ByAdeline Kuang 2019-05-11 1810
During the more than 10 years of Android's life, continuing to improve the green android platform has been - and is - Google's number one priority when it comes to developing operating systems. However, Android's future seemed to change course in August 2016, when a mysterious GitHub repository created by Google revealed the company's new future plans: Fuchsia OS, a new multiplatform operating system.
More than two years have passed since then, and over the months we have been gathering more and more information about the new operating system that is being developed by a team of more than 100 engineers, including some of the most veterans who make up the ranks of the company.
But what do we know about Fuchsia? Will it really be Android's replacement operating system? There are many doubts about this new platform, developed entirely by the company based in Mountain View, and that is why today we want to clear all those questions, and see what Google Fuchsia really is and why it is so important.
From the beginning, Fuchsia's goal has been well defined: to create an operating system from scratch, capable of overcoming the limitations of Android and being fully prepared for a future in which voice interaction with devices becomes more important than ever. They are also working on making updates not a problem for Fuchsia, and that it becomes compatible with devices of all kinds, from smartphones to computers, through loudspeakers, wearables or small computers oriented to the Internet of things. Of course, artificial intelligence will also be the protagonist in this platform.
In short, Google's idea regarding Fuchsia is to end up creating the definitive operating system, which can run on each and every one of the devices developed by the hardware division led by Rick Osterloh, whether Pixel phones, tablets or speakers, which today would be based on Android, Chrome OS and Android Things, respectively.
Having our sights set on the creation of software capable of replacing the most widely used mobile operating system in the world is an ambitious idea, to say the least. That's why, since the beginning of Fuchsia, Google has decided not to risk and resort to the most prodigious minds that make up the company. With the passage of time, the team in charge of the development of Fuchsia has grown, and today has among its ranks faces as recognized as Matías Duarte, former leader of the design team of Android and current vice president of design at Google.
On a technical level, we know that Fuchsia is an open-source software whose code is open to the public. This means -among many other things- that, although there is already a team in charge of developing the operating system, you yourself, if you have the necessary knowledge and after soaking up all the existing information about Fuchsia, you could collaborate in the development by making suggestions.
If we go even further, we can deduce that Google Fuchsia is an operating system made up of four main layers. Google itself defines the structure of this operating system as the layers of a cake, where each layer has a different goal.
▪ First layer - Zircon: Fuchsia's "base" is Zircon, a kernel responsible for mediating access to hardware by the operating system, as well as carrying out some essential tasks and functioning as a low-level software development platform. In short, Zircon - formerly known as Magenta - is to Fuchsia what the Linux kernel is to Android.
▪ Second layer - Garnet: just above Zircon is Garnet, the layer in charge of hosting some of the essential components that the software needs to work -such as software installation services, drivers, communications with remote systems, graphic services and so on. He will also be in charge of Fuchsia's update system.
▪ Third layer - Peridot: In third place is the layer in charge of managing the modular design of Fuchsia applications. At the same time, it is formed by two other sub-layers, Ledger and Maxwell, being the first of them the one in charge of saving Fuchsia apps or modules and their current state, and synchronizing them between the different devices associated to the same Google account. while Maxwell is the intelligence "engine" of the operating system, whose interior is formed, among other things, by the Google Assistant.
▪ Fourth layer - Topaz: finally, Topaz is the layer where the essential applications of the system appear, and where the support for the Flutter development platform is incorporated.
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