We were expecting to see Google announce Google Fuchsia, or Google Andromeda – a fusion of its Chrome and Android operating systems (OS) – back in October 2017. That announcement never happened.
What will Google Fuschia look like, though? Well, the Google Pixelbook, alongside some other Chromebooks, are able to run both Android apps from the Play Store and even an early build of Google Fuchsia – which itself is rumored to run Android apps. We believe that Google Fuchsia – whenever it sees the light of day – will end up being the penultimate Google operating system across all different kinds of devices.
Essentially, we don’t know what form Google Fuchsia will actually take. Information is both thin on the ground and very abstract. But, we do know that Google Fuchsia revolves around the concept of being able to do whatever you want on whatever device you have around. We can see this approach in some recent moves by Google – like bringing Android Messages and a VR video editor to a broad range of hardware.
Actually, the Google Pixel Slate may give us a look into the future of Google Fuchsia – even if it neither runs the nascent OS, and doesn’t give a clue about the release date. With the new Chrome OS tablet, Google has changed the UI of the operating system to be more palatable on a tablet – bringing it closer to a unified OS across different families of devices. Whether or not it relates to Fuchsia remains to be seen, but we look at it like a step in the right direction.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…
So, regardless of what the final product is, or whether or not Google Fuchsia ever makes it to the public, be sure to keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll update it with any new information comes our way.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? An Android-meets-Chrome, multi-device operating system
- When is it out? An early form is available on the Google Pixelbook now
- What will it cost? Likely nothing, as is with Android and Chrome
What is Google Fuchsia?
Right now, there appears to be a divide within Google regarding what Fuchsia actually is. While the team working on it says they want Fuchsia to be the penultimate Google OS, running on all phones, tablets, laptops and smart home devices – Google’s leadership is still referring to it as an experiment. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, and what materializes out of all this experimentation.
Google Fuchsia, then, is a hybrid OS that is still very much in development. The entirety of Fuchsia OS is comprised of two distinct but connected user interfaces (UI): a phone-centric one codenamed ‘Armadillo’ and a traditional desktop UI known as ‘Capybara’ internally, according to 9to5Google.
So far, more is known about the mobile version of Fuchsia than the laptop one, but ArsTechnica was recently able to get Fuchsia running on a Google Pixelbook in an awfully early state. And, it looks like both versions should be able to run Android apps, much like many Chromebooks in 2019. So, backwards compatibility looks to be something that early Fuchsia adopters can look forward to.
‘Fuchsia is going to accomplish much of what Microsoft and Apple already have in Windows 10 and iOS-to-macOS Sierra Continuity, respectively, but in a very Google way.’
Dividing the OS up into two separate UI based on the hardware it’s being used with is a classically Microsoft-inspired move. Windows 10 already scales depending on whether it’s being used with a desktop computer, phone, tablet or game console. In fact, Windows 10’s only unifier is its kernel, the root code that controls the bulk of the operating system.
In the case of Fuchsia, that kernel is known as ‘Zircon’, and it’s designed to be consistently upgradeable in addition to being safe from applications accessing it constantly, adding an extra layer of security and eliminating situations in which apps are rendered incompatible with OS updates.
Whether it’s in the mobile or desktop orientation, Fuchsia is laden with Google’s Material design found all over its Android and Chrome OS products. Shadows are a big focus on the design aesthetic, using a new Vulkan-based graphics renderer known as ‘Escher’ to do the job. The result is an interface with more depth to its look than traditionally flat OS products.