According to the latest reports Google is developing a new operating system that is not connected with Android.
Code-sharing website GitHub now has a page related to the new operating system, which is known as Fuchsia for the time being.
Not Android-based, nor Linux-based
The code reveals that Google is not building the new OS based on its mobile operating system Android, used in billions of smartphones globally, nor the Linux kernel. In fact the page is quite short on detail, saying simply: “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System).”
So far Google has not made any official announcement on the new operating system. By all accounts it appears that Fuchsia is in the early stages of development.
“The decision was made to build it open source, so might as well start there from the beginning,” Google employee Brian Swetland said in an IRC chatlog shared on Hacker News.
No official information as of yet
“Things will eventually be public, documented, and announced, just not yet,” another person said. A spokesman for Google was not available for comment.
For now the big question is what Fuchsia will be used for, and no one is very sure. However as per usual this has not stopped waves of speculation as commentators spout their theories on what Google might be up to.
According to the Android Police blog, which was one of the first outlets to speak about Fuchsia, the new operating system could be used in the Internet of Things. Neither Linux nor Android are particularly well-suited to applications outside of traditional computers, and the move towards connected homes and other items means that Google may want to develop a separate operating system.
The company set a precedent in developing its Android operating system for mobile, and there is no reason why Google couldn’t do so again. However it is likely not working on a new operating system exclusively for the Internet of Things. According to Android Police the documentation mentions that the “Magenta” kernel will work on “embedded devices,” mobile devices and desktops.
Various theories in play concerning Google Fuchsia
Another theory is that the Fuchsia system could be something to do with augmented reality. Hacker News user Ansible speculates: “You want an RTOS for loss and predictable latency. And current GUIs aren’t really suited to 3D environments you can walk around inside. This is Google’s next Android, with a low latency rendering pipeline for the next generation of mobile devices.”
One further possibility is that Fuchsia will be used to replace and bring together Android and Chrome OS, two existing operating systems that are used on mobile and laptops.
Nick Mediati is one proponent of this theory: “One possibility I see is where Google uses Fuchsia instead of Linux as the underpinnings for next-generation versions of Chrome OS and Android. That is, both would use some form of Fuchsia — or the Magenta kernel — as the underlying basis of the two operating systems (as well as the operating system for other Google devices such as the Chromecast).”
At this stage Fuchsia looks like it could be a side project for Google employees that never makes it to market, or it could be the future of Google computing. In the latter case it would unify existing operating systems, and make for a new generation in computing.
Either way it is worth keeping an eye on developments at Google, as always.