Since Amazon started to make tablets and Fire TVs, they have run an altered version of Android. Back in November, we learned that Amazon was building a new OS to replace Android called Vega for multiple devices, including its tablets, smart speakers, and Fire TVs. Now we can confirm that the Fire TV move away from Android is underway, according to a new job posting.
According to a new job posting spotted by AFTVnews Amazon is looking for employees to help it move away from Android and over to a new operating system. In the job listing, Amazon says this new staff will “Implement and deliver features on the Fire TV client codebase as it transitions from FOS/Android to native/Rust and React Native.”
For end users, this likely won’t mean much for many. But this could make it difficult for users to sideload apps. This is especially the case with the Fire Tablets, where users often sideload the Google Play store to add apps like YouTube TV and the official YouTube app. Now, with this new OS, that may be impossible.
Amazon has reportedly been working on this new OS since 2019, and it could help Amazon move forward in a way that it currently can not. The current Fire TV OS is running Android 9, but Google has already moved forward to Android 14 earlier this year. Now, though, to help avoid these issues, Amazon will reportedly use a Linux-based OS with Vega.
Most Fire TV users likely won’t notice any difference when Amazon ditches Android as they apps and user interface will seem unchanged. For app developers, they will likely need to update their apps if they want them to work on the next generation of Fire TV, Fire Tablets, and other Amazon devices. The big question now is what does this mean for sideloading of apps that are built for Android. At this time that is unknown.
So when will we see this new operating system? According to the report, the Fire TV will be the first device to get the new operating system. That likely means we won’t see it until the fall of 2024 as we just saw Amazon roll out new Fire TVs earlier this fall.
A spokesman for Amazon couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.