Fuchsia: An Android Alternative, Say Hello to Google’s New OS

7 min read

While the latest version of Android, the Android 7.0 Nougat is in its beta stage and just a month away from the unveiling, numerous reports are coming that Google is working on an entirely new operating system. And the news is, this new operating system, dubbed as Fuchsia, will be written from the scratch and will target both PCs and smartphones, along with other factors.

Google Fuchsia

Every single OS Google has developed till date is based on the Linux kernel. Starting from Android, Chrome OS, Chromecasts, every single OS has been powered by Linux, and it has given the service to Google for years.

However, the Linux kernel is not at all an ideal solution for every situation. Like if you take the examples of embedded devices such as car GPS units or car dashboards, the full-blown desktop kernels like Linux hamper the performance and cause trouble issues. So, to firm their hold on the operating systems for the embedded hardware, Google is working on their brand new operating system.

What is Fuchsia

If you search for “Fuchsia” you will get Google’s own description for it “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)” on the project’s GitHub page. Did not understand a single word right? Well, we have dug deeper into Fuchsia’s documentation, so that it makes little more sense to you.

Just like Android and Linux, the Magenta kernel, based on the ‘LittleKernel’ project, powers the larger Fuchsia operating system. Magenta is solely designed to compete with the commercial embedded operating systems like ThreadX or FreeRTOS.

However, Magenta is designed for a greater cause, like to work on the smartphones, embedded devices, and desktop computers. So to serve all these purposes, Magenta continuously gets upgraded upon its LittleKernel base by adding a capability-based security model (like Android 6.0’s permissions to work) and a first class user-mode support (supports for user accounts).

Albeit it is only the Kernel part, rest of the OS features more interesting as well as complicated scenarios. According to the sources, Google is using Dart as the primary programming language and Flutter for the user interface. Not only that, but Google is also going to use Escher, a renderer which supports soft shadows, light diffusion, and other visual effects coupled with Vulkan or OpenGL, under the hood. Escher will be used for Material Design UI, where subtle color reflections and shadows are the key components.

Apart from that, Fuchsia will be designed in such a manner so that it will support both 32-bit and 64-bit ARM CPUs, along with the 64-bit PCs. The very same technique will soon be available in Raspberry Pi 3 too.

Why “Fuchsia”? What’s so Special in it

Now the question is, why? What is the need of Fuchsia? Why is Google secretly developing or designing a new OS and kernel from the scratch with Material Design in mind, which will support both smartphones and personal computers? Well, most of the experts believe that the American multinational tech giant hopes to replace Chrome OS and Android with Fuchsia one day.

The other theory is, Google will treat Fuchsia just like Samsung treats Tizen OS, a light-weight OS, used particularly on that hardware which is not suited for a full-blown OS, like Android. Also, with Google Home and OnHub router, Google’s collection of embedded hardware is growing steadily. And maybe Google is developing Fuchsia to get a strong hold in the massive embedded hardware ecosystem.

There are also possibilities that Google is developing Fuchsia just for an experiment, and the OS may never use in a commercial product. Google is currently very much happy with Android and Chrome OS, which are doing great businesses worldwide. But developing an entire OS and kernel just for the sake of experiment is a huge task itself. So there are mysteries wrapped all over the OS, there are numerous possibilities, both exciting and drab. All we can do is just wait and watch. Meanwhile, to get all the updates on Fuchsia, visit our webpage on regular basis.

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