Google’s long-awaited Fuchsia OS is starting to roll out quietly on its first consumer device, the first-generation Nest Hub, 9to5Google Reports. Google’s work on the Fukia OS first surfaced in 2016, and is notable for not being based on the Linux kernel, rather than using a microkernel called the open-source operating system Zircon.
“You don’t ship a new operating system every day, but today is the day,” tweeted a Google technical lead on the Fukia OS project, Petr Hoseok.
While the rollout on Nest Hub (which was originally released as the Google Home Hub before the name change) begins today, the entire release process will take several months.
You don’t ship a new operating system every day, but today is that day.
— Petr Hosek (@petrh) May 25, 2021
It will first come to users in the preview program, before gradually releasing more widely. We have known for some time that the operating system has been tested on the Nest Hub, and further evidence for a release earlier this month revealed a Bluetooth SIG listing showing the Nest Hub running Fukia 1.0.
Although the Nest Hub will swap its current Cast OF for the Fukia OS, 9to5Google notes that the experience is likely to be nearly identical, and most users are also unlikely to notice the switch.
All of this raises the question of what Fuchsia OS is really meant to achieve. Google calls it a “production-grade operating system that is secure, updateable, inclusive, and practical.”
We know that the OS could eventually power laptops and smartphones (Google was spotted testing it on Pixelbook in 2018, and recently proposed a solution for how it could run Android and Linux apps) , But Fukia does not mean a one-to-one replacement of Android or Chrome OS.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, head of Android and Chrome, secretly stated in 2019, “Fuchsia is about advancing the state of the art in terms of operating systems and the things we learn from Fuchsia that we can incorporate into other products .
Google’s smart display is unlikely to happen. The last device or even the form-factor to receive updates in Fuchsia OS. But the exact implications of the switch may take longer to emerge.