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Google’s secret Android replacement will run Android apps

Updated Jan 3rd, 2019 8:00AM EST
Fuchsia vs. Android

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Google is far from officially confirming that it’s working on a new operating system catered to all things smart, including mobile phones, tablets, computers, wearables, and other gadgets. But we’ve seen an increasing number of reports revealing that Fuchsia development is moving forward, as well as one important official move from Google that suggests the company is laying the groundwork that should make switching from Android to Fuchsia a breeze for users. A new report reveals a second move Google just made to ensure the transition from Fuchsia to Android will be as smooth as possible, and something we’ve been suspecting all along: Fuchsia will run Android apps.

Ever since the first reports detailing this mysterious operating system came out, we heard that Fuchsia would run Android apps out of the box. That’s what any kind of Android replacement should do, to make sure that Android users would be able to seamlessly switch to a Fuchsia device without worrying about losing access to their Android apps ecosystem. At the same time, we learned that Google would also offer developers a new coding kit that will make it easier to create apps for Fuchsia, Android, and iOS.

Google already released that toolkit back in February in beta version, with the first final version of Flutter arriving a few weeks ago. Several app developers are already using it to make Android and iOS apps, and these apps will be compatible with Fuchsia whenever Fuchsia launches.

Image source: 9to5Google

But it’s unreasonable to expect all developers out there to switch to Flutter and convert their Android apps in time for Fuchsia’s launch, which means Android apps should run on Fuchsia gadgets as they are right now. That’s exactly what will happen in the future, and 9to5Google dug up solid evidence that Fuchsia will support Android apps via Android Runtime (ART)

A new change in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) reveals that Fuchsia will use a special version of ART to run Android applications. This version will be compatible with any Fuchsia device, and installable just like an app.

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. What matters here is that the entire collection of Android apps available in Google Play will be compatible with any Fuchsia device. That means you shouldn’t have any issues switching to the first smartphones or tablets running Fuchsia out of the box, as you’ll be able to install all the apps you’ve been using on Android for years, including paid apps.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.