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Google’s Fuchsia OS is rolling out to all first-gen Nest Hub devices

Published Aug 18th, 2021 11:18PM EDT
Google Fuchsia
Image: Google

Google’s Fuchsia operating system is no longer just a poorly kept secret. The OS that might replace Android one day has been running on first-gen Nest Hub devices enrolled in the beta program for a few months. But Google is now quietly upgrading all Nest Hub devices to Fuchsia, which is terrific news. It means that the beta test provided great results for Google to move forward with the public rollout. But what’s even better is that the firmware upgrade is rolling out to all users without raising suspicion that anything had changed. That’s amazing news for the prospect of doing the very same thing with Android once it comes to that.

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Starting the Fuchsia rollout with a device like the Nest Hub made perfect sense. In May, Google rolled out the public beta release to those registered in the “Preview program.”

Google then expanded the program, culminating with last week’s final release. The company released a new firmware update for all first-gen Nest Hub devices, including the ones running Fuchsia in beta and the models still on the default CastOS.

Google confirmed to 9to5Google that last week’s update includes the upgrade to Fuchsia. That means all first-gen Nest Hub owners who update the firmware will get Fuchsia instead of UI.

Google’s seamless transition to Fuchsia

What’s remarkable about the upgrade is that end-users will never know that the underlying Linux-based Nest Hub OS got a significant change. Assuming they don’t keep up with the latest Fuchsia developments, they’ll have no idea that it’s Fuchsia running things. That’s because the user interface and overall experience will not change.

This seamless transition to Fuchsia is terrific news. Following the Nest Hub test, Google might upgrade all of its Nest devices to Fuchsia in the future. And it’ll probably happen without impacting the user experience.

But what’s exciting is that Google might implement a similarly seamless transition from Android to Fuchsia. The overall user experience would not see major changes. Apps will continue to work on top of Fuchsia just like they did on Android.

Come to think of it; Google might not even have to worry about replacing the Android OS name with something else. It’ll just be a different, better version of Android.

The plan for Fuchsia is to allow Google more control over Android updates while improving performance and security. Fuchsia might help Google fix the worst thing about Android — fragmentation. After more than a decade of Android, Google still relies on vendors and carriers to approve Android updates. With Fuchsia, Google might be able to match Apple when it comes to releasing timely software updates. That’s what rumors have claimed, at least.

Until that happens, first-gen Nest Hub owners should check out this Google support page for more Fuchsia update details.

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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 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.