In August 2016, media outlets reported on a mysterious codebase post published on GitHub, that revealed that Google was developing a new operating system called “Fuchsia”. Fuchsia may be launch in 2020 or 2021.
While no official announcement was made, inspection of the code suggested its capability to run on universal devices, including “dash infotainment systems for cars, to embedded devices like traffic lights and digital watches, all the way up to smartphones, tablets and PCs”. The code differs from Android and Chrome OS due to its being based on the “Zircon” kernel (formerly “Magenta”) rather than on the Linux kernel. Platforms are ARM64, X86-64
Fuchsia’s user interface and apps are written with Flutter, a software development kit allowing cross-platform development abilities for Fuchsia, Android and iOS. Flutter produces apps based on Dart, offering apps with high performance that run at 120 frames per second. Flutter also offers a Vulkan-based graphics rendering engine called “Escher”, with specific support for “Volumetric soft shadows”, an element that Ars Technica wrote ,”seems custom-built to run Google’s shadow-heavy ‘Material Design‘ interface guidelines”.
Codes are written in a mixed language C, C++, Dart, Go, Python, Rust, Shell, Swift.
Due to the Flutter software development kit offering cross-platform opportunities, users are able to install parts of Fuchsia on Android devices. Ars Technica noted that, while users could test Fuchsia, nothing “works”, adding that “it’s all a bunch of placeholder interfaces that don’t do anything”, though finding multiple similarities between Fuchsia’s interface and Android, including a Recent Apps screen, a Settings menu, and a split-screen view for viewing multiple apps at once.
The second review by Ars Technica was impressed with the progress, noting that things were now working, and was especially pleased by the hardware support. One of the positive surprises was the support for multiple mouse pointers.
It also supports Android and Ios apps.
Fuchsia is based on a new microkernel called “Zircon”. Zircon is derived from “Little Kernel”, a small operating system intended for embedded systems. “Little Kernel” was developed by Travis Geiselbrecht, a creator of the NewOS kernel used by Haiku.