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You can no longer see Google’s mysterious Android replacement in action

Fuchsia vs. Android

We’ve been talking about Fuchsia for a couple of years now, as various reports uncovered many details about Google’s mysterious operating system that will one day replace Android and Chrome on smartphones, tablets, computers, and more. Reports detailed Google’s plans for Fuchsia and we even got to see early concepts for the user interface of the upcoming operating system, including demo versions that could be booted on top of existing Android devices. However, that’s no longer the case. Google has removed access to Fuchsia’s UI as it develops at least three alternatives internally, and it’s now all happening behind closed doors.

The Fuchsia UI was codenamed Armadillo, 9to5Google reminds us, and Armadillo was available to anyone looking to test it out. Armadillo was a Flutter app that could be built on top of Android, allowing curious Android fans to explore Google’s concepts for the new platform. However, the Armadillo demos and examples have been removed with a code change titled “Armadillo fainted,” as spotted by Redditor alawami.

9to5Google says the removal of Armadillo has been months in the making. Soon after the first five minutes of Fuchsia UI on Pixelbook leaked, the Armadillo UI was replaced by Ermine, a developer shell that could only be used to test apps for Fuchsia.

The report notes that Google is testing three distinct Fuchsia UI versions in a closed source Google code repository. These are called Dugonglass, Dragonglass, and Flamingo, but that’s all we know about them for the time being. That’s because they can’t be previewed on any device at the moment.

Even if the Armadillo user interface is no longer available to tinkerers, we do know that Google is moving forward with Fuchsia development and these closed source UI projects seem to confirm that as well. Not to mention that Google a few weeks ago announced the final version of Flutter, the new cross-platform developer toolkit that can be used to code apps for Android and iPhone at the same time, as well as apps that will eventually run on the first Fuchsia-powered devices from day one.

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 closely follows the events in 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.