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With Android on top of the world, Google is already working on a mysterious new OS

Published Aug 15th, 2016 10:34AM EDT
Google Fuchsia OS

Android is currently the most popular mobile operating system in the world by a massive margin. At Gartner’s last count, Google’s Android OS held 78.8% of the global market compared to 17.9% for Apple’s iOS platform. Meanwhile Net Marketshare measures usage to determine market share and it puts those figures a touch closer at 66.01% for Android and 27.84% for iOS as of July. In either case, Android’s lead is huge right now — but that doesn’t mean Google plans to sit still and hope that Android stays on top forever.

It has been revealed that Google is already working on a brand new operating system, though it’s currently unclear what the company intends to use it for.

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The new Google platform is currently in the very early stages of development. A GitHub page for the new “Fuchsia” operating system was discovered on Friday evening by Android blog Android Police, and details are scarce at best. The only description offered on the project page is “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System),” which obviously tells us nothing.

People have begun to dig into the code on the page though, and a few worthwhile details have indeed been uncovered. The most interesting note so far is news that Fuchsia is not based on the Linux Kernel. Why is that significant? Both Android and Chrome OS are based on Linux, which means Fuchsia is an entirely new beast.

The next important notes are the developers listed on Google’s Fuchsia page: Christopher Anderson and Brian Swetland. Both have historically dealt with embedded systems, as The Verge noted, which suggests that Fuchsia could end up being Google’s “Internet of Things” platform built to power next-generation smart devices.

But Google is apparently leaving the door open for plenty of other applications Fuchsia might have, including smartphones. Google’s documentation states that Fuchsia “targets modern phones and modern personal computers” in addition to less complex devices like smart home gadgets.

Is Fuchsia the future of Google’s mobile strategy? Will it replace Android? It’s far too early to say, but this is certainly a space we should all keep an eye on.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.