Google has been working on a new mobile OS – Fuchsia – for a number of years, with the first murmurings of a new system in development by the tech company emerging somewhere around August 2016. At the time, the new project was somewhat mysterious – with Google’s Android OS already being used across a great number of mobile devices, it was uncertain where Google would seek to place this new OS into the mobile market so as not to dilute the success and dominance of the Android.
But according to a recent Bloomberg report, Google hopes that Fuchsia will eventually replace all of Chrome and Android, becoming its new top-of-the-line Operating System for mobile devices, whether or not those devices are made by Google.
And while that sounds quite groundbreaking, don’t get excited yet: According to Hiroshi Lockheimer, an executive in Android / Chrome, there’ve been no papers signed or deals made that lock in Fuchsia’s future as being the Android / Chrome killer. Lockheimer speaks of a number of “experimental open-source projects” active at the company, and did not disclose anything else about which one might be looking to replace Android.
In even more evidence that any integration with Fuchsia is still a ways off, Google employees hope that the first integration of the OS could be with Google’s home systems, and say that those integrations could be coming sometime within the next three years.
And even more than that, an entire OS switch is a massive commitment for a company whose primary OS already dominates a whopping 85 percent of the smartphone market. This OS swap would need to be launched at a specific new release of a specific smartphone, but in order to correctly distribute the OS, multiple smartphone makers would need to agree to initiate the switch at the same time. Then comes the dozens upon dozens of compatibility issues between Android phones and Fuchsia phones, customers asking if there’s any way for them to keep using the Android OS, massive libraries of applications needing to be re-tooled and re-worked for the new OS, and more. All in all, it’s a massive initiative that will cause a great upheaval in the smartphone market when (or even if) Google decides to start really pushing this OS.
If they do, however, we’re interested to see what new features and improvements that will come with this brand new OS. Hopefully those improvements will explain Google’s reasoning behind the jump to a totally new operating system, and explain why they chose against continuing to update the Android OS for years to come.
Featured image via Flickr / etnyk