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Google Spills Details on Fuchsia OS: More Than Just Phones

At its annual Google I/O conference, Google’s operating system of the future, known as Fuchsia, was majorly talked up by Hiroshi Lockheimer, a senior vice president at Google who oversees Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and the Play store.

The Fuchsia logo. Credit: Google

(Image credit: The Fuchsia logo. Credit: Google)

To recap, Fuchsia will be open source and usable on a host of different kinds of devices, more than Android currently appears on, based on what’s been said about the source code that can be publicly viewed on code repository GitHub.

On a basic programming level, Fuchsia is built on a new kernel - known as ‘zircon’, or previously ‘magenta’. Unlike Android or Chrome, which uses Linux at its center, this will be a fully Google-produced piece of software.

Fuchsia will still play nicely with Android though, which means that all the apps currently being developed for Android systems will have little trouble making the jump to the new OS when the time comes.

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During this week’s Google I/O conference, (while speaking to The Verge), Lockheimer explained how he hoped Fuchsia would reinvent the concept of operating systems altogether.

“We’re looking at what a new take on an operating system could be like. And so I know out there people are getting pretty excited saying, ‘Oh this is the new Android,’ or, ‘This is the new Chrome OS,’” Lockheimer said. “Fuchsia is really not about that. Fuchsia is about just pushing the state of the art in terms of operating systems and things that we learn from Fuchsia we can incorporate into other products.”

He also emphasized Fuchsia’s possibilities when it came to platforms beyond smartphones: “You know Android works really well on phones and and you know in the context of Chrome OS as a runtime for apps there. But Fuchsia may be optimized for certain other form factors as well. So we’re experimenting.”

He continued: “It’s not just phones and PCs. In the world of [the Internet of Things], there are increasing number of devices that require operating systems and new runtimes and so on. I think there’s a lot of room for multiple operating systems with different strengths and specializations. Fuchsia is one of those things and so, stay tuned.”

If you want to have a look at an unofficial 2018 Fuchsia demo, showing off the user interface in your browser, then this link will let you scroll around some menus and get a picture of how it might operate.