Google’s Fuchsia OS is an odd creature. We’ve seen it evolve publicly for the past couple of years into a Google-built preview-able operating system that could replace Android some day. Or maybe it won’t. It could also become an OS for smart devices, like smart speakers or displays. Or maybe it won’t. Most of the goal of Fuchsia is a mystery, but Bloomberg provided some additional information today that hints at where it might lead, which again, is either somewhere or nowhere.
According to Bloomberg sources, this is what we know about Fuchsia today:
- There are more than 100 Googlers working on it.
- Google’s design boss and shirt god, Matias Duarte, is involved with Fuchsia on a part-time basis.
- Some engineers want it to work on home devices, like smart speakers, within 3 years.
- The team behind it would love to see it on smartphones in about 5 years.
- They also hope that it’ll work on 3rd party devices in a way that Android does.
- Sundar Pichai and Hiroshi Lockheimer haven’t signed off on any roadmap for Fuchsia, because Android is way too damn big and important to the company.
- Internally, Google’s advertising folks hate Fuchsia because it wants to up the privacy of things like location and activity.
- Finally, a person who talked with Fuchsia staff said that it could really just be a “senior-engineer retention project.” In other words, it’s a long-shot project that may or may not go anywhere, but will let long-time minds at the company stay busy rather than leave for a competitor.
Honestly, I don’t know what to think of Fuchsia. As a from-the-ground-up Google-built OS, it seems like a heck of an undertaking. Of course, Google is the type of company to try something like this, but as far as it coming to a device soon, we’re so far away from that happening, that you have to wonder how much longer Google will keep talent on it. On the flip side, in 3-5 years, the smartphone industry could change completely and something like Fuchsia could be exactly what we need. Or maybe by then, Google will have found some uses for Fuchsia within Android. I don’t know.