While it might not necessarily be obvious at a glance, Amazon’s Fire TVs, tablets, and smart home products like its smart displays and speakers, run on Android, albeit a forked version based on AOSP, but moving forwards, Amazon is apparently planning to ditch the use of Android for its own custom “Vega” OS.
This is according to a report from Janko Roettgers from Lowpass in which they have heard that for future new devices, Amazon could switch from Android to Vega starting with the Fire TV lineup, and eventually covering other devices. The report also goes on to claim that Amazon has apparently been planning and developing its own OS for the past few years already.
There are several reasons why Amazon is planning to make the switch. For one, Amazon’s use of Android is based on AOSP which generally trails behind the version of Android you see on most phones and tablets. Another reason is that because Android has been around for so long, it has a lot of “technical debt”, which is basically older bits of code that aren’t necessary for modern day smart home devices.
Lastly, using their own OS gives Amazon more control over what it can do and does away with restrictions that Google might have placed on Android, and allows Amazon to insert their own ads and services to drive more revenue towards themselves. It is unclear how different Vega will be compared to Fire OS and if the overall user experience will be affected in a negative way, so we’ll have to wait and see.