What just happened? Five years after we first heard about Fuchsia OS, Google is releasing it to some of its devices. Google’s new OS which was supposedly written from scratch is meant to be supported by desktops, phones, and tablets, but for now, Google is only bringing it to the first generation of Nest Hub devices.
The first time we heard about Fuchsia OS was in 2016, when we learned it would be an open-source OS not based on Linux. Instead, it would use the Magenta kernel known to be used on IoT devices, but Google has since changed its name to Zircon. Meanwhile, we also had the chance to get an early glimpse at its UI and learned that it would run Android apps.
Fast-forward a few years, and we are about to witness its launch on the Google Nest Hub, a 7-inch tablet-like device from 2018 that uses Cast OS to control your smart home environment. Fuchsia OS update will replace the Nest Hub’s current software, but it won’t bring any visual updates or functionalities. If you own a first-gen Nest Hub, the experience should be fairly similar.
Petr Hosek, technical lead of the Fuchsia OS project, also came to Twitter announcing the launch of Google’s new OS and confirming that the deployment will start with the original Nest Hub.
You don’t ship a new operating system every day, but today is that day.
— Petr Hosek (@petrh) May 25, 2021
The update will be rolled out during the coming months, launching first for those in the Preview Program. If all goes well, we should see other Google devices receiving a Fuchsia OS update soon.
A few years ago, Google’s SVP Hiroshia Lockheimer said: “It’s not just phones and PCs. In the world of IoT, there are increasing number of devices that require operating systems and new runtimes and so on. I think there’s a lot of room for multiple operating systems with different strengths and specializations. Fuchsia is one of those things and so, stay tuned.”
It’s hard to believe that Fuchsia OS will ever replace Android, but it seems there’s a possibility to see the coexistence of both. If you’re interested in taking a look at an early demo of Fuchsia OS, you can do so by following this link.