2. Aug 2021Android

Google Fuchsia OS in 3, 2, 1...1...1?

Fuchsia is an open-source operating system from Google. This project first appeared in 2016 on Git. Let's have a look at the most interesting features and its future.

Jan KandráčAndroid Developer

Problem named Android

Unlike Android, or Chrome OS - Fuchsia is not based on the Linux kernel, but on the new Zircon microkernel also developed by Google. So it looks like in 2016 Google started developing a new kernel with a new operating system. Fully aware of the problems that Android has, it is very clear to see that they want to go through them. We are talking mainly about problems that affect programmers. The basic problems that Fuchsia solves are:

  1. Scalability - Android applications have been built for mobile devices from the beginning. So Android should never run on the web, desktops, laptops or other devices. Although we already know Wear OS for wearable devices, Android TV or Android Auto. Fuchsia should run on anything straight out of the box
  2. Language barrier - A slightly more controversial topic. If you know Java programming, you can imagine that every more sensible programmer will look for something else. Kotlin has been supported by Google since May 2017 and marked as the preferred language in May 2019. At the beginning of Fuchsia's development, programmers did not usually know about Kotlin. Therefore, Google wanted to overcome the Dart language barrier. A special choice, because Dart 1 was a language as unaesthetic as Java. However, its advantage is ahead-of-time compilation and compilation into native code, or LLVM. Code that will run (almost) anything on Fuchsia.
  3. Material out of the box - Visually, fuchsia has a predefined material design from its birth. No library compatibility or outdated visual elements. In addition, the UI in Flutter is written fully declaratively and is very similar to what Google does with the JetPack Compose UI writing framework. So no XML files or dilemmas on how to actually get the code for a button from an XML file.
Material design - one of the first images of OS Fuchsia. Source: 9to5google.com


The development of Fuchsia is still very much alive. Today (July 22) until 13:00, 50 commits were added to Git, and it doesn't look like development should stop in the near future.

Fuchsia is alive - Screenshot from the repository (22.7.2021)

On the contrary, this year Fuchsia recorded several novelties, in May 2021 Fuchsia was deployed for selected users of the Nest Hub. Meanwhile, Samsung has joined the list of contributors. Fuchsia also received a new logo and the official Discord channel dedicated to Fuchsia was even opened this month. We got to the official documentation already last year.

Fuchsia a zariadenie Nest Hub - zdroj 9to5Google

What's next?

Despite the fact that Fuchsia is still rolling forward, no one knows where it is actually going. It's interesting to imagine how Google will wage war between its two operating systems. Flutter applications can run on both Fuchsia and Android, indicating that a certain percentage of applications will be able to circulate quickly. But I personally cannot imagine the war and I wonder when and if we will get some compatibility solutions to make the transition from Android to Fuchsia painless. Some argue that Fuchsia is simply a test for Google to find out what's next. Others claim that Fuchsia will fully replace Android.

We are waiting for what Kotlin multiplatform will bring and we are also waiting for JetPack Compose. We are waiting for Fuchsia. Each of these technologies has great potential to move application development in its own way, and no one really knows where we will be in a few years.

The original logo of the Fuchsia
Jan KandráčAndroid Developer