from an unknown project to an OS for Samsung and Google smartphones
The Android mobile operating system has dominated the smartphone market for several years now. Timid attempts by other manufacturers to make a difference, such as Samsung’s Tizen OS, have had little impact on the industry. It may well be that soon Fuchsia OS will compete with Android. True, this is also an operating system from Google, so the company may eventually take a few more percent of the market from other operating systems.
Now, by the way, Android owns 70.74% of the market, while iOS takes 28.53%. Well, what has Fuchsia OS to do with it? A few days ago, several experts familiar with the internal cuisine of the South Korean corporation Samsung announced that this company is starting the development of Fuchsia OS. A number of media outlets have made loud statements about this, like “Samsung will switch from Android to Fuchsia OS,” but, of course, it’s too early to talk about it. But there is no smoke without fire. Let’s take a look at the history of this operating system and see what’s going on with Samsung.
The beginning of the story
For the first time, news about the new operating system from Google appeared in 2016. Then information about a new development of Google corporation, which seems to be a semblance of an operating system, began to leak into the network. In the first news on this topic, links were given to a new repository with
After third party developers parsed the contents of the repo, it turned out that the new development is based on (L) ittle (K) ernel and Magenta. LK is a small OS built for embedded small devices. The LK kernel is between 15 and 20KB in size, the sources are available here. It is open source software and is licensed under the MIT license. Magenta is used in modern smartphones and personal computers with advanced configurations, equipped with gigabytes of memory and modern processors.
It was also clear that the interface of the new operating system is based on Flutter, and the main programming language is Dart.
Well, the purpose of the project remained unclear – as far as one could understand, the system was purely experimental, the developers at that time did not have a clear goal. Or she was unknown.
A week later, a new operating system compiled and studied third party developers. It was built on a PC with a 64-bit version of Ubuntu. Launched with qemu, a free and open source hardware emulation program for various platforms. This program allows you to emulate Intel x86 processors and I / O devices.
After assembly and launch, it turned out that the system makes it possible to display text phrases, which already meant ensuring the work of the interpreter and the execution of the script.
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Taking it to a higher level and licensing
Over the course of four years, the project has developed little by little. At the same time, the development was open, Google did not hide anything from the community. The project repository was open, so that anyone could get acquainted with the progress of the project. Moreover, the company after some time launched public mailings for discussing projects with a full list of accepted and rejected proposals and current projects.
Then the company
about changing the licensing model of the new operating system.
The Google team began to accept commits to the repository – the corporation developed a special instruction that made it possible to join the team. The commits began to be evaluated with the help of a specially created governing board. It then included a small group of senior technical executives at Google.
They began to coordinate the actions of third-party developers with the overall concept of the project. The council also proposed a roadmap for the project, and tracked all movements in terms of its development. The developers also got access to a bug tracker so that they could watch the actions of their colleagues. In particular, developers could track information about the types of errors that occurred, statuses, priority, author, etc.
All this active work was not in vain – in the spring of 2021 Fuchsia OS was officially presented. It was installed on Google Nest hhub devices – they got an over-the-air update.
The functionality of the devices has remained the same, the interface has also practically not changed, despite the fact that the operating system itself has changed and not its version. But then it became clear that the OS was completely ready for work. Individual users began to put experiments on installing Fuchsia on smartphones.
Okay, so what about Samsung?
Two sources immediately reported that the corporation is starting to work with this operating system. These sources are Ice Universe and analyst Dohyun Kim. According to experts, the corporation is actively exploring the capabilities of the new operating system and is considering it as a full or partial alternative to Android on its devices.
In general, Fuchsia is suitable for both phones and other devices, including smartwatches or even TVs. It is as versatile as the Android OS, and is distributed under a much softer license than Android.
At the same time, Samsung developers are part of the Fuchsia project team – the corporation has repeatedly offered its commits, which were eventually approved. And the news itself that the company drew attention to the new operating system did not appear suddenly – they started talking about it back in the spring.
Samsung has added quite a lot of work to the project, including snippets for F2FS. This is a file system developed by Samsung and used in the company’s new smartphones.
According to insiders, Samsung will begin to gradually transition from one operating system to another. If there are no problems with such a migration, then the transition may end up being complete. But, of course, it is difficult to predict anything at this stage, so we are waiting for the development of events.
But if a company of this size does indeed switch to a new operating system, it could be the beginning of a “redistribution of spheres of influence” of operating systems. Initially, very few people believed in Android, but in the end, from an almost home project, this OS became the dominant player in the market. By the way, Google recently announced that it was going to install Fuchsia OS on smartphones of the Pixel line. So it looks like Fuchsia OS is just getting started.