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What is the Fuchsia operating system and how is it different from Android?

Google always has many projects under its sleeve, but only a few, special ones, have the honor of being taken for commercial development. One of those special projects is Fuchsia OS, which has been available to the public since 2016 but has had little or no interest from consumers. It is an operating system designed to unify the entire ecosystem of devices under a single umbrella. The Fuchsia operating system is designed to work not only on smart phones or desktops, but also operates on any smart device part of an IoT network and Google seems to want to offer you a similar unified experience across all platforms, such as Apple. And, this will be even more effective with increasing faster mobile communication through 5G.

In its essence, Fuchsia OS be independent of hardware specifications, offering one uniform experience on all devices . With a modular approach, manufacturers can select Fuchsia elements selectively based on the device, while developers can push smaller updates just to implement new features. In addition to providing a uniform operating interface, Fuchsia may even assume the role of a single operating system that governs all machines, eventually.

While this may have given a sufficient indication that Google plans to replace Android with Fuchsia and even merge the Chrome operating system along with it, this article will guide you through the details about the operating system at work and how Google is trying to take control. World technology for a storm with her. Let's start by knowing what role Google has in mind for the operating system, as well as the ideas that gave rise to the idea.

About Fuchsia OS

With the Fuchsia operating system, Google may be planning to erase Android from the face of the Earth, or at least the memories of the Z-gen, but the biggest and most sought after role for the operating system is to provide a constant and unwavering experience in all devices, regardless of its specifications, size or utility.

Why fuchsia?

Apple may be better known for its iPhones and Mac, but it has many more software tricks up its sleeve than it is revered. It is the exclusivity of its software that not only helped Apple maintain strong leadership in the industry, but also helped it recover after the suspension of the administration that resulted in the dismissal of founder Steve Jobs of his own company. Now, Google is trying to achieve that, but it is doing it differently, that is, swearing by early open source .

The creation of Google developers, Fuchsia, is expected to take over a large part of all smart machines and devices in the near future. It is this uniformity on all platforms imaginable that ensure that users do not feel alienated when they switch to a new one brand of smart phones or go surfing the web or use the same application from one device to another. Smart speakers, security cameras, thermostats, air or water purifiers, auxiliary robots, robots that help auxiliary robots: practically anything intelligent that you can imagine will have the same user experience, regardless of its shape or form.

Designed for audio interactions

While having a greater monopoly over your software is excellent for Google financially, another important reason to choose Fuchsia for children over a modified version of Android is that the new operating system will focus on interactions that leverage a voice based experience, instead of relying on a touch. This means that Fuchsia even be suitable for devices with screens that may or may not support a touch interface, or even a screen.

In this era of virtual assistants, voice has become the center of attention and Google Assistant has been among the pioneers. It has acquired incredible features, including the ability to receive basic or mundane calls on behalf of users. It is likely that these capabilities are the basic components of Fuchsia. In addition, this focus on voice, and not touch, gives the tech giant the freedom to implement visual elements without worrying that they are well optimized for screen size and shape.

Starting over instead of updating

Android was designed primarily with smart phones with QWERTY keyboards and then evolved to adapt to touch control. Now it has a decade and is compatible with a large number of devices, not only smart phones or tablets, but still depends largely on touch interactivity. Therefore, if Google wants to prepare for the challenges of the next decade, starting from scratch seems to be a better way than re-modifying Android to meet new needs.

Apart from this, Google may also be trying to distance itself from Oracle's demand. The two software giants have been in a battle of nerves over the issue of royalty related to Google's use of the open source Java application program interfaces or APIs when creating the first version of Android. The two giants have been at odds since 2010 and, according to the last court order, Google was asked to pay $ 8, 8 billion to Oracle, an order they are challenging and is currently preparing for a review request.

While Google already removed the vile APIs in 2015, moving to a new ecosystem that is far from the ghost of Java, like Oracle, not only will give Google more freedom to explore and prosper, but also erase the board with Oracle . perhaps. In addition to this, Google is using its own kernel called "Zircon" in instead of the Linux kernels used in Android to stay away from Linux and stay focused on a niche created by itself.

In addition to this, the Fuchsia operating system also allow Google to counter the problem of devices running on obsolete software and we will know your possibility in the next section.

Zircon Kernel

Part of the new approach of which Fuchsia is a product is the new kernel used for the operating system. This kernel is called Zircon and is encoded in C ++, instead of C, which is used to write Linux kernels. Essentially, Zircon is a microkernel that, in simple terms, better manage software-hardware interactions and offer more efficiency in terms of use of resources such as processing power and network speeds.

Zirconia cores are not limited to smart phones or PCs, and will support a wider range of hardware such as digital cameras, smart speakers, other IoT devices, desktops and laptops of all shapes and sizes. Also help Google to implement updates on all devices simultaneously so that all the devices with which it interacts are always updated. If this turns out to be true, Zircon's kirel could help build a utopa for the geeks.

Zircon is also updated regularly, unlike a Linux kernel, which is only written to meet the hardware requirements, so that the devices are instantly compatible with the latest updates.

Fuchsia OS: a modular approach

Fuchsia uses a modular approach, which means that instead of being a large code stack, it segment into building blocks or "packages" . Everything, including system files, will consist of these smaller packages, also known as packages, which, in turn, can also be made up of smaller "components." These components understand only the code needed to perform a single task . By itself, a component cannot achieve much, but when grouped with other components, the table can execute a process. In addition, there will be two types of components: "agents", which work in the background, and "modules" that will be visible to users.

Modularity in fuchsia OS; Courteous: 9to5Google

While this modularity allows system files and update packages to be divided into smaller parts, easily acceptable to the system, they will also have other benefits. Another expected advantage of Fuchsia's modular framework is that it can allow new functions are added simply by installing newer components . By observing this in a practical way, modularity not only solves the problem of delayed and sometimes erroneous system updates, but also also lead to faster application updates . If you want to visualize it better, you can see it as a modular hardware, such as an assembled PC, or even simpler, a Motorola flagship that uses Moto Mods that enhance its functionality.

All this, while promoting, also requires the cooperation and enthusiasm of developers, as this modular approach is crucial to the uniform experience to which Fuchsia responds.

Modular File Systems

Fuchsia OS currently supports a handful of file systems such as:

  • read only
  • in temporary memory (for RAM)
  • A persistent file system to store files permanently.
  • a package storage file system with integrity verification (for data encryption), and
  • a typical FAT storage system

With the modularity at its core, Fuchsia's architecture is flexible and may receive support for additional file systems in the future .

The operating system was transforming the computer, but how?

Real Time Updates

Android is the leader when it comes to the user base, but despite that, it stays behind in the area of ​​updates. While the user experience may be subjective, many continue to prefer iOS over Android when they take into consideration factors such as long software support and the uniform experience of the first on different devices. While it was previously reported that Google was reflecting on the division of the update packages in the provider and in the Android framework levels, this will only help slightly faster security updates for Android. However, Fuchsia adds this functionality to the entire operating system.

On the other hand, Google uses its own Zircon microkernel, instead of a Linux kernel, in the Fuchsia operating system, along with its modular approach to remove updates almost in real time . This means that regardless of the brand, your smart phone can receive updates at almost the same speed and frequency as Google Pixel devices.

For this, Google has designed Amber, an update system integrated into the Fuchsia operating system that Not only update system packages and installed applications, but also the new microkernel and bootloader . The Fuchsia team is currently playing with different update frameworks to ensure faster and more accurate modular updates, as well as interoperability between systems.

Accounting books

In an attempt to make Fuchsia more human, the operating system will come with a function called Ledgers that will keep data related to device use. This allow users to start working on a new device directly from where they left off in the previous one . The function not only synchronizes the individual application data separately, but the entire interface as a whole. All of this information will be stored in a common network that allows users to have a perfect device switching experience .

Fill the empty spaces

The name Fuchsia is derived from the color of the same name, which in turn is derived from the flowers of the epic fuchsia plant that has more than 110 species. Although the name is not very common, you can identify with this color very easily (HEX :). Fuchsia, easily confused with pink, can be visualized as a hybrid between pink and purple. But the name goes beyond explaining a color combination and has an underlying metaphor associated with it.

The flower of the fuchsia plant.

Almost all official repositories maintained by Fuchsia mark it as a total sum of pink and purple. Below the surface, it means that the operating system is designed to fill the gap between smart phones and PCs, between portable and fixed devices, between web-based applications and native applications, and even between Android and iOS devices .

Flutter, the software development kit (SDK) designed to develop Fuchsia applications specifically, can be used to write applications for both Android and iOS, in addition to the Fuchsia operating system. With minimal changes in the code, developers can carry the front end of the application to other platforms, which allows them to offer a uniform experience not only in systems executed by Fuchsia OS, but also in those that are off the platform.

Dependence on web applications

Gradually, progressive web applications or interfaces take control of the web and run directly from the web to offer an experience similar to that of an application without installation. While there is limited information about the Fuchsia applications available from now on, by observing the connected future, it can be speculated with certainty that the operating system is design for a first web experience, like the Chrome operating system.

In fact, the Googlers team that manages the project is working on something called "Web Runner", a web assembly engine that is used in web applications running on the Fuchsia operating system. This, in turn, help make Internet an integral and essential part of the operating system . But that does not imply that the entire operating system depends on the web to work, and we hope to see some live examples of native applications that will be ported to the platform soon.

Fuchsia Interface Definition Language (FIDL)

Fuchsia may be an interesting proposal for end users, but it is equally exciting for developers. Google wants to make sure that, regardless of its strengths in programming languages, it should be able to contribute to the development of Fuchsia. To guarantee this, the engineers working on the project have developed FIDL, short for Fuchsia Interface Definition Language, designed to merge the most commonly used programming languages.

FIDL is currently compatible with C / C ++, Rust by Mozilla, as well as Go and Dart (the main language for writing Fuchsia applications) that are developed by Google, while that in the future also will admit ms languages . With the help of FIDL, for example, developers can develop an application in Rust and then migrate the application to Go or Dart, or any other compatible language, without having to re-encode the GUI . This is done by treating the new code as an "implementation".

This presents an exciting opportunity for developers and, if you are one, you can use this tutorial to get more information about FIDL.

How is Fuchsia OS different from Android?

User interface

While SO Fuchsia is far from commercially available, thanks to some good Samaritans, we have an idea of ​​how it looks. From the various leaks and suggestions related to the appearance of Fuchsia OS, we know that it is a card-based interface with a striking resemblance to Google Now. But there is a lot of items that seem to be inspired by Chrome OS and even iOS, with a large dose of Google Material Design 2.

Fuchsia OS older desktop interface

Google has recently changed the files related to the user interface, which was previously known as Armadillo, for something called Dragonglass. The New user experience is being developed in private by Google, but some public comments in the repository point out that Google is working in at least three different user areas or desktop environments for Fuchsia, namely Dugonglass, Flamingo and Dragonglass.

Not much is known about these user shells, but Dragonglass is apparently the same interface that is available on smart screens such as the Google Home Hub. It has different cards for different actions or applications instead of cones, which suggests that Google intends to offer users a better experience than one in which they spend a lot of time looking for the right option on a touch screen. Instead, the operating system seems to be ready for the accelerated world of the future and is likely to reduce contact dependence .

While the Armadillo interface has been canned, you can still try to see the differences that are likely to occur between the Android operating system and Fuchsia. There are applications that emulate the Fuchsia experience both on an Android smart phone (here find APK) and on the web (check it out), for a simple exam. In this interface that is now discontinued, there is a only button in the navigation bar and that currently has the duty to take it to the startup interface. In addition, dragging this button up from the bottom opens the quick configuration panel when it is inside an application (which can remind you of the iOS gestures for the Control Panel on phones older than the iPhone X).

While we still can't comment on the exact user interface, there are chances that Google leave the homepage completely and bring a unified interface that shows fast, Recent settings and your Google Now feed (powered by an advanced version of Google Assistant). One page We will keep it updated once we know what the new interface will look like.

Multiplatform computing with fuchsia operating system

Fuchsia OS is designed to truly harness the power of sharing, allowing you to enjoy uniform performance of the interface, as well as applications on all devices, regardless of their shape or size. But, more importantly, the Fuchsia operating system allows Google to use Apple's rich application ecosystem by allowing applications to easily port.

Flutter, the SDK developed by Google, can be used to create identical apps for iOS and Android, although it is also the only SDK platform to develop Fuchsia applications from now on. The SDK recently came out of the beta version, which suggests that Google not only takes seriously the fact of not allowing Android users to feel that they are not far behind iOS users in terms of user experience, but that too wants more developers to try the applications of Fuchsia . Even the main user shells of Fuchsia have been built using Flutter.

Moreover, by allowing developers to get their feet wet with the development of Fuchsia, the official emulator to test Android applications, Android Studio received support for the Fuchsia Zircon core. While at the time of this announcement, it seems that Google wants to allow developers to run Fuchsia in Android Studio, a change was recently made to the Gerrit AOSP repository to highlight that Android applications will run in Fuchsia With the help of a customized version. of Android Runtime.

In addition to this, a year ago Google also added support for Swift, a programming language created by Apple, to Fuchsia. While this does not imply that Fuchsia OS run iOS applications directly, but the step at least inspire and invite developers, currently restricted to the Apple ecosystem, to test your application development for the unified operating system.

Fuchsia OS feels like a successor to Android: Here's why

In anticipation, you can see the Fuchsia operating system replacing Android and there are some reasons that indicate it. Fuchsia surely feels as if it had been inspired by Android despite not being exactly visually identical. With Fuchsia, Google is reducing its dependence on other software giants, but it also seems to have taken due care to make sure that both users and developers feel at home. These are some of the reasons that assure it.

User interface elements similar to Android Pie

  • Individual navigation button: Fuchsia does not necessarily resemble Android Pie, but feels that the latest version of Android is intended to prepare users to move to the new ecosystem. The most prominent example of this is the single start button and Google's recent decision to restrict Google Pixel 3 users to disable the option of the new navigation bar. It seems to be a step towards user conditioning for Fuchsia navigation.
  • Application of applications and suggestions : Secondly, Fuchsia's suggestions that can be seen in the demo interface resemble the "Application Actions" of Android Pie, which are suggested actions per application based on a user's preferences and the usual choice of actions . Android Pie uses machine learning to customize these options and with the arrival of smarter and smarter systems, it is likely that these suggestions are not only more accurate, but also eliminate the need to touch the screen to make them, which is one of the main objectives of Fuschia.
  • Modularity of the applications: The third and last similarity between Android and Fuchsia is with modularity. Google recently introduced something called "App Package," which is an alternative file format that developers can use while loading their applications in the Google Play Store. For now, you may have guessed it, but if you have not done so, Application Packages allow developers to divide their applications into smaller parts to make downloading easier ( don't hate when you have to download a large application or game again) The beginning when you lose internet connectivity in between? ). In addition, in addition to facilitating the download process for users, application packages also allow developers to add additional features on demand to their applications without forcing users to download additional packages.

Google is already working on fuchsia prototypes

Google has already been working on certain software and hardware products that indicate an active participation of Google, which is not only exciting for developers but also for consumers. In July of last year, Google was working on a YouTube application for Fuchsia OS, apart from some random developments such as a Tic-Tac-Toe game.

In terms of hardware, it was recently discovered that Google is blowing resources on a device, whose code name is "Sherlock", which is probably a digital camera, and it suspects that he is the successor of Google Clips . This device uses a Sony IMX277 sensor and, although it has the greatest potential of being a digital camera, it could also be a security camera, considering the investigative nature of the name.

Finally, a Fuchsia device to really become a commercial product is the Google Home Hub, which does not actually run Fuchsia, but was among the first prototypes in which it was tested. The smart screen made by Google runs on a different platform called Cast, unlike other smart screens that are based on the Android Things platform. To make it clear, Cast and Fuchsia are different platforms, but the latter is expected to have some of the features of the smart speaker, including an interface for direct actions and a high dependence on voice controls. Therefore, it can be believed that it is a device launched to perceive the general emotion of users about this experience.

Fuchsia logo looks like a 'Q'

This last point may be too speculative, but it is still worth noting. He Fuchsia OS logo looks a lot like the letter "Q" and this will not be very striking unless Android Q is the next version of Android. So, does Google plan to replace Android Q with Fuchsia, or is it too soon?

Similarity between the Fuchsia OS logo and the letter "Q"

Since Android Pie has been an important change for Oreo, launching Fuchsia to users may be counterproductive, but we can still hope to see some active development along with Android Q. There have already been attempts to run Fuchsia on smart phones and Huawei's secondary brand . It was the first brand to have its device as part of this test.

Future of Fuchsia OS?

Now that we have learned about the past and present of Fuchsia OS, a valid question to ask is related to the future of Fuchsia OS. Taking the words of Travis Geiselbrecht, a member of the Fuchsia team on Google, the company he won't get rid of Fuchsia and seems to be very serious at respect. With developments such as a separate SDK, special programming languages, a new kernel and a strong opposition to Linux, Fuchsia seems to be prepared to take over the entire Google products ecosystem, be they smart phones, laptops or simply connected devices like Google Home and Google Home Hub. Fuchsia is an operating system to govern them all.

In the future, we could see Fuchsia merge with other emerging technologies such as cloud-based computing, 5G ultra-fast networks, quantum computing, etc. to evolve as a collective and connected device system, so that the operating system does not run individually. In each of the devices. Instead, this all-encompassing operating system can be run as decentralized instances on each device, all of which work in unison.

This may sound like science fiction, but there's no reason to deny it either. But among all this, we will lose the ability to customize our user experience, as we do in a smart phone with Android, or artificial intelligence customize it and adapt to our needs? This is something that only time will answer, but we will continue to update the frequency of this article with each important development in this area to keep it aware of what the future holds for Fuchsia OS.