Google's mysterious Fuchsia OS is finally going public with a big Nest Hub update

Nest Hub Review 10
Nest Hub Review 10 (Image credit: Android Central)

Update, Aug 18 (2:45 p.m. ET): Update reportedly rolling out widely on first-gen Nest Hubs.

What you need to know

  • Google's Fuchsia OS is starting to rolling out to the first-gen Nest Hub.
  • The update does not introduce any functionality changes.
  • Google could eventually incorporate Fuchsia into other products such as laptops and smartphones.

Google's Fuchsia OS has finally started rolling out to a consumer device, nearly five years after it made its first appearance online. As per a report from 9to5Google, the operating system is now hitting the first-gen Nest Hub.

Surprisingly, the Fuchsia OS update brings no significant changes to the Nest Hub. Since Google uses Flutter to build its smart display experience, the user experience will remain same even though the underlying OS is changing from Linux-based Cast OS to Fuchsia OS. Google says the Fuchsia update for the Nest Hub will roll out to users over the coming months. Initially, however, it will be limited to users in the Preview Program.

Google describes Fuchsia as a "production-grade operating system that prioritizes security, updatability, and performance." Google's Android and Chrome chief Hiroshi Lockheimer had already confirmed in 2019 that the operating system isn't meant to replace any of the company's existing operating systems.

Aside from Google's best smart displays, the operating system was also tested internally on the Pixelbook in 2018. More recently, Google proposed a new solution that would allow Fuchsia OS to run Android and Linux apps. For now, though, it remains unclear if Google plans to update its other Cast OS devices to Fuchsia.

Update, Aug 18 (2:45 p.m. ET) ― More devices reportedly getting Fuchsia

It appears that the Fuchsia update is rolling out more widely to first-gen Nest Hub devices. 9to5Google confirmed that the update is coming to devices whether or not they're on the Preview Program.

As noted, there doesn't appear to be any noticeable changes to the devices, which may make one curious as to why Google is updating the nest to Fuchsia, although as noted by Android Central's Jerry Hildenbrand, it's partly about security and likely about greater control.

As noted by 9to5, devices on firmware version 1.52.260996 are running Fuchsia, and you can check for that in settings > about device. It's unclear at the moment if or when this update will also reach other devices like the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), but we've reached out to Google for additional details.

Nest Hub Second Gen

Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Google's second-gen Nest Hub may not be a huge upgrade over its predecessor, but it does come with better speakers and a Soli sensor for the Sleep Sensing feature. It also comes with a vibrant 7-inch screen that can automatically adjust its color temperature — thanks to an ambient EQ sensor.

Babu Mohan
News Writer