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Top 3 ways Fuchsia can be a better operating system than Android

For the past couple of years, there's been some talk about Google working on a mysterious new operating system by the name of Fuchsia. Fuchsia's an all-new platform that will eventually replace Android as we know and love it today, and last week, a report came out claiming that Google will begin rolling out products with the OS in three years and then start using it as a replacement for Android in five.

Google's since come out and denied those claims, but even so, it's likely that we are just a few short years out before Fuchsia slowly comes into the public eye.

If and when that happens, here's what I'm looking forward to the most in regards to it being Google's mobile OS of choice instead of Android.

Improved synchronization + simpler navigation across devices

As it stands right now, Google has a multitude of operating systems scattered across various hardware form factors. Mobile phones are powered by the full-fledged version of Android, televisions get Android TV, cars get Android Auto, smartwatches run on Wear OS, and desktops, laptops, and now tablets showcase Chrome OS.

There are a few efforts to help bring some sort of continuity between these operating systems, but at the end of the day, they all still feel like their own separate thing.

Fuchsia might be able to solve one of Android's biggest letdowns.

With Fuchsia, Google wants to have one single OS power all sorts of gadgets — including smartphones, smartwatches, computers, connected speakers, smart appliances, and much more.

If one single platform can be easily optimized for all kinds of tech, that'd theoretically result in a similar user experience across all of them. In my eyes, one of the biggest draws to this is a streamlined UI from device to device. Chrome OS and Android can both run Android apps, but they work entirely separate from one another. With Fuchsia, we could have phones and computers that run the same apps and have an interface that's the same, yet adaptable, depending on what you're using.

On a similar note, I like to imagine this use of one OS would also allow for better synchronization across devices. If I open a tab in Chrome on my Fuchsia phone, my Fuchsia computer should let me open that same one without skipping a beat. If I copy text on my computer, I should be able to paste it on my tablet.

These are things that Apple already excels at with Continuity across iOS and macOS, and with Fuchsia, Google would finally be able to start competing in this field.

More streamlined app design

While talking about Fuchsia being one OS to rule them all, another area in which I could see this being useful is with app design.

Android apps on phones look and feel great, but when running them on a Chromebook or tablet, they can often feel stretched out and misplaced.

Assuming applications have that same adaptability across devices the way Fuchsia does, this would allow for better app design on a multitude of screen sizes. That means no more being forced to use Instagram in portrait mode on tablets and a Hulu app for your TV that's not a steaming pile of garbage (I'm looking at you, Android TV).

Deeper, more powerful voice control

In Bloomberg's report that surfaced, it's said that one of the big focuses for Fuchsia is deeper, more powerful voice control even compared to what we have today with the Google Assistant.

At the moment, Android, which was developed when phones were just beginning to use touchscreens, is also not built to handle the type of voice-enabled apps that Google sees as the future of computing. So Fuchsia is being developed with voice interaction at its core.

Google Assistant is already one of the most powerful voice control systems around, allowing you to easily and naturally ask for the weather, set alarms, make calls, and much more. Google has search-based questions and simple tasks under its belt, but with Fuchsia, it sounds like voice will be taken a step further so that you can perform deeper, more complicated actions without having to touch anything.

It's unclear how far Google will go with this, but imagine being able to archive emails, log your water in Fitbit, compose tweets on Twitter, and more by just talking to your devices.

Tapping on apps and using our fingers to navigate is natural right now, but who knows what'll happen in 5-10 years. If Fuchsia goes according to plan, voice could easily become the go-to input method and change the mobile landscape as we know it.

What are you hoping to see?

With all that said, what are you hoping to see in Fuchsia? We're still quite a few years off before Google puts this in the public eye, but even so, it doesn't hurt to look ahead and dream about what could be.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

51 Comments
  • What about customization of phones?
  • This is Google we're talking about. It means they'll release it without any real plans to sunset Android OR ChromeOS, then they'll abandoned it almost as quickly as they declared it the next great thing.
  • Uhm, Google has been working on fuscia for years now. This isn't Hangouts, or something like that. Android and Chrome OS have both been out for two different reasons. Both thriving. I hope this can unify them and give Google more cohesion. It would be awesome.
  • And they didn't work on Hangouts for years too?
  • They did work on Hangouts. Messaging is less important than an OS. Wave, etc, all good efforts that led to something else, even if only portions if them survive. Yes Google tries out a lot of stuff. But OS's they seem to nail.
  • Are you that autistic that you didn't understand the joke in the original comment or it's relevance? Come on man.
  • Android will be a run time on Fuchsia. We can see they are working on it in the GitHub repo. Think more like Windows. How we had the DOS kernel and then over time replaced with the NT kernel. It will be the same approach. Flutter already runs well on Android and iOS. It is then the native UI on Fuchsia.
  • I made this same comment further down but yours is much more concise lol
  • Sounds like what MS tried to do with windows 10.
  • Still trying and doing, just not with Windows Mobile anymore. The same core OS runs on everything from a Raspberry Pi to a workstation to a server. The UI does vary depending on device, which is to be expected. Would you really want your game console UI to look like your laptop's display?
  • It's not like they tried and failed. Microsoft is still in the process of unifying Windows 10 so that it can more ably adopt to any form factor or input method. With things like CShell, Microsoft plans for Windows 10 to have a fully adaptible UI that you can witness changing intelligently from device to device, with a backend that can sync all of your data seamlessly. They're still a bit out from that goal, but every release brings Windows 10 closer to that goal. Microsoft is trying to do what Google is doing, but in the opposite direction.
  • whatever Google say so...n
  • Nav and sync wouldn't exactly be hard on existing platforms. You hardly need a new OS to do that. Chrome on a mac can see and open urls you have on an iphone. Apple is doing this now, and it has nothing to do with a unified OS (they have a more unified development ecosystem, for sure, though). More fluid app design might happen, but that'll be more of an education thing than something Fuchsia is doing. Most android apps aren't designed for bigger screens, even though Android UI has support for that kind of stuff. Google might put Fuchsia on phones, or they might not. See how it goes. I do think ditching a lot of the legacy/compatibility stuff could be interesting, but that's more of a technical thing and not a user level thing. Also, there's no way Google will try to put Fuchsia on phones and not allow Android apps to run on that platform, at least for the first few years, so on phones it'll be kind of a frankenphone situation. Other IOT contexts make a whole lot more sense, though, as an alternative to "Android Things".
  • Am I the only one that doesn't like talk to their phone? I feel like a moron when I do. I know people that literally sat everything to their phone. I don't know if they can't spell or can't type.
  • No you're not the only one, I can't stand talking to my phone, it's helpful if my hands are dirty or full but most of the time it is highly impractical to use. I cannot imagine a future with voice as the main input, I would see this as annoying to use or hear others attempt to use.
  • I agree, I don't like to use voice except in a few instances. When I am in a meeting at work I can't pick my phone and give a voice command but I can discretely type a reply via email or text.
  • One operating system to rule them all.
    Sounds kinda Lord of the rings like to me. and we all know how that worked out.
  • Let me break it to you - LOTR is a fantasy written by a technical illiterate.
  • When can android users (I'm a proud one) get messaging/text features that allow sharing of higher res pics and video? Seems lacking in respect for the te h we have today.
  • That's one of the reasons I still use Hangouts.
  • Anyone who reads this and believes it may be in for a rude awakening. There is this thing called Market Cannibalism. Here is the definition.
    In marketing strategy, cannibalization refers to a reduction in sales volume, sales revenue, or market share of one product as a result of the introduction of a new product by the same producer. Wikipedia Google simply wouldn't do this for Cannibalism reasons. I doubt they will call Fusia "Fuscia". My best guess... They will bring this to a test bed first and Beta the software. Then a public Beta. Then when all the bells and whistlers are actually strong enough to keep customers happy, they will call it Android XxX A company that doesn't invest in tech upgrades that is tech will fail... Blackberry A company that changes its main Brand completely... Fail. The media needs to just leave Fuscia alone for 2 -3 years. We will not know anything for sure until Google lets us know. Just give it a rest.
  • You defined market cannibalism but didn't dictate how it applies here. You're really only making an argument about branding.
  • If Google launched fuscia it would take away from Android. It's already hard enough for app makers to develop apps on Android, which is why most bug apps come out on Apple first. If Google made this mythical unified system for all it would directly impact developer interest which would hurt the existing Android market.
  • I assume Fuchsia whatever Google end up calling it, will great for security updates and every device that Fuchsia runs on will get updates from day 1 unlike the current situation with Android where Pixel owners are first with platform and security updates. Plus will Fuchsia be as flexible and customisable as Android is?
  • I just want to see the faces of developers that realize they need to recreate apps they have worked on for years...
  • Existing Android apps will be containerised in fuchsia, no need for developers to rewrite them.
  • Yet that is. Eventually they'll have to so that it can run native. Though up front they won't immediately need to.
  • Android apps are executed using the Android RunTime (ART), which is an implementation of a Process Virtual Machine. In other words, they will work exactly the same way on Fuchsia as they do currently on Android, no rewriting necessary.
  • « voice could easily become the go-to input method and change the mobile landscape as we know it » I really doubt it. What about noise? What about privacy?
  • So, will devices that are running Android be upgraded to Fuschia when it comes out?
  • Nope, and you knew better than to ask that...
  • Google today only uses one kernel across everything. That includes Android, ChromeOS, Chromecast, Google home, Google WiFi, their own network and all their servers. Google will replace with the Fuchsia kernel which is Zircon. This includes the host for their cloud machines. Google already has gnu/Linux running in a VM with Fuchsia. The Zircon kernel is a work of art. So many improvements. A big one is about 10k lines of code versus over 15 million for the Linux kernel. They will be able to keep Zircon in the L1 cache in processors. But the big advancement is using capaibilties based kernel will lower the kernel context switches significantly. Google has mapped the system services as a shared library into process address space and access is controlled through handles. So most system services do not require an interrupt and kernel context switch. This also will enable multiple cores to be better utilized as in core can call a system service and a different service.
  • Exactly this. Fuschia (Zircon Kernel) will be a from-scratch replacement for the Linux Kernel and will improve on all of the shortcomings that the Linux kernel (which was originally designed for when you could barely pick up a desktop computer to move it across a room) has. Google has shoehorned a bunch of modern features into the Linux Kernel for use in Android and ChromeOS but by making one from scratch they can alleviate all these issues. Also they've already transformed "Android" into an application platform that can run separately from the normal Android OS (how it's done on Chromebooks) so what will happen is that they can drop the Android platform on top of Fuschia and make it look and feel the exact same but improve all of the things about it.
  • Seems Google is out to copy Microsoft again after all the fandroids bashing but hey, one day they will realize that they too are as delusional as the sheeple/isheep. When Microsoft started it was that's just rubbish now it's the way to go as long as it's not Microsoft doing it.
  • QNX? Lol. It's difficult not to divide features amongst the different form factors that will be taking on the OS
  • I'm hoping that Google follows through and does a thorough job of finishing and perfecting before releasing. I hate what they did to chromebooks. Allowing some to get the playstore, promising it to others that never happened. Then not giving apps permission to read or write to SD cards.
  • Maybe they can make the new OS easy (as in direct from Google) to update and upgrade.
    More likely it'll be a mess just like Android is 😂
  • MORE LIKE IPHONE!
    MORE LIKE IPHONE!
    ONE WAY! ONE WAY!
  • Amongst other things, fix audio latency. This has been a joke on android from day one and it's no better 10 years down the line!
  • I still keep an old iPad 2 from 2011 because Android can't figure audio and there is no proper music making apps for Android because of the big latency issues. I remember my iPod 2 from 2008 could already run music making apps with no problems. Now 10 years later Android still can't
  • It will be great when it's done 5years from now. Alot can happen in 5years
  • Sounds like still playing catch up win microsoft. Would have been better if app developers embraced microsoft. Things would already be at a new level.
    anyway go android. Your the best......whoop whoop.(not)
  • I also say 3 easy steps:
    (1) Don't be Android
    (2) Make it usable without an Google Account
    (3) Don't be anything like Android.
  • There is a lot of Android hate in here? What's wrong with Android? I still despise Apple well anything and don't really want Google to go that route, but all I can do is not buy the phone. (since the chance of Google giving out free updates is hilarious) I can do things with my android I could never do with Apple, and it's not even jailbroken. Why would anyone want a non customizable phone, it's like saying a laptop is better than a desktop. No matter how much you like it taking it places, it's mechanically inferior in every way.
  • Speaking as an Android developer (with many years of experience) I can tell you that in terms of software quality Android is a guresome mess that I would not trust giving my library card code, also nowaday to develop a decent app is nearly impossible due to the fragmentation of their sdk which has become a tarball of workarounds tied together with scotch tape. I'm not an Apple fan and In terms of "mechanics" Apple devices are way inferior, everybody knows that, still somehow their software always runs way smoother than top level Android devices, do you know why? It's because, unlike Android, IOS is a decent OS, not a good one, but to beat Android decency is more than enough. The world has only to gain from the dismissal of Android, and I say this knowing that to me personally this means I will have to work hard learning a new system.
  • What I'm looking forward to is this, "Ok google call sexy wife"........."calling nathan". I'd love this to be more like this, "Ok google call sexy wife"........"calling sexy wife" Ah well I can only dream.
  • So...they are trying to be just like...Apple
  • What are you guys doing?!?! Google came out and disputed this rumor that Fushcia would replace Google. They said it is NOT replacing Android. Stop spreading rumors. Google has never said that.
  • This is not starting well.. Instead of focusing on useless bullshit that nobody cares of, like the synchronization or voice commands quality, google folks should just focus on resolving Android real issues, such as nowadays it has become impossible to develop a decent Android app because Android is a guresome embrassment of workarounds and code patchwork that you can't trust to behave the same on both a Galaxy S8 and an S8 plus, let's picture what happens if it should support thousands of different devices... oh wait, it was supposed to -_-'
    I am an Android developer since many years and people eventually call me an "expert", I always reply that I am not, because in a field where the 90% of the work consists in putting togheter stinky **** using scotch tape there are no such thing as "experts" in that field, you can at best become an expert in using scotch tape to tie **** together.
  • Fuchsia will use Flutter as the native app framework. Flutter is a react framework. So I think (though I don't know about the details), Fuchsia will be able to support thousands of different devices without using scotch tapes.
  • Amen Bro, that should be the only one thing they should be focused on, I hope too it will support support different devices flawlessly, but being familiar with the state of the art of google's sdks my hopes are low