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  • Is Googles Fuchsia OS Trying to Replace Android OS?

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    "No one can rule out the legacy of Google's Android and Apple's iOS, as an operating system that came before them or any operating system that has tried to come after them."

     

    Often called as Google’s mysterious new OS, there is a lot of hype associated with Google’s Fuchsia. It is a capability-based OS and it was considered to be an OS for the Internet of Things(IoT), but it is also capable of running on smartphones and Chromebooks. And although we are not so sure if it can replace one of those major Operating Systems from Google, we do know that it barely has any functionality. If run on Pixelbook, it looks just similar to a computer-science project than a real-world project.

     

    What is Google Fuchsia OS?

    Google Fuchsia is still an evolving pile of code which was added to Google’s code depository and within GitHub in 2016.

     

    Unlike Android which is built on Linux Kernal, Google's Fuchsia is built upon "Magenta", which is Google's own kernel and it gives it more control over this operating system. Fuchsia is created in a way so as it is able to work on superfast processors with a significant amount of RAM.

     

    Fuchsia is based on “Zircon”, which is a new microkernel which is derived from “Little Kernal”, a small operating system intended for embedded systems.  

     

    What does Google Fuchsia OS look like?

    • Google’s GUI is vertical oriented where you can scroll up and down to navigate
    • Google Fuchsia OS provides all important features like Search, Maps, Gmail and Youtube etc
    • The notification bar is quite different than Android
    • The apps appear as if they are hovering over the operating system, but they do not essentially take over the screen as like in Android.

     

    What’s the point of Google Fuchsia OS?

    Fuchsia is capable to run on universal devices ranging from embedded systems to smartphones, personal computers, and tablets. Google updated Fuchsia with a user interface in May 2017, which came along with a note from a developer that - "this project is not the dumping ground of dead thing". This prompted media to speculate about Google's intentions with the operating system, which could be a possibility to replace Android with it.

     

    Will Google Fuchsia OS replace Android?

    Many people call Google’s Fuchsia as a business strategy. As Google create Chrome OS and simultaneously merged it with Android OS. Android is supposed to weigh high and cannot be immediately integrated with Fuchsia. But the latter is envisioned with Google Home, NEST IOT products, Pixel Phone, Pixel Book etc. It is more challenging for Google to devise product strategies by working along with Linux Kernel ecosystem. Google has tried to build its own Hardware/OS/Data Servers/AI Machines etc.

     

    What else could Google’s Fuchsia OS be for?

    According to news reports, Google’s Fuchsia could be for Augmented Reality user interfaces.

     

    It also looks and works like a Google Assistant and accommodates everything on screen. It can inspect your screen for information if you hold the home button. Fuchsia will provide even deeper access than simply inspect the screen. You will get to look at your browser and check the reviews for a restaurant, check date in the calendar, and book appointments by giving voice commands like – "Okay Google, call Samantha for lunch at 1:00 PM".

     

    The assistant will have access to all "entities" – person, place, thing, event, concept – which is all represented within Fuchsia platform

     

    Why the Google’s Fuchsia OS is code public?

    The developers at Google decided to make Fuchsia as open source and to expand the scope according to the suggestions on development community forum, the code was made public.

     

    Which devices can run Google’s Fuchsia OS?

    Google’s Fuchsia can run on its own Pixelbook and on Intel PC’s

     

    It is also running successfully on small-form-factor Intel PCs and an Acer Switch Alpha 12 laptop. It is also capable of running on Google’s latest high-end Chrome-OS powered Pixelbook, Acer Switch12, Intel NUC and also on a Raspberry Pi 3.

     

    Architectural benefits of Android/Chrome OS?

    Fuchsia has its own custom kernel, Zircon, which is upgradeable and thus it avoids pitfalls faced by Android and Chrome OS like patching to latest Linux Kernel, which was reliant on device OEM's putting in the work, and the reluctance of OEM's to include the patch on their devices.

     

    Fuschia for Developers

    Google has been reaching out to android app developers with this project. While UI is written in Dart (a programming language similar to JavaScript), via Flutter framework, it also supports Go, Rust and Swift. Presence of FIDL protocol ensures that Dart UI interface is able to communicate with Go backend.

     

    Wrapping Up

    While Fuchsia in its current state looks pretty but the underlying functionality has to go a long way. It needs to brush up its code and probably add some new functionality to compete with Android. It does not even have a fully functional web browser like Chrome. No device is expected to run Fuchsia until late 2019 and top android application development companies will keep up their work to develop android applications. A lot many changes are expected before it becomes a consumer product.

     

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