WE ALREADY KNEW that Google was working on a third OS dubbed Fuchsia, and now we can finally see what the firm's potential Android replacement looks like.
Unlike Android and Chrome OS, Fuchsia OS - which first broke cover, albeit barely, last August - ditches Linux in favour of a new Google-developed microkernel called "Magenta", which the firm describes as targeting "modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation."
Kyle Bradshaw at HotFix.net has given us our first look at the new OS in action, along with its 'Armadillo' UI, which has been compiled using Google's Flutter SDK, a project that produces cross-platform code that runs on Android and iOS.
It's an early build so it's all a bit shonky right now, but this early look confirms that Google is building Fuchsia OS from scratch, complete with a new stripped-back, card-based design.
Bradshaw shows the whole thing off on video (below), which reveals that cards can be shuffled around for use in a split-screen, or tabbed interface for easy multitasking. According to Ars Technica, the OS can handle three apps at once with a 33/33/33 split, or even four apps at 75/25/75/25.
While clearly inspired by Material Design, navigation on Fuchsia OS is a far cry from Android too, with the Armadillo UI presenting itself as a vertical scrolling list, taking you from your profile, to recent apps, to Google Assistant.
Tapping the centre profile picture will fire up a menu similar to Android's Quick Settings, showing battery, connectivity options, screen brightness and so on. There's a new keyboard, too, which has a new dark theme, but it doesn't really work properly right now.
If you fancy giving it a spin, it's possible to download the source and compile Fuchsia's System UI into an Android APK and install it on an Android device, Ars notes.
It's still unclear when Fuchsia will be ready for prime time, or whether Google is planning to launch it as a future Android replacement. It's unlikely we'll know more any time soon, either. µ
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