Amazon replaces Android with Homegrown OS on Echo Show

Earlier this month, Janko Roettgers reported that Amazon has been preparing to transition much of its hardware lineup from Android to a home-grown, web-centric Linux variant that goes by the name Vega OS. However, the future is NOW… as Vega OS has been hiding in plain sight on the 3rd gen Echo Show 5.

The clearest indication of the cutover is Amazon resetting its software versioning back to 1, as you can see above from Adam Miarka‘s kids variant… which corresponds to significant changes documented in Amazon’s open source disclosures between the new Vega OS and, apparently, legacy Android-based Fire OS. Further evidence presents itself in the fact that the latest Echo Show 5 is no longer capable of Netflix — which aligns with Janko’s Vega SDK build-out reporting, but also possibly Netflix’s minimum hardware footprint for integration.

While there are many challenges in rolling one’s own OS, there are equally many benefits in dropping coding baggage and controlling one’s own destiny… assuming you have the scale to build it out AND attract 3rd party developers. Amazon certainly falls into that category. Even Google themselves have been revamping their smart display side of the Nest house, in moving to Fuchsia. But, it’s yet to be seen if and when Amazon is capable of migrating Fire TV and Fire tablets to Vega OS given the large, established library of Android-based apps. Hm. Emulation, anyone?

5 thoughts on “Amazon replaces Android with Homegrown OS on Echo Show”

  1. Amazon is doing this to eliminate users from sideloading apps and late last year, they pushed out a firmware update to eliminate users from using an alternate launcher. The Walmart Onn Google driven stream device keep looking better and better as an inexpensive alternative to Fire TV devices.

  2. No, it isn’t backward compatible. The new Vega Fire TV OS is Linux based, so the app developers will have to come up with new Linux versions. It is going to be a mess.

  3. Elias of AFTVNews speculates the new OS could land on new “Lite” versions of Fire TV (and televisions or Fire tablets?), but might not supplant the higher end models, where users are accustomed to a broad selection of apps. I still wonder about transitional emulation on sufficiently powerful hardware. Despite Janko’s reporting, it’s also possible Amazon decides to limit Vega to lighter weight applications, such as these smart speakers and in the car.

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