What is Google Fuchsia? Is Google Planning to replace Android? - Doctor Tech


7 May 2018

What is Google Fuchsia? Is Google Planning to replace Android?

American search engine giant 'Google' is working on a mysterious OS, named "Fuchsia" that is seen as a successor to Android and Chrome OS. Fuchsia OS is programmed to run on embedded devices, smartphones and PC's/Laptops. Google which started as a Search Engine service, has expanded its portfolio in every possible field of Information Technology. And today, Google already has three OS under its hood i.e. Android OS for mobile, Chrome OS for laptops and Wear for smartwatches. Android OS is the most widely used and loved among the smartphone users in the world. In-fact Android has a total market share of 87 percent in comparison to the Apple's iOS that gets a share of 12.1 percent.

Now Google is already with its latest offering to the OS market "Fuchsia". While it is believed that Fuchsia is here to replace Android and Chrome OS completely, there are some counter opinions which state Fuchsia will blend Android and Chrome OS together. Fuchsia is in its early stages and is made available for Pixelbook developers for now. Developers are testing out this new OS to see what all it has for its future users and how user-friendly is the OS is. So Is Google Planning to replace Android?

What is Fuchsia?

Fuchsia is an operating system that is designed by Google to run on embedded devices, smartphones and PC's/Laptops. Fuchsia initially surfaced in August 2016 but Google since then has been reluctant sharing any information about it. A fuchsia is an open-source software that is free-to-use just like Android. Unlike Android and Chrome OS that are based on Linux, Fuchsia is based on Google's new Micro kernel named as "Zircon" (which means 'Little Kernel'). Zircon was initially called Magenta Kernel which was intended for an embedded system. 
Fuchsia is designed in such a way that makes it modular enough to run on low powered loT devices, minimal-resource devices such as smartphones and tablets and heavy resource usage computers/laptops.

Fuchsia is speculated to come with a re-imagined User Interface, based on "Flutter" that is a densely optimized mobile-first 2D rendering engine, giving the opportunity to the developers to attach the object module that will be required for each device.

Reacting to the doubts and uncertainties of Fuchsia becoming a reality, Last year in an IRC discussion, the developer of Fuchsia, Mr. Travis Geiselbrecht also stated, "It's not a dumping ground for a dead thing that we don't care about anymore". Therefore it can be made out Fuchsia is a sure shot thing that is happening definitely.

Fuchsia OS in Detail

Fuchsia will have support for Flutter which is a Software Development Kit (SDK) made by Google for existing operating systems. According to the reports of 9to5Google, Fuchsia will sport a feature called "Ledger" which will synchronize all the devices running Fuchsia together, just like how Google Docs function. Fuchsia will also have support for Google's own scripting language "Dart" on which programs like AdWords are coded.

Developers can build high-performance and cross-platform apps in Dart, using Flutter tool.
Therefore, Flutter will make apps based on Dart that will be high performance and run at 120 frames per second. Flutter is also suppose to offer Vulkan-based graphics rendering engine named "Escher" having support for Volumetric soft shadows.

Also Read: Best Android P Features

Developing apps in Dart provides developers the functionality to add the backward capability for applications in future. Following the reports, Google may also add support for Swift Programming Language, the language used by Apple app developers to build apps for iOS.
Moreover, Fuchsia will be launched as a multi-platform OS with similar UI across desktop, laptop and mobile, which means all you have to do is just plug-in your smartphone into a dock of a bigger screen and enjoy a desktop-like experience like "Samsung Dex".

According to the recent tweet by XDA Developer's Editor-in-Chief, Fuchsia will have support for native Android apps. The tweet stated that Fuchsia OS was spotted on Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Android Open Source Project is an initiative by Google for the development of the Android mobile platform. Fuchsia is spotted in the Android Runtime branch which is the application runtime environment in which developers run their applications. The reason why Google has decided to provide support for native apps in Fuchsia is the fact that Fuchsia OS is a brand new OS that is based on Zircon and not Linux like Google's previous OS. Hence there is no app catalog for the OS which makes software testing difficult on the platform.

Why do need a new OS?

The primary reason as to why there is a need for a new Operating System is the fragmentation issue of Android that has been for years now. Most Android smartphones around the planet are still running an old and obsolete version of Android. Presence of hundreds of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the market and their preference of using their own customized versions of Android instead of opting for a stock Android, has led to this major problem. These OEMs have there owned skins/UI over stock Android to give some more features to their users which makes it difficult for Google's software engineers to provide timely OS/Security updates and upgrades. Unlike Pixel devices, Google cannot push a software update directly to the OEMs manufactured devices, as it requires modifications and tinkering of codes in an update to ensure smooth functioning of the device. Although Google is now all ready to counter this issue with Project Treble, which will help OEMs deliver faster updates to their devices.

Another reason is the vulnerability of Android to bugs since it is based on open source Linux. Unlike which Fuchsia's Zircon kernel can be upgraded consistently, which is not possible with Android as every update has to be tweaked according to the OEMs before releasing it to the user.

Fuchsia also restricts the applications from getting direct access to the kernel that adds an extra layer of security. With the release of Fuchsia OS, compatibility issues that pop-up after a system upgrade will be a thing of past.

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As to when Fuchsia will be showing up on our devices, still remains a mystery. Its still in the development phase, with more than two years still left under its hood. But the scale at which Google is developing its baby by putting in all its resources, it doesn't seem to be taking as much time as Android took to build. 

Last but not least, Google's Fuchsia OS looks promising at first, whether you look up Security wise or being it the versatility of the OS that blends with any platform seamlessly. The ability to run on a smartphone, desktop, and laptop gives Fuchsia an edge over other OS. Fuchsia OS may become the future of Operating Systems if its well implemented. Time will tell whether Fuchsia will be the OS that we will see on every device of every platform.

With Google I/O Developer Conference 2018 taking place from May 8-May 10, we can expect Google to shed some light on its much mysterious OS "Fuchsia".

What you guys think about Fuchsia, do let us know in the comment section below.



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