An “early-stage experimental project” as dubbed by Dave Burke, Android VP of engineering, Google is now on the verge of becoming a full-fledged operating system having the potential to replace Android OS someday. After the recent development, the experimental project got the status of an operating system, called the Fuchsia OS.
Although Fuchsia is still far from being a complete OS, it works precisely independent of the size of the screen and is freely downloadable for installation on a Google Pixelbook currently. The tech website Ars Technica posted a video of Fuchsia OS, demonstrating the operating system in action, which reveals it is still in the very early stages of development.
The working bits of the OS includes the guest mode for logging in, along with a few apps that can be opened to experience the overall UI. Other than that, Fuchsia offers various modes, including smartphone, tablet, and laptop modes, but still, the stability issues make it unusable even for puny tasks like web browsing.
Since Fuchsia doesn’t connect to the internet yet, the Google search bar at the bottom of the screen only shows the results from locally stored files. Currently, the OS is in no position to compete with either the Android or the Chrome OS, but Google is working on the idea of having the same operating system that drives both the mobile and the desktop devices with ease, pretty much similar to the iOS platforms. The primary difference between Fuchsia and any other Google OSes is that it is based on a new microkernel called ‘Zircon’, instead of Linux kernels on which others are based, suggesting that it is not just intended to run on Smartphones or Computers, but a lot more.
Fuchsia’s UI and apps are written in a software development kit allowing cross-platform development abilities, called ‘Flutter’. Apps written in Flutter are essentially based on Dart, capable of high-performance usages including running at 120 frames per second. Additionally, Flutter also offers a Vulkan-based graphics rendering engine called “Escher”, with specific support for Volumetric soft shadows, an element that website Ars Technica said, “seems custom-built to run Google’s shadow-heavy ‘Material Design’ interface guidelines”.
Fuchsia will be a Google’s take on the truly modern and real-time updateable operating system, and finally an escape from the Java environment and the issues regarding its legal use. If Fuchsia is indeed destined for smartphones, another massive challenge for Google would be to migrate the enormous number of users from existing Android OS. How Google plans to achieve it is still unclear, but we might expect a hint in the upcoming Google I/O summit, and an actual step further in time.