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Google Fuchsia Operating System Gains New Look Interface

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Android replacement? Development of mysterious smartphone OS continues with new look user interface

Fresh details have emerged about Google’s third operating system, codenamed Fuchsia, which appears to be aimed at the smartphone and high-end PC market.

Just to recap, Google began work on a brand-new open-source operating system called Fuchsia back in August 2016.

Details were very sketchy back then, but it seemed that Fuchsia would be completely different from Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems.

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Third OS

And now according to Ars Technica, Fuchsia is now sporting a new user interface (instead of its original command line), and we already know that it has dropped the traditional open source Linux code found at the heart of Android and Chrome OS.

Indeed, we have known for a while that Fuchsia is using a new kernel called Magenta, which according to Google’s description on GitHub, is the “core platform” powering the Fuchsia OS.

This is a significant issue, as both Android and Chrome are based on the standard Linux kernel on top of which Google layered several of its own enhancements over the years.

Last year it appeared that Fuchsia was being developed for smartphones and high-end PCs featuring fast processors and large amounts of memory, and internet of things devices.

This was another major departure for Google, as its previous operating systems have been capable of running on relatively low spec’ed devices such as Chromebooks.

User Interface

But now according to Ars Technica, Google engineers have added the Fuchsia System UI called Armadillo. The published images suggest a straight-forward look, with one image displaying a home page with empty space that could be for widgets.

Other images seem to show a tabbed interface.

The Ars Technica rightly points out that there is no evidence as to Google’s intentions with this operating system just yet. It could be just another pet project for Google engineers.

But the fact that Google is touting Fuchsia as both a smartphone and PC operating systems, suggests that Google could be exploring a ‘combination’ operating system that can run on multiple platforms.

Indeed, this is pretty much what Microsoft is seeking to do with Windows 10 and its Windows Mobile platform. One operating system that spans both smartphones and PCs, as evidenced by Continuum.

That said, Microsoft’s mobile intentions remain hopelessly confused at the moment, and the software giant continues to frustrate the small number of Windows Phone users with its refusal to properly explain its mobile intentions going forward.

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