There’s been a buzz for quite some time about the “Android replacement,” what it would be like, when it will be released, etc. There have been leaks about it, and it’s known that Google has plans for it to not only be a mobile software but that it will also replace Chrome OS. Google is now admitting that this project, known as “Fuchsia,” is not only being developed to replace those software but to also be incorporated into other “form factors.”
Fuchsia to Run on Phones, Chromebooks and Other “Form Factors
It’s great that Google is finally talking about Fuchsia. Not that they’re saying a whole lot, but it is nice to not have to rely solely on rumors.
It’s been said that it will remedy some of the needier aspects of Android, such as fragmentation, update speed, and privacy. And we also know that Google is putting to use a software development kit, Flutter, that will create universal apps to run on Android, iOS, desktops, and Fuchsia. Sadly, we also know it’s still a long ways off.
The company’s Hiroshi Lockheimer spoke about Fuchsia. “We’re looking at what a new take on an operating system could be like. And so I know out there people are getting pretty excited saying, ‘Oh, this is the new Android,’ or ‘This is the new Chrome OS,’ ” he said.
“Fuchsia is really not about that. Fuchsia is about just pushing the state of the art in terms of operating system and things that we learn from Fuchsia we can incorporate into other products.”
This makes it not entirely clear, but it seems like they are looking at operating systems in an all-new way, and Fuchsia will somehow find a way to work with other systems and on other devices, including smart home products.
“You know Android works really well on phones, and you know in the context of Chrome OS as a runtime for apps there,” Lockheimer continued.
“But Fuchsia may be optimized for certain other form factors as well. So we’re experimenting. Think about dedicated devices … right now, everybody assumes Fuchsia is for phones. But what if it could be used for other things?”
And this takes us back to Flutter, the software development kit. Google announced that it’s being used to create apps for both Android and iOS. But it was created to also run on Windows, Mac, Raspberry Pi, and yes, Fuchsia.
Google’s vice president of engineering for Android, David Burke, was asked if he could share anything about Fuchsia and also mentioned the “good collaboration happening between the teams.”
All the software seems to snowball into another, between drivers, modules, graphics, etc. Even Q is mentioned, in the same breath as Fuchsia, followed closely by Flutter.
He noted especially that one thing Google, and he as well, cares about is “having transferable skills.” He adds, “Our viewpoint with Fuchsia is more about the things we’re doing with them.”
The Future of OS
It sounds like Fuchsia isn’t so much a replacement for Android but a new direction for OS that can bring everything together.
There’s been much said about the possibility of Apple combining iOS and macOS as well, which the company backs off of. So maybe they’re looking at it in a similar way as Fuchsia. Maybe they, too, are just heading in a new direction and not necessarily combining software.
Where do you think Google is headed with Fuchsia after the mentions of other form factors rather than just replacing Android and Chrome OS? What direction do you think operating systems as a whole are headed? Chime in with your thoughts to our comments below.