After years of development, Google‘s Fuchsia OS is finally making its debut on real devices. Earlier this month, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) had certified the first-generation Google Nest Hub with Fuchsia 1.0. The company has now confirmed that the 2018 smart display is receiving a new software update that changes its underlying operating system to Fuchsia. The Google Nest Hub (originally Google Home Hub) had launched with Linux-based Cast OS.
This update will not change any functionality of the device. Perhaps everything will remain as it is, except the underlying OS. Since the Nest Hub experience is built with Flutter, the overall user experience should remain the same as well. Flutter, which is an open-source UI software development kit, allows seamless cross-platform development for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Fuchsia, and the web.
Fuchsia OS is now powering Google’s original Nest Hub
It’s unclear whether Google plans to seed Fuchsia OS to other Cast-powered devices anytime soon. Perhaps, since switching the operating system is not a simple update, the company is moving very cautiously with this rollout. Users in the Preview Program will reportedly receive this update first, with a broader availability following over the coming months. Most of the users likely won’t even notice that they have been switched over to Fuchsia OS though, as the interface and experience won’t change noticeably.
Anyways, this is Google’s first major step towards making Fuchsia OS available publicly. The company has been long working on this platform from scratch. This open-source platform is based on the Zircon kernel (formerly Magenta) and is capable of running on universal devices including car dash infotainment systems, IoT (internet of things) devices, smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Back in 2019, Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer had suggested that the smart home may be the starting point for Fuchsia. The company has now done exactly that, replacing the Cast OS on its original smart display with the new platform. It could eventually come over to other Made by Google devices as well, or perhaps devices from other OEMs too.
In December last year, Google opened the doors for all developers to contribute to the Fuchsia project. Samsung recently chipped in with some contributions. The Korean company provided codes related to its Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS). It is an alternative system for managing the files on a storage device. Samsung and Google both already use F2FS in some of their recent smartphones. It now remains to be seen where Fuchsia OS goes from here on.