Whenever we think of buying a smartphone, the choice for the operating system that we have is mostly limited to either Android or iOS. The development in the mobile operating systems has not been impressive. Yes, companies like Mozilla with their Firefox OS (now discontinued) and Amazon with their Fire OS did try to shake up things, but they failed.
Yet, there is new buzz in the realm of mobile OS development. After release of Chrome Operating system, Google seems to be working on a third operating system. This might replace Android.
The official details of this operating system have not been released yet. But we know one thing for sure that it is a non-Linux entity. Android and Chrome OS are known to be Google’s best known Software ventures. Yet, company is working on its third operating system Fuchsia OS.
This OS was first heard about in August 2016 when the project appeared on GitHub. Unlike Android and Chrome OS, Fuchsia works on a new microkernel called Zircon. According to the GitHub project, Fuchsia can run on many platforms. For examples personal computers, smartphones, embedded systems.
What exactly is Fuchsia?
Fuchsia is quite different from Android. The Fuchsia OS comprises of two distinct but connected user interfaces (UI) . A phone-centric one codenamed ‘Armadillo’, and a traditional desktop UI known as ‘Capybara’.
Google has used the Flutter SDK to write the brand new Fuchsia OS. Flutter is a framework developed by Google that uses Dart programming language. Flutter allows for developing Android as well as iOS apps with a single codebase. Its library is still small but it is efficient and fast. It can build high performance apps and most importantly it is cross platform.
Dart Programming Language
Dart is a rather newer programming language developed by Google which is used mostly for developing mobile as well as web apps. Dart is most commonly used for developing Flutter applications that can be used cross platform for Android as well as iOS devices.
Dart is a simple programming language. It has a simple and a concise syntax that is very familiar to C, C++ or Java . This makes it a lot more approachable for developers to learn as well as work on. Dart also is well suited for reactive programming giving it an advantage over Java. The entire Fuchsia OS is written on the Dart language with its own kernel.
What is Fuchsia for?
There is nothing official yet. According to some reports, Fuchsia is a new attempt to unite the entire Google ecosystem under a single operating system. The goal is to make it run on all the smartphones, tablets, laptops and everything that is possible in Google’s tech boat.
What this means is that the there would be a seamless connectivity across Google devices. Let it be a smart speaker, watch, home appliance or even lights!
Android, as we know, was not really developed for smartphones, rather was developed for Digital cameras. The whole project was repurposed to make it work in the way we are seeing it today. The fact that Android does work across devices, the stability and the sustainability of the OS does raise a question. Having a development platform that can be easily deployed to multiple devices would make life of the users as well as developers a lot easier. This is where the whole idea of Fuchsia OS makes sense, one single platform for all the devices to solve all the problems
Some rumoured Fuchsia features
Android was originally built to provide power to digital cameras. Later on it was adopted as operating systems for smartphones. Therefore, Android doesn’t fit into the future. Fuchsia will solve issues and will simultaneously open opportunities for Google.
- Encrypted user keys to tighten the security
There was a new post in Android’s Gerrit source code. In, this commit Google has filled in the blank to explain what the “device/google/fuchsia” repository is intended for . The included README file lays it out as plain as day.
To make it simple, Fuchsia will use a special designed version of the Android Runtime (“ART” above) to run Android applications. This version of ART will be installable on any Fuchsia device using a .far file, Fuchsia’s equivalent of Android’s APK.
What is Fuchsia’s release date?
There is no official release date for Google Fuchsia yet. Everything that we have seen is still in formative stages. However the idea that Android would be abandoned soon it a thought too far-fetched. Most devices as well as manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi, LG and many more depend upon android. If the new OS is introduced, it would most likely be a slow transition where both the platforms may run in parallel.
Latest Update on Fuchsia
As of now, a new commit in the fuchsia source code reveals that the zircon kernel was flashed on the Huawei’s Honor Play mobile device. The zircon kernel, when completes its development, will serve as the kernel for the Fuchsia OS.
The Honor Play runs on a Kirin 970 chipset, which is Huawei’s in-house SOC. Still a long way from seeing a final release if the OS, it is a good milestone in the development of Google’s new product.