Google has put a lot of effort, resources, and money into building up and developing its mobile operating system Android, to the point where it’s the most popular smartphone OS in the world. While Google does build its own in-house devices, the credit for its massive success goes to the fact that dozens, if not hundreds, of mobile phone manufacturers around the world use the Android operating system to power their smartphones and tablets.
However, Android was developed at a time that was very different from today, and as such hasn’t always been able to keep up with the times and requirements of the current scenario. And in order to be able to cope with these changes, Google has been planning ahead. The California-based internet services giant has been quietly working on Project Fuchsia, the successor to the Android operating system, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The report suggests that Project Fuchsia is meant to tackle many of the shortcomings of Android, including the ability to push out security updates easily and more frequently. It will also work better with voice commands, a path Google has shown serious interest in taking, based on its heavy development of the Google Assistant AI-based voice command system. And importantly for Google, it will look much the same across different devices, giving manufacturers less ability to change the appearance of the operating system by slapping on their own user interfaces.
For the time being, there isn’t much about Project Fuchsia out in the public, apart from some of the open-source code that some app developers have been given access to. The new operating system is likely to be compatible with all kinds of devices, from smartphones and tablets to in-car entertainment systems, and smart speakers as well. And the new operating system is also highly likely to have some level of backward compatibility with Android (specifically when it comes to apps), so the switch isn’t quite as harsh when it does come.
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Moving away from Android effectively gives Google a chance to start over with its mobile operating system approach, while retaining the legacy of Android. The Bloomberg report suggests that this move could happen in the next five years. However, a full shift away from Android will take much longer than that. For now though, Project Fuchsia is believed to have the full backing of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and parent company Alphabet Inc.