A relatively interesting bit of news began circulating the internet yesterday. Google is apparently working on an OS that is not Android, not Chrome OS, and not running on the Linux kernel. Android Authority had the story first (to our knowledge, anyway) and covered the possibilities with a good bit of technical knowledge and level-headedness.
And then others followed, using headlines like New “Fuchsia” OS from Google may combine Android and Chrome OS.
I’m sure others will follow suit.
According to a few well-written articles at TNW and Android Authority, though, we can get a few real details from the Google Repository where this story found its origin.
Out of the commits, a few things are clear. You can reference the two articles linked above for more technical details, but here’s the TL;DR:
- There is a line in the code that states: Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System) so the fact that this is in fact an OS is not in question.
- The kernel is Magenta built on LK, not Linux, and Magenta/LK is meant for small, connected devices like IoT (Internet of Things) peripherals, but can scale up to larger, more sophisticated devices.
- Dart looks to be the primary programming language and Flutter support indicates the UI will utilize Google’s Material Design standards.
- This is literally all we know at this point.
So, making the leap that this non-Linux-kernel-based, IoT-geared-OS is somehow going to replace Android, Chrome OS, or combine them into one system is a bit ludicrous. Let’s stop and remember that Android controls the dominant majority of the global smartphone market and Chrome OS just outsold Macs in Q1 of 2016.
Google has put in just under a decade working with and upgrading Android to get it to the point it is today. They have spent serious time and resources getting Chrome OS to explode in the education sector. They are working hard to make the Play Store a great environment for developers on Chrome OS and Android moving forward.
Why in the world would they attempt to replace them when their co-existence is getting ready to pivot into something we’ve never truly seen in the mobile/desktop experience?
Your answer is likely the same as mine. They wouldn’t.
And as Chrome Unboxed adds our voice to this Fuchsia rumor, we are placing our bets on Fuchsia being an IoT, peripheral, wearable OS that will power future Google Home items and perhaps other devices we’ve yet to even consider.
Android and Chrome OS are merging in a way we’d never considered before a few months ago. I don’t think they are going anywhere. And we are very excited to see what Fuchsia OS (or whatever it ends up being called) brings to the table and what new ways Google is able to leverage its unique ability to make interesting, useful, and amazing software/hardware combinations that change the way we use computing devices.
Then again, who knows, right? We are all just guessing at this point. The future is fun, huh?