After Android and Chrome OS, Google has been working on a new operating system called Fuchsia and now we get to see it come to life – sort of. Android users can check out the progress right on their devices, and see what might be the demise of their current OS.
Fuchsia is an open source and real-time OS that has just recently received a user interface. It was first seen in August 2016 in the form of a command line, which was essentially nothing but it was enough to get the Google fans excited for the birth of a new operating system that might one day end Android and Chrome OS.
The new OS is getting rid of the Linux kernel and even the GPL in favor of Magenta, a microkernel that Google built itself. According to the search engine company, the kernel targets “modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation.”
This hints that future phones will be using this operating system instead of Android and it might even expand to computers down the road to compete with the Chrome OS. For now though, it is still at its very early stages, but we can take a look at Google is cooking up so far.
Google’s New OS Fuchsia Is Full Of Cards
Like we’ve mentioned above, Fuchsia just got a UI called Armadillo. If you own an Android, you can run it on your device thanks to the cross-platform Flutter SDK, which the OS is written with. Ars Technica already got to test the UI, and even though it’s still pretty empty, it’s looking and feeling nice.
The Armadillo UI completely redesigns the home screen to include a placeholder photo of the user with some information like the date, time, and city. Below it is an upright battery icon and then at the bottom of the screen is the Google Now panel.
Tapping the profile picture brings up the quick menu where there’s information about the battery, Wi-Fi, and data. Then there are sliders for volume and brightness, both of which don’t actually work for now. The third row has the toggles for the airplane mode, do not disturb and rotate, all of which also don’t work. Then there are buttons for “Log Out” and “More” that, as you’ve guessed, do nothing.
Using the Google Search Bar brings up a black keyboard from Fuchsia itself. It also has placeholder suggestions that you can click, taking you to an empty card on full screen.
On the home screen, you can scroll downwards to reveal a series of cards, which presumably represents apps. It’s quite a long scroll but the cards are all placeholder for now. Tapping on one brings it to full screen and dragging a card to on top of another one triggers the split-screen mode.
What’s Next For Google Fuchsia?
As of now, those are the only areas you can explore on Fuchsia’s Armadillo UI. It’s a sneak peek of what Google is planning for the future of mobile phones, but we don’t know yet if we will see it alongside Android or if it will compete with the most-used OS today.
What we do know is that the tech giant is serious about this. As what Fuchsia developer Travis Geiselbehrt previously said, according to BGR, this operating system is not a toy or a 20 percent project that can just be dumped at will.
What is likely is that the Fuchsia OS will be seen first on a Google device, perhaps under the Pixel brand, then spread out to take over the mobile industry. Before then, it will undergo years of development with a possible launch around 2020.
Let’s hope we’ll know more on the upcoming Google I/O event on May 17 to 19.
[Featured Image by ymgerman/Shutterstock]