Thursday, June 8, 2023

Google Fuchsia: What We Know So Far about Google’s Mysterious OS.

May 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( Google Fuchsia is the third operating system by Google after Android and Chrome OS. The in-development OS will be available to access on any device from anywhere. Unlike the Android and Chrome OS, which are based on Linux kernel, Fuchsia is based on a free, open-source microkernel called Zircon. Just like how Microsoft is bringing its devices and services under a single operating system, Google also has similar plans for Fuchsia, but the company has still not acknowledged this.

What’s Google Fuchsia?

The reference for Google Fuchsia first appeared in 2016 in a Fuchsia related code library. At that the time, the operating system was nothing more than a small piece of code. Later in 2017, the library was updated with some new information suggesting that the developers have released a UI update for Google Fuchsia.

What makes Fuchsia different from the rest of the operating systems (Android and Chrome OS) released by Google is its architecture. The OS also has different possible use cases. According to the official documents, Fuchsia is built for personal computers and modern phones. That said, the OS will also be available on embedded systems. Zircon which was formerly known as Magenta was developed keeping modern devices in mind, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Google replaces the Android OS with Fuchsia in the future.

Google Fuchsia as an Android replacement

Many people in the tech industry believe that Fuchsia will replace Android as Google is planning to bring its devices including Home Hub, Pixel phones and Pixelbooks under its new tech umbrella. The possibility of Fuchsia replacing Android is there, but it won’t happen anytime soon. Google is already working on Android Q which will arrive later this year, but releasing new versions of Android doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of Fuchsia becoming an Android alternative in the future.

As mentioned earlier, Fuchsia has ditched Linux which is a clear indication that Google wants to give a more open environment to its new operating system. Recently, libraries related to Fuchsia revealed that the new OS is capable of running Android apps with the help of a special version of Android Runtime (ART). The documents suggest that device targets will create a file package which can be installed on Fuchsia devices to run Android apps.

If Google really wants to make a shift from Android to Fuchsia, the transition needs to be easy. ART here will do the job for Google. If this sounds too technical, here’s a simple explanation. Google’s Play Store currently has hundreds of thousands of applications which are being used by millions of people around the world on their Android phones. If Fuchsia turns out to be an Android replacement, having the Play Store content on the new OS will be necessary for Google.

You can run Google Fuchsia on Android

In the last two years, Google has made a lot of progress on its in-development operating system Fuchsia. After the UI update and other new changes, the Fuchsia package can now be downloaded as an apk file and can be installed on Android devices. There’s nothing much you can do with this application package as it is filled with placeholders, but it gives an idea of what Fuchsia is for and what it can do on modern phones.

If you download the Fuchsia application package, you will see a completely reimagined home screen and applications cards. You will also see a completely new keyboard layout which is obviously not an Android keyboard. Overall, there’s nothing much to do now, but the good thing is Fuchsia developers are working on it, so we can expect to see it working someday.

Google hasn’t made any official comments on what the company wants to do with Fuchsia, but developers working on the OS have made it clear that Fuchsia “isn’t a dumping ground of a dead thing.” There are many questions that we need answers for, chances are we won’t hear any official words about Google Fuchsia for a while since the operating system is still in the early development stage.

Staff Writer; Corey Shaw

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One Response to “Google Fuchsia: What We Know So Far about Google’s Mysterious OS.”
  1. Simon says:

    I’m currently studying Android app development. I hope transition from Android to Fuschia dev’ will be transparent enough to keep my last student years worth…

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