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Much of Fuchsia abandons Android: what will Google have in mind?

Much of Fuchsia abandons Android: what will Google have in mind?

This week, a big chunk of code related to Fuchsia has been removed from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). However, the fates of the two Google operating systems will intertwine once again, at least so it would seem according to the latest rumors that have emerged. But let’s proceed in order.

What is Fuchsia?

Fuchsia is Google’s internal operating system which powers two of the company’s smart displays, namely Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. Already in recent times, however, the will of the Mountain View giant to carry out more ambitious projects around Fuchsia has emerged.

What options is Google considering?

The first avenue that Google is considering for Fuchsia is that of attribute to Fuchsia the ability to run applications from other operating systems such as Android and Linux. This solution would allow a device with Fuchsia to replace, for example, a Chromebook or an Android smartphone.

There are various ways to realize this ambition. The first is to run a full instance of the Android OS in a virtual machine. For example, like this Chrome OS and Google Play Games for PC manage to offer support for Android apps.

Another option is to establish a more direct relationship between Fuchsia and Android Runtime. In this regard, in 2019 Google created a project that would have allowed the creation of Android Runtime builds for Fuchsia devices. The work on this project, however, it stopped in February 2021. This week, all the code related to the initiative was removed from Android. In its place, in fact, a message appeared that reads “TODO” (which means “to do”).

The project for the future

Basically, Google is mainly working on the project “Starnix” by Fuchsia. It is a project that will allow Fuchsia to natively run apps and libraries built for Linux or Android. All this will be possible thanks to “Starnix”, which would translate the “intentions” of Linux into those of Fuchsia’s Zircon kernel.

About a year has passed since this project was presented and it would seem that the progress made has been quite significant. Furthermore, looking to the future, the Starnix team is focusing on making the operating system compatible with Android and its applications.

Overall, therefore, it seems clear the will of the Fuchsia team of Google to transform this operating system into something more generic, especially capable of supporting the vast catalog of Android apps. It remains to be seen, however, on which types of devices the company intends to install the “new” Fuchsia.