Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Google's New Fuchsia OS to Support Android Apps

Sherri Watson | 03 January, 2019, 21:30

What reportedly started off as an arguably ambitious Android-replacing experiment may have gradually evolved into an even bolder bid to merge and take over from every single software platform powering Google-made devices, including Chrome OS and the unnamed operating system of the company's smart speakers and smart displays.

While this isn't much of a surprise, it's good to see confirmation of support.

By giving Fuchsia the ability to access Android apps, people might be less resistant to switching to the new platform when the time comes.

Google's Fuchsia OS has been long rumoured and not a secret anymore. The first, "platform/prebuilts/fuchsia_sdk" now contains a pre-built copy of the Fuchsia SDK. That transition would be really hard for Google, though, and considering that the company is aiming to let Fuchsia run Android applications via ART, well, it is possible that it will launch as a separate entity, and stay in that form, though that would basically mean that Google has three operating system in the market, Android, Chrome OS, and Fuchsia, all of which are capable of running on a wide range of devices. This change has a file that has now helped to explain what the "device/google/fuchsia" repository is intended for.

As reported by 9to5Google, citing a change to the Android Gerrit, Fuchsia will use a specially designed version of the Android Runtime (as indicated by "ART" in the image below) to run Android apps.

The report notes that it's unclear how Fuchsia will use ART once it's installed on a device, but that's not something device users will have to worry about. "They will produce a fuchsia package (.far file)", the entry says. This adds further credence to the idea that Fuchsia will run on multiple form factors. It's an excellent addition for Google, which allows the search giant to leverage the popularity of Android and the wealth of Android apps that already exist.