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Google’s Project Fuchsia is coming to replace Android – and you can even test the demo

Tom Bruce Emma Sims Will Georgiadis
15 Jan 2019
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Google’s new OS has been a work in progress for two years now. And you can even test out a demo for Fuchsia right here

Android, Google's OS brainchild, is used by three-quarters of the world's phone and tablet users. As a Bloomberg report has revealed, it now looks as though the Californian tech giant is getting ready to terminate Android, which is currently in its 8th generation. And the replacement? Project Fuchsia. Google has apparently been developing its new OS for 2 years, with over 100 of the search engine's very best technicians working on what is sure to be the globe's dominant operating system in years to come.

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Android Pie may have just been released to Pixel smartphones, with others updating later in 2018 or early in 2019, but Fuschia is an altogether different proposition, and one coming further in the future.

There's even a demo of Project Fuchsia available right now, which you can access here. This is best viewed in the browser of your phone or tablet, but you can still get a basic feel of the layout using a laptop or PC. There are no apps on the demo, which means there isn't a whole lot to do just yet – it's really there as a model of what the Fuchsia OS may look like upon its eventual release.

Here’s everything else you need to know about the elusive new Google OS, Project Fuchsia.

Project Fuchsia: What is it?

As we say, Project Fuchsia is the new, work-in-progress OS from Google, which aims to overcome the limitations encountered by Android users. For starters, it has honed its aesthetics, with sources suggesting that the OS will look the same across laptops, smartphones and other devices.

But this is no mere cosmetic update, Fuchsia is being touted as a unifying OS, with the capacity to run all of Google’s in-house gadgets (think: Google Home, Chromebooks, smartwatches and Pixel smartphones). So start gearing up for across the board functionality.

Project Fuchsia is currently in a sort of early, pre-evolutionary form. There's even a very basic user interface, which you can see in the images scattered throughout this article; codenamed 'Armadillo,' the interface is one of a few applications currently in early stages on the overarching Fuchsia OS. 

The new operating system is no longer based on Linux, as is the case with Android and Chrome OS. In fact Google has constructed its own 'Magenta' kernel, sticking with the many shades of pink that serve as names for these projects. Armadillo, and indeed any other Fuchsia-based apps, will make some use of Google's Flutter software development kit - this particular SDK is unique in that it makes porting Android apps to Fuchsia a simple process. 

If you want to get even more technical, Google is using Dart as its primary programming language, and is reportedly making full use of the enhanced effects, light diffusion, and soft shadows that the Escher renderer offers. In simple terms, this OS is set to be both functional and fantastic to look at. But don't just take my word for it: here's a video of Armadillo, running on the Fuchsia OS. 

Project Fuchsia: Why now?

There’s been some discontent surrounding Android, particularly with the volume of personal devices and other gadgets going online, the incumbent Google OS seems to be displaying some limitations.

As we know, technology waits for no man; Google was never going to sit around and let Android wither into obscurity. Rather, the company is breathing new – revolutionary – life into the world of operating systems.

However, insiders are suggesting some other reasoning behind the OS overhaul: a “senior-engineer retention project”. Basically, Google is scared that its most talented and senior engineers might up and leave unless they’re given a job that’s sufficiently exciting to keep them interested. And we imagine being tasked with creating the OS that will supersede the one currently used by three-quarters of the globe might just fit the bill.

Fuschia might be a response from Google to the united platforms that Microsoft (Windows 10) and Apple (iOS/macOS Sierra) already run. In principle, it could mean the end of Chrome and Android, but they would still live on thanks to the foundation they've set to build from.

Project Fuchsia release date

As you can imagine, there have been rumours of internal debate regarding the minutiae of Project Fuchsia. However, it has been a work in progress since 2016, which hints at some pretty solid groundwork already.

The Bloomberg report suggests that we’ll see Fuchsia embedded on smart-home devices within three years, with laptops and other devices seeing the update soon after.

Why the wait? As is to be expected, Sundar Pichai and Hiroshi Lockheimer (the man at the helm of Android and Chrome) are treading carefully. The report suggests that they’re yet to set a definitive trajectory into motion regarding project Fuchsia, due to the business partnerships that Android has given rise to.

“The executives have to move gingerly on any plan to overhaul Android because the software supports dozens of hardware partners, thousands of developers – and billions of mobile-ad dollars,” the report details.

However, with more than 100 top-of-their-game engineers assigned to the mammoth task of developing Project Fuchsia – a feat that’s already two years down the line – we sense something revolutionary on its way.

We’ll be updating this page as and when more information regarding Project Fuchsia comes to light, so be sure to check back in for everything you need to know about Google’s new OS.