It is an open secret that Google has been working on a new operating system. Dubbed Fuchsia, the OS is built on a new Google built kernel called ‘Magenta’ rather than Linux, which Chrome OS and Android are built on.
Since it was uncovered in August 2016, Fuchsia has now come a long way. The new OS now has a proper user interface with a card based design. The UI is called ‘ Armadillo’ and is built using Google’s Flutter SDK, which is widely used to create code that can run on multiple operating systems like iOS, Android and now Fuchsia.
As it runs on the Flutter SDK, Armadillo can be complied and run on any Android device. Kyle Bradshaw over at Hotfix and the folks over at Ars Technica managed to compile the UI and as a result, we can take a look at Google’s new user interface.
Armadillo seems to be an OS for both smartphones and tablets built around a card-based system for managing applications. The UI includes some Google Now-esque suggestions and also allows for the cards to be dragged around and used in a split-screen format.
The home screen is basically just a vertically scrolling lost of cards – there’s a central card with a profile picture, date, city name and a battery icon. Above that exist the ‘Story’ cards which are nothing but a list of recently used applications. Below the central card exists a Google Now style list of suggestions.
According to Google documentation, ‘Magenta’ targets “modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation”.
What Fuchsia really is and what Google plans to do with the operating system is a complete mystery. Does Google plan to develop it as a proper Android alternative or does the company have some other niche use planned for the burgeoning OS? Time will only tell.
While it seems a bit unlikely, we might get to know more about Fuchsia during Google I/O which is just around the corner. Google is expected to reveal more details about the next version of Android – Android O at the event.
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