Details about Google’s new mystery operating system, Fuchsia, appeared on Ars Technica on Tuesday, which gives us a better idea of what Fuchsia is for.
Based on Ars Technica’s findings, Fuchsia is designed to work on “modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors” with “non-trivial amounts of RAM.” That seems like an odd move on Google’s part, as Android runs perfectly well on budget devices with lesser specs. It’s usually third-party apps that require speedy components to perform at their best.
We’ve seen before that Fuchsia is built completely from the ground up, and is based on Google’s own “Magenta” kernel instead of the pre-existing Linux kernel that Android is based on. A kernel is the core of an OS where the basic functions are built from. Kernels are like an empty house (Linux) where the tenant (Google) can furnish from the ground up to work, look, and feel the way it wants. By building its very own kernel, Google has more control over what its OS can do.
Check out Ars Technica’s screenshots of Fuchsia to get a look at Google’s new OS. In the meantime, I’ve compiled a few screenshots from YouTuber Kyle Bradshaw, who uploaded a video showing Fuchsiarunning on a mobile device on May 3:
Fuchsia doesn’t necessarily have a home screen with app icons as we know it, like Android or iOS.
Instead of app icons, apps take up rectangular sections of the screen. There still seems to be a home button on the bottom center of the screen.
It looks like a vertically oriented user interface (UI), where you swipe up and down to navigate around the OS and apps.
Opened apps appear to hover above the Fuchsia OS rather than taking up the entire screen.
When we normally open an app on Android or iOS, it usually takes up the entire screen and it completely replaces the OS. In Fuchsia, it looks like the app is more of an overlay on top of the OS, judging by the gray bar below the orange email app.
Here’s another example of apps and settings feeling like an overlay that hovers on top of the OS.
This seems to be the quick settings for Fuchsia, which we’d normally find in Android’s notification shade.
The time and battery indicator are on the bottom instead of at the top, where you’d normally see them on Android.
At one point, the familiar Android notifications bar and on-screen buttons appear at the top and bottom, but it’s unlikely to be part of Fuchsia.
It isn’t surprising to find Google Assistant running in Fuchsia.
Here’s Bradshaw’s full video of Fuchsia running on a mobile device:
To be clear, little is still currently known about Fuchsia.
Very little is known about Fuchsia, including big questions like whether or not it’s designed to replace Android entirely. Even its release is up in the air, as several of Google’s projects have never see the light of day. A Fuchsia developer, however, publicly stated that Fuchsia “isn’t a toy thing, it’s not a 20% project, it’s not a dumping ground of a dead thing that we don’t care about anymore.”