Amazon Making its Own Linux-Based OS to Replace Android

Amazon is reportedly working on its own Linux-based OS to replace Android on its Fire TVs, smart displays, and other non-tablet devices.

—What’s that? This isn’t Ubuntu related? Oh I know that — but I’m excited!

Word of Amazon’s new OS, which is being developed under the codename ‘Vega’ (resulting in me remembering the worst Android tablet I ever owned) comes by way of Lowpass‘ journalist Janko Roettgers.

Roettgers says he spoke to sources who say Amazon is building its own iOS/Android competitor and has tasked “hundreds of people” within the Amazon Device OS group with building it.

This includes former Mozilla engineer Zibi Braniecki, who tweeted earlier this year to say he is working at Amazon on a “next generation Operating System for Smart Home, Automotive, and other Amazon Devices product lines” (sic).

“Most of the OS development is already done,” Roettgers’ sources add. They say they expect Vega to begin shipping on Fire TVs early next year. Additionally, an SDK is being readied for release so developers have time to port their apps to it ahead of its debut.

“Amazon’s new operating system is also based on a flavor of Linux, and is using a more web-forward application model. App developers are being told to use React Native as an application framework, which allows them to build native apps with Javascript-powered interfaces,” Roettgers says.

React Native is a smart choice because it’s cross-platform, making it easy for developers who already build iOS/Android apps using it to bring them to Amazon Vega (don’t get used to the name btw, it’s possible it won’t be called this if/when announced).

And while Android is a Linux-based OS and Amazon’s own FireOS is an Android-based fork, Vega is not a new Android fork or based on AOSP. It is all-new. Amazon’s eventual goal is to move away from relying on Android for all new hardware devices, according to Roettgers’ sources.

Vega is going be used for Fire TV, Echo devices, IoT, internal devices, and likely appear in Amazon’s automative ambitions whenever they materialise. So despite the desire for one, Vega won’t be an Android-killer, won’t bring an influx of big name apps to benefit regular Linux distros, nor see Amazon do something crazy cool like create its own Linux tablet UI.

Also, this is Amazon, and they can (and have) canned stuff, even after putting considerable amounts of time, money, and resources into developing it. But if Vega does make it out, if it works well, and if it proves a hit with consumers, who knows what it could support, power, or run on in the future.

Vega would certainly reduce Amazon’s reliance on Android (and, to a degree, Google ), allowing it to innovate more rapidly (Fire TV devices still run on Android 7), and give them a unified platform across all their devices.

Source: lowpass
Amazon Making its Own Linux-Based OS to Replace Android Amazon Making its Own Linux-Based OS to Replace Android Reviewed by Kanthala Raghu on November 10, 2023 Rating: 5

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