Fuchsia and Andromeda are certainly a thing, but it’s still not clear exactly where they will fit into Google’s plans.
Set your way back machines to August 2016, and one of the things you might see is talking about a mystery operating system from Google named Fuchsia. We took a look at it when people started noticing it was being worked on, and got some really cool clues about what might be going on.
Work on the project hasn’t slowed and now semiconductor analyst Daniel Matte’s blog Tech Specs has a new take on a more mature Fuchsia, and why it’s where Andromeda is going to start.
Matte has taken a second deep look into how Fuchsia is going to be built and what it might be able to do. The very basics are in place — a new LK-based microkernel dubbed Magenta will power an operating system designed from the ground up to be modular and adaptable to most any modern hardware. Combine Magenta with a new rendering engine (escher) and a user interface layer based on the Dart programming language with an all-new widget and application framework named Flutter to bring it all front and center and you have what Fuchsia needs to become an actual living piece of software.
To my naive eyes, rather than saying Chrome OS is being merged into Android, it looks more like Android and Chrome OS are both being merged into Fuchsia.
Matte says this is going to be Andromeda. And he has plenty of evidence to support his idea. Fuchsia isn’t hidden. All the work on the kernel, the framework, and associated bits and pieces is being done in the open where anyone with an interest can have a look. It’s been this way from the beginning, and as it evolves it becomes a bit easier to guess what Google is trying to do here.
Based on the code that’s been checked into the project so far, Matte suggests we’re seeing a ground-up operating system designed to run on ARM, MIPS, and Intel x86 processors. It’s not a merging of Chrome and Android, but a new system that takes the best parts of both into itself and can support much of Google’s existing products — Chrome and Android — while furthering a new application platform.
I agree with his assessment. What I see tells me that this all-in-one OS will attempt to fix the pitfalls of shoehorning a PC system onto smartphone hardware or doing the opposite and using an Android style platform with more capable PC hardware. All-in-one systems will happen and are going to be the future, and Google is trying to find ways their existing products can fit into it.
Maybe everyone looking at Fuchsia and Andromeda is wrong. That’s certainly a possibility. But Google is working on something that’s going to be big. Whether or not it will also be successful is the question. We can’t wait to find out.