We all know Google Android operating system very well and most of us using or used Android devices in our life. Customization enthusiasts and developers prefer Android OS mostly. Google developers are working on their latest Fuchsia OS to make an alternative option of Android. The Fuchsia OS is based on microkernel capability and became well-known to the people in August 2016 from the GitHub project. The other operating systems like Chrome OS and Android are based on Linux Kernels but the Fuchsia is based on microkernel called “Zircon”. Here Zircon means “Little Kernel”.
Fuchsia OS: Overview
This is also an open source project just like the Android and runs on ARM64, x86-64 platforms currently. The license is based on Mixed: BSD 3 clause, MIT, Apache 2.0 versions. It’s written in Mixed: C, C++, Dart, Go, LLVM, Python, Rust, Shell, Swift programming languages. In 2017, Fuchsia OS upgraded into a new command line user interface and then the ‘Swift’ programming language was committed for the initial support.
In early 2018, Google has introduced a guideline how to run Fuchsia on Pixelbooks. Now just a month ago in October 2018, the reports came out that Google Home Hub could be a Fuchsia OS testing device, codenamed “Astro”.
Huawei Boots Fuchsia OS Kernel on Honor Play
Now the leaked reports claiming that Huawei developers have started testing the Fuchsia OS on Honor Play device. The Honor Play smartphone runs on Android Oreo and powered by Kirin HiSilicon 970 SoC out-of-the-box. The Fuchsia Source Code has revealed that Huawei successfully managed to boot the Zircon Kernel on the Honor Place device. As the device properly boots into Zircon kernel, it’s now expected to run the new operating system to other Huawei devices. We have a list of some Huawei handsets such as Huawei Mate 10 series, P20 series, Honor V10, Honor 10, Honor Note 10, Huawei Nova 3 etc.
Huawei could become the first OEM to run the Fuchsia OS instead of Android OS in near future. Google also revealed recently that the official announcement of the Fuchsia running devices will take a few years. The firmware system is work-in-progress and will take at least 2-3 years to developers to build a stable and refined customizable OS for future devices.
Fuchsia OS: Expected Features
According to the Ars Technica, the new Operating system does have some window management features which will trigger a split screen mode.
The bottom does have the Google Now panel with the search bar. The card-style layout for a profile picture, date, time, city, battery icon, story cards etc. According to the recent report from Bloomberg, the Fuchsia is built for removing the limitations of Android and other gadgets, much smoother interactions with Google Voice Search, frequent security updates which will be used for smartphones, smart speakers, laptops, and more.
The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, mentioned that Artificial Intelligence is going stronger every day. Though the Android is Google’s primary operating system, it depends on hardware capability and performance mostly.
Google has also started testing the operating system with applications such as voice commands for YouTube and interactive screen displays. The company also wants to deliver Fuchsia OS to the Pixelbook devices instead of Chrome OS. The two biggest issues in Android currently are:
- Getting OS updates very late across the 3rd party hardware ecosystem.
- The lack of focusing on Android UI, Accessibility, and Performance Stability.
Android does have a lack of smoothness, faster processing, and RAM management issue even in any flagship smartphone. The software development kit called ‘Flutter’ offers cross-platform opportunities. It will be useful to develop and manage user interface and app preferences. During the testing process, Flutter offers apps with high performance up to 120 frames per second. It also offers the graphics rendering engine called ‘Escher’ which gives the material design interface to Fuchsia.
Though it will take time, we can expect a Huawei device runs on Fuchsia OS in near future as an alternative option of Android OS.