If you’ve had your ear to the Google grapevine the past couple of years, you might already know about Fuchsia. As early as 2016 there were whispers and rumors about a new OS for Android, and little more has trickled down to public knowledge since then.
Fuchsia is an OS software like Android and Chrome, but that’s where similarities begin to dissolve. Unlike its two older siblings, Fuchsia isn’t based on Linux. That means we’re looking at an entirely new creature altogether – one that’s not based on any previous tech. Details are still rather scant, but from what we know so far, Fuchsia’s most outstanding quality will be its versatility:
This OS will be able to scale as far up as ARM, MIPS and x86 processors on desktop computers and laptops, yet can still be knocked down to its original kernel to function – and function well – with small devices like your smartphone or embedded systems. According to Google the OS “targets modern phones and modern personal computers” but is also able to lock in with various ‘smart gadgets’ around the home, like Amazon’s new Alexa Microwave.
Fuchsia would still run with Android’s apps, but it will also allow for more frequent updates to any handheld devices that incorporate the OS, as well as enhanced security and privacy options, support for voice recognition (like Siri or Alexa), smart speakers, and its own AI. Considering the prevalence of smart appliances and home AI in 2018 this is a likely step for Google.
Will it have better privacy settings?
In short, yes. Though that aspect of the project seems to have sparked something of an internal feud for Google designers. The reason is that Google (like Facebook) generates much of its income from targeted ads based on activity and location. Since Fuchsia would boast stronger privacy settings the company could well be shooting themselves in the foot.
The software engineers for Fuchsia have implemented encrypted user keys which protect information each time the OS is updated. That means that with Fuchsia any time you update, your files will receive that much thicker armor, (allegedly) making your data more secure. Given the recent public outcry regarding the privacy issues and data breaches with Facebook, you might think that an OS focused on better security would sell like hotcakes. Unfortunately, as of now Google’s ad is trying to stamp out any notion of rescinding its targeted ad policy, which means the stiff competition of Apple’s security is still coming out on top there.
When will it become public?
In last week’s Pixel 3 unveiling (see below) we were shocked not to hear a peep about ‘Android’ or ‘Android Pie’ even once. For a company with a huge marketing department (and with a presentation that was clearly very scripted) it begins to seem like the decision was intentional. BGR writer Chris Smith also shrewdly pointed out the removal of ‘Android’ from the Google Play store, changing it to simply say ‘messages.’
“Switching away from Android could provide Google the opportunity to hit the reset button on any mistakes they believe they made a decade ago,” said co-founder of Confide Jeffrey Grossman. “They might be able to regain some power that they’ve ceded to device manufacturers and telecom carriers.” Starting from the ground up could also be a wise decision in the wake of the lukewarm Pixel 3 reception – people are itching to get their hands on new, more powerful software and taking a leap of faith and building something from the ground up might be the innovation Google needs to stay on top.
Will this tech replace Android? Will it shake Apple loose as a competitor? Is this all just conjecture and rumor about a project doomed for garbage bin? Stay updated here.