"Proof"

Since writing my last piece, some Googlers reached out and said my assessment was largely correct. The Andromeda part specifically (what the name entails) was fairly inaccurate, though, so I will try to rectify that.

Based on code like this, it looks like Andromeda might be tied to free-form window mode for laptops/2-in-1s and possibly tablets. Thus, as I wrote in my initial article, Andromeda + Fuchsia might launch initially only as a laptop platform. I think the app “chrome” will probably look like Android (because they will be Android or eventually Flutter apps), but with floating windows and elements of or even an overall UI similar to Chrome OS. Supported inputs would be mouse or trackpad and keyboard, and possibly touch. Not wildly different from Chrome OS today, in other words. This may also explain the “Chrome OS will merge into Android” claim originally made by the Wall Street Journal. The underlying OS will still be Fuchsia, though.

For those wondering about ARC, it was kind of a failed experiment. It sort of worked, but didn’t prove to really be a workable solution. I really don’t want to get into this any further here. And as stated before, NaCl looks dead.

Instead, I think for all Fuchsia devices, the Android API and runtime will continue to function as before, except now the underlying OS will be Fuchsia, and the kernel will be Magenta, not Linux. And then there would also be Mojo, Flutter, etc. at least starting on Andromeda devices. It’s hard to imagine pushing both the Mojo and Android APIs forever, though. Android will likely gradually have to fade away (over many, many years).

Back to the more important point: yes, Fuchsia will be Google’s new OS underpinning all its consumer devices eventually. I think both a “Pixel 3” laptop (or whatever this hypothetical product would be called) and the Pixel 2 smartphone will probably run on Fuchsia, but I make zero promises as to anything shipping at any particular point in time, because I have no idea. Still, that is my suspicion based on public commits.

And again, if Google doesn’t break compatibility with the Linux user space, yes, it really can swap out the Android kernel (Linux) for Magenta/Fuchsia, and leave the Android API in its place. Standards like POSIX do exist, after all. Here is some code pointing to exactly that.

 

And here as well is some “proof” about Fuchsia replacing Linux (in extremely deliberate scare quotes):

Pink + Purple == Fuchsia. “Pink” is a reference to Apple’s Taligent operating system (which ran legacy Mac OS apps on top of a microkernel). “Purple” is Project Purple, the original iPhone project.

 

Sure sounds like Fuchsia will run Android apps on smartphones to me! (Yes, engineers working on ambitious special projects love to make witty references, and I think these Apple-related ones are really classy and ace.) Andromeda also happens to be a type of Fuchsia plant, which may be a coincidence. I remember the Purple reference from last year, but didn’t know what Pink referred to at the time. And I never thought to connect these references to Fuchsia running Android apps on a phone. Major kudos to Zargh for connecting the dots! (Click the links for his explanation of the references in greater detail, but I don't really want to draw even more attention to the engineers for the sake of their privacy.)

And as someone on Hacker News once again commented: “ANDROid + chROME + DArt = ANDROMEDA?”

Lastly, I will again note efforts such as A/B (seamless) updates that Google added in Nougat, which may help out with the Fuchsia transition. Crazier things have happened. Samsung once migrated Galaxy Gear owners from Android to Tizen, for one.