Is Google Killing Android?

The next-generation Fuchsia OS is steadily on its way to becoming the operating system for all form factors, from phones to full computers.

Google confirmed yesterday that Android apps will be able to run directly on its next-generation operating system, Fuchsia. It appears that the company is preparing to abandon Android entirely in favor of a new, more efficient operating system that can run on any device.

Several factors are pointing in that direction. First and foremost, the source code published on GitHub indicates that Google intends to deploy Fuchsia everywhere, from embedded systems (such as Internet-of-Things devices and cars) to full personal computers, and, of course, tablets and smartphones.

In contrast to the current Linux-based Android and Chrome OS, Fuchsia, like Windows and OS X, is built on top of an in-house developed microkernel called Zircon. Furthermore, its development kit makes it simple to distribute apps across multiple devices.

According to Ars Technica, the second hint about Fuchsia’s fate as an Android replacement is that its graphical engine, codenamed Escher, has specific volumetric rendering code that will specifically help the Material Design UI.

The third factor is, of course, the announcement that the OS will be capable of running Android apps without issue. This gives Fuchsia immediate access to a full, mature app catalog. This complements Google’s efforts to ensure that Android app user interfaces automatically adapt to multiple form factors, ranging from smartphones to foldable devices to tablets to laptops.

Android apps, according to Andrii Kulian, an engineer at Google’s Android Frameworks, will be able to run on three types of devices: phones (including foldable ones), desktop PCs (in free-form windowing mode), and embedded systems (like cars).

Finally, Google is actively avoiding mentioning Android to the general public. The word “Android” was not mentioned once during the Pixel 3 launch event.

That is almost certainly a deliberate move, and it is clear that Google is preparing audiences to forget about Android branding. If the company succeeds, Fuchsia could become Google’s final operating system, replacing both Android and Chrome OS.

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