Google’s Secretive Fuchsia OS Now Gets A User Interface

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Google already has two popular operating systems in the market, Chrome OS and Android, but that isn’t stopping it from working on a third. This third operating system, which first came into the limelight last year, is an open source, real-time OS called Fuchsia, and now, we have some new information on it.

Google ditching Linux

The first information about this third OS popped up in August 2016, but after that there was not much information on it. Now, according to Ars Technica, Google’s secret project has a new user interface (UI) which is a card-based design for managing multiple applications. The new user interface, which was first spotted by Hotfixit.net, is code-named Armadillo. It enables cards to be dragged around and used in a split-screen format.

Apps and the interface for the OS are written using the Flutter SDK, a project that produces cross-platform code that runs on iOS and Android. Flutter apps are written in Dart, Google’s reboot of JavaScript which focuses on high-performance 120fps applications on mobile.

Unlike Chrome OS and Android, Google’s new Fuchsia OS is not based on Linux. The new operating system uses a new, Google-made microkernel called Magenta. The search giant is not just ditching the GPL with this new operating system but is also ditching the Linux kernel. Fuchsia is licensed under a mix of MIT, Apache 2.0 and BSD 3 clause, notes Ars Technica.

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It might come as a shock to some that Google is ditching Linux, but the search giant appears to have no desire to keep up with the upstream Linux releases. The Google Pixel is stuck on the almost 3-year old Linux Kernel 3.18.

What is the Fuchsia OS and when is it coming?

Google so far has not made any official comments on what the third operating system is for or why it exists. It vaguely describes Fuchsia as an operating system designed for “modern phones and modern personal computers.” Magenta has been described as targeting modern personal computers and modern phones with “fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation.”

Releasing a new mainstream operating system is difficult, but we are talking about Google here, which has already registered success with both Chrome OS and Android. Consumers may look satisfied with Android, iOS, MacOS or Windows, but there is always some space for improvement on things like greater responsiveness, better battery life and stronger security, notes CNET, and Google could be purely targeting those things.

Google’s new OS is still in its early stages. Android took about five years to be launched as a real product. If Fuchsia follows the same trend, we may expect this third OS sometime around 2020, provided that everything goes well. There is always a chance that it will never show up as a real product, but considering the fact that the tech giant has been adding to Fuchsia over the last few months, we may get to hear more about the third OS soon.