So far, all the public knows about Fuchsia's history is that it begins in August of 2016 at Android Nougat's official release. In order to feed fanfare, much attention was paid on the features this Operating System's new version would bring. Though when a mysterious code was posted on Github, speculation arose about whether Google was working on a whole new operating system, called Fuchsia.
Information regarding this OS is relatively sparse, however, there is still enough to spark interest.
Fuchsia is reported to be a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) meaning, it is meant to serve to serve real-time applications that process data as it comes in without any buffer delays. As opposed to Google's two previous operating systems: Android and ChromeOS which were based on Linux Kernel, Fuchsia is based on the new microkernel called Magenta. According to the information on Github Magenta is composed of a microkernel as well as a small set of user space services, drivers, and libraries necessary for the system to boot, talk to hardware, load user space processes and run them.
Magenta itself is based on another kernel called Little Kernel (LK), which is designed for small systems typically used in embedded applications. According to the documentation, Magenta’s inner constructs are based on LK, but the layers above are actually new.
Just recently, Fuchsia was updated with a user interface called Armadillo. The UI is written using Flutter which is a Software Development Kit(SDK) used for creating apps for different platforms like Android and iOS.
Armadillo features a card-based Material Design.
The base section features a profile picture accompanied by info on the day and time and a little battery icon. Tapping on the profile pic displays a card that displays additional battery and network information, sliders for volume and brightness, as well as a few settings and buttons. Swiping from the bottom up gives us a list of cards labeled as suggestions on top of which we can see a feature prompting us to ask for anything. Tapping here will reveal a basic keyboard with limited functionality compared to the smartphone keyboards we are accustomed to these days. Finally, swiping from the top will reveal another series of card-like space holders, most likely for future apps. Cards go fullscreen when you tap on them and appear to be optimised for multitasking as you can stack a number of them on top of each other almost like you’re creating a folder in Android in order to get a sort of multi-tab view.
You might be asking, why does Google need a third Operating System and what devices are they planning they to release it for? The answers exist in an air of speculation- one of the more interesting ideas has been that Fuchsia might even replace Android altogether. However, as of this point, there are no official statements from Google. We do know that Magenta targets modern phones and modern personal computers:
In other words, any device that can run Google's present operating systems.
Thank you for visiting Base64. If you have any ideas about the future of this OS and what it means for Android, we'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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