Amazon’s Echo Show 5 Unveils New OS 1.1: Transitioning Beyond Fire OS

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Amazon's Echo Show 5 Unveils New OS 1.1: Transitioning Beyond Fire OS
(Image: Amazon)

Amazon’s Echo Show 5 of the third generation no longer uses Fire OS but instead operates on a new system simply called OS (Operating System). The current Echo Show 5 runs OS version 1.1. Amazon has neither announced nor commented on the switch of operating systems.

The current Echo Show 5 has been using OS 1.1 since at least the end of August 2023, as demonstrated by a guide from Netzwelt. At that time, it wasn’t noticed that OS 1.1 is entirely new and that Echo Show devices typically run on Fire OS. OS 1.1 has been a topic on Amazon forums for the Echo Show 5 since mid-August 2023.

A report from Zatz not Funny! revisited this matter earlier this week. It assumes that this new system is based on Vega. Last week, there was a report suggesting that Amazon was working on its own operating system named Vega, primarily to be used for Fire TV devices. The French blog Les Alexiens noticed OS 1.1 on the Echo Show 5 at the end of last week.

It now appears that at least on the Echo Show 5, Vega is being used if it’s indeed identical to OS 1.1. So far, the interface of the Echo Show 5 doesn’t differ from the previous presentation of the Fire OS operating system. Amazon seems to be replicating Fire OS rather than implementing new features using the new operating system.

Fire TV devices are expected to receive a new operating system in 2024

Current Fire TV devices run on Fire OS, which is based on Android and relies on the Android Open Source Project. Amazon’s Fire tablets also use Fire OS, as do most Echo Show devices – at least for now. It is currently expected that in early 2024, Amazon will equip the Fire TV devices with its own operating system, no longer based on Android but on Linux.

Amazon encourages app developers to use React Native as an Application Framework, which is used by Vega. This might enable programmers to develop apps that run on both the older, Android-based Fire TV devices and the new ones with Vega.

With its own operating system, Amazon would no longer be dependent on the Android Open Source Project and could provide features lacking in Android. Amazon could also become more independent in choosing hardware partners and possibly keep the operating system more streamlined than it is currently. Streaming devices, smart displays, and Amazon’s tablets typically use less powerful processors, and the operating system could potentially be better optimized for them.

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Mark Brannon
Tech journalist Mark Brannon explores the digital frontier, delivering engaging news and in-depth features on cutting-edge innovations and industry developments.