C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
- The Amazon Echo Show 5 third generation shows its software version as “OS 1.1” instead of “Fire OS 7.x,” indicating that Amazon has already ditched Android.
- The appearance and user experience of this new Vega OS are very similar to Fire OS on the Echo Show 5.
- It is unknown when Fire TVs and Fire Tablets will switch to Vega OS.
Amazon has long used Android for its smart displays, TVs, and other smart home products. But the Android on them is pretty unrecognizable, as it is a forked version of AOSP without any of Google’s apps on top. Amazon (attempts to) lock down this forked version on its devices, but there are ways to install the Google Play Store on Amazon Fire tablets. Last week, reports emerged that Amazon was working to switch to a new OS, but it seems that the company has already made moves to ditch Android.
As spotted by Zats Not Funny via The Verge, Amazon has already begun using its own OS, internally called Vega OS. This new web-centric Linux variant has been spotted on the third-generation Echo Show 5, where Amazon has reset its software versioning back to 1. The Echo Show 5 shows its software as simply “OS 1.1” instead of Fire OS 7.x or similar.
The Echo Show 5, with this software release, is also no longer capable of Netflix, which would make sense for an entirely new software stack. The reports note that Vega OS’s appearance and user experience are very similar to the Fire OS it replaces.
It’s not immediately clear when Amazon plans to use Vega OS on its Fire TVs and Fire Tablets, as those are the most experiential consumer-facing products in the current lineup. But when they make the switch, you can safely presume that sideloading Android apps will no longer be possible as the base OS will no longer be Android, and the apps will not work. Other tricks for disabling ads and the likes will also not work. The new OS would bring Amazon much more control over the hardware it ships, and that looks to be Amazon’s plan all along.