What is Fuchsia OS? And Is Fuchsia the solution to Google and Android’s fragmentation problem?


Google image

So far, Google has seen several successes in its software accessories Chrome and Android. However, it is now officially on the Internet media the tech giant is taking on a third OS-Fuchsia. Original appeared on GitHub and Google respiratory in 2016 as a simple command line not capable of running on a hardware system, Fuchsia has since evolved to a point where it can now be bootable on a hardware system and without running it on top of another OS like Android. This has been shown using Google pixel book, though the OS remains largely an experimental project, but, far enough, a lot has been going on around Fuchsia as an operating system such that there is already enough piece of code to write about.


What is Fuchsia?

Fuchsia os logo

Unlike Chrome and Android which relies on the power of the Linux kernel, Fuchsia is different in every aspect. First, it is built upon Google’s micro-kernel Zircon and Magenta and created using Flutter Software Development Kit. Besides, Google included its own design language Go, Dart, and Apple’s programming language-Swift to Fuchsia with an aim of probably targeting both Google and Apple developers to hack on the code. Not only that, the operating system is undaunted to perform on any platform besides mobile phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and wearables.

Installation: What Fuchsia look like.

The process of getting Fuchsia running on a hardware device is strange. Normally, to boot and run an operating system on a hardware interface, you will need a live USB (bootable) and some kind of OS installer.

Instead, a bootable USB drive is loaded with a bootloader like Zedboot which should join you to a network. Besides, your hardware should run Zedboot to enable compile Fuchsia. Once the OS is compiled, the files are sent over the network to your hardware. I’ll spare you all the technical aspects and leave it at that point, but as Fuchsia documentation describes, this whole process can be performed through a process called ‘paving. Another approach would be to involve running pieces of Fuchsia code on an Android device. This is workable since Fuchsia is set up using Google’s Flutter SDK.

Fuchsia has only been tested on a pixel book.

Fuchsia on pixel bookFuchsia on mobile phoneFuchsia on Android

The first object you will see once you boot Fuchsia is the lock screen with a few controls here and there. At the top left edge is the Fuchsia icon which permits you to switch between laptop, tablet, and phone mode. In the bottom right, there are three buttons displaying Login, Guest login, and Wi-fi. At the center is the time. If you log in, the login page will challenge you to enter your email, password, and two-factor authentication. The apps there barely work and most are non-functional. Plus, according to Fuchsia Docs, the OS is linked to Google Assistant.

Google assistant on Fuchsia Apps on Fuchsia

The road ahead: Fuchsia as a cross-platform OS

Fuchsia could be what developers and consumers have been looking for in an operating system. Distantly, It could also be the answer to Google’s three biggest problems with Android: Fragmentation, updates, and UI performance. But moving forward, Fuchsia could provide an opportunity for Google to ditch over-reliance on Java and the Linux kernel. Besides, it could also be the real answer to a universal operating system. However, we nevertheless do not know just yet what Fuchsia is built for. A report has it is a universal OS and possibly will one time be a replacement for Android. But not even Google has a precise roadmap on Fuchsia. And the tech giant has disclosed little on the OS apart from it being a work in progress project.

But if Fuchsia comes to a point of being a universal operating system, then it will be the first. The only that came close to being a universal OS is Linux though through diverse extracts of Linux kernel. Apple and Microsoft attempt through the iPhone and Windows 10 respectively have not been fruitful. As for app makers, developers will build apps on different computing languages using Flutter SDK with minimal compatibility, cost and tweak on the code. However, as it is now, Fuchsia is still a distant off project with a long way to go before it even grows into a retail consumable product.