Google has been stealthily working on its mystery Project Fuchsia OS for the past few years. There are suggestions that it could succeed Android. The project was discovered via Google’s Github repository as the company started posting code there back in 2016.
Once Project Fuchsia launches, it will be Google’s first open source kernel and operating system. According to Bloomberg’s new report, Google’s aim with this project is to solve the issues that Android poses as more devices and gadgets make it to the market. It wants to create a single operating system which would be able to run across all of Google’s key products, including Pixel phones, smart speakers, Chrome as well as third-party apps that rely on Android.
Fuchsia is currently being powered by around 100 engineers at Google. The team includes Matias Duarte, a design executive and the person behind Google’s several pioneering projects.
How is Fuchsia different from other Google operating systems?
Fuchsia is built on a new, Google-built kernel called “Zircon” (earlier called Magenta). This is a departure from the Android and Chrome OS which are both based on Linux. Fuchsia’s kernel makes use of a microkernel; this is very different from the larger monolithic Linux kernels that usually power Google’s operating systems.
Fuchsia has undergone a major transformation from the command line form it existed in when it was first uncovered in August 2016. Ever since then Google has been working on changing its UI. It has, for example, added an early user interface to Fuchsia that features a card-based system.
The user interface design for Fuchsia is called “Armadillo” and was first revealed by Kyle Bradshaw at Hotfix last year. This is considered to be “the default system UI for Fuchsia.” Armadillo uses Google’s Flutter SDK. This SDK helps in creating cross-platform code which is capable of running on multiple operating systems.
Fuchsia OS May 2017 Armadillo preview
What are the key features of Fuchsia?
Voice interaction technology appears to be at Fuchsia’s core. Google is already experimenting with different applications for the system by playing around with features like interactive screen displays and voice commands for youtube.
Rich security is another key focus for Fuchsia. This is an initiative which could help Google efficiently compete with Apple’s more secure iOS.
In terms of the timeframe for Fuchsia’s release, Bloomberg reports that Google plans on releasing fuchsia-based connected home devices within the next three years. It will then move on to rolling Fuchsia out to larger devices such as laptops within the next five years.
Its ultimate plan would appear to be replacing Android. This isn’t going to be an easy process as Android is one of the most dominant mobile platforms in the world. It supports a lot of hardware partners, developers and billions of consumers.
Google is keeping its cards close to its chest
Currently, there’s no indication from Google’s side as to what it plans to do with Fuchsia. In a statement to Bloomberg, a Google spokesperson simply stated: “Google views these open-source experiments as an investment in innovation”.
It’s also worth noting that back in 2015 Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Ecosystems at Google, wrote a blog post stating that “while we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both [Android and Chrome] operating systems, there’s no plan to phase out Chrome OS.”
What are your views? Do you think Fuchsia is the future operating system to replace Android and Chrome OS? Or is it simply an experiment to try new development ideas? Let us know your thoughts below.
For more coverage on project Fuchsia, check out its original documentation.
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