The Future of Mobile | Google Fuchsia OS – Part I
The mobile operating system market managed to stay relatively unshaken for the last 6 years, at least. For those who have interest in this matter, you can check my article on the subject, written in the good old 2012, and not much has changed since then, I must recapitulate.
However, there’re some spruce developments unfolding that eventually may change the current disposition in the upcoming years, so here’s my attempt at a mobile future sneak peak.
The aforementioned new OS from Google, named Fuchsia, quietly emerged in 2016 and has been under increasing spotlight ever since, leading to many speculations, as Google never cared to explain well its purpose and possible future plans concerning it.
So here’s what we’ve got so far:
- Fuchsia is a brand new OS conceived by Google and is not based on Linux kernel contrary to Android, the world’s leading platform since early 2017.
- Fuchsia seems to be in a very early stage of development, quite far away from any public alpha release.
- It’s a universal general purpose OS that is designed to run on various desktop, tablet and mobile environments.
- The current UI is somewhat similar to Android, but even in its current state offers various improvements when it comes to multi-tasking and running apps in the split-screen mode.
- It has Swift support, the programming language that Apple initially developed to replace the ageing Objective-C for iOS – which somewhat correlates with earlier rumors that Google was considering to ditch Java in favor of the former.
- The OS appears to be under active heavy development at the moment. All the daredevils can take a look at the source code kindly published under various open source licenses by Google.
- Various enthusiasts gave Fuchsia a test on several laptops, including Google’s very own Pixelbook. The installation process is reportedly non-trivial but manageable for savvy tech-heads.
The main question that arises based on the above, is what Google has in plans for Fuchsia?
Given that the Mountain View company already has a number of operating systems in its domain, say Android and Chrome OS, it’s not an easy one to answer.
However, there’re a number of theories in the wild, such as:
- Let’s start with the most exciting one – Fuchsia is an attempt to fix all what’s wrong with Android from the Google’s point of view, which mainly comes down to getting rid of the Linux kernel and consequently a bunch of legal complications regarding licensing that comes with it. Plus, no sign of the Java Virtual Machine, the cause of the ongoing epic legal battle between Google and Oracle.
- A more “dull” alternative – it’s just an experimental OS which is used as a playground of ideas that later could be incorporated into the mainstream Android or Chrome OS by Google engineers.
- And finally, the most likely one in my opinion – there’s no conclusion presently what the future of Fuchsia may be. Google is making an investment to guarantee that they have a freshly built general purpose OS should the need of such arise, and their success in court going to be an important factor for Fuchsia’s future.
Let’s see! At Exaud, we will keep an eye open on the Fuchsia progress and the time might come eventually for us to develop an exciting app for it.
In the next article on the same subject, I will explore what new Apple may have up its sleeve for the mobile market. Stay tuned!