready have "picked up steam" recently, suggesting a launch might be happening relatively soon.

Old Android

The report goes on to say that hundreds of people are busy working on getting Vega ready, and that the operating system is largely web-based. That should make it easy for third-party developers to build compatible apps and add-ons.

One of the problems Amazon has with Fire OS is that it uses the Android Open Source Project, which is a long way behind the Android we know from phones and tablets: the current Fire TVs are, effectively, running Android 9, whereas the Google Pixel phones recently got updated to Android 14.

Over time, Vega is expected to run on all of Amazon's hardware products, and some that it hasn't even announced yet – including in-car entertainment systems. Whether or not current devices will get it remains to be seen.

If this does come to pass, it will mean Amazon can make a software experience that's all its own, which will no doubt heavily promote services such as Amazon Prime Video. As soon as anything is made official, we'll let you know about it.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.