Google’s long-awaited Fuchsia OS is debuting with its first consumer device, the first generation Nest Hub.
And the update rolls out starting today for owners of the first generation Nest Hub, which was first released in 2018.
This update won’t change any of the Nest Hub’s functionality, but the smart display runs Fuchsia OS instead of the Linux-based Cast OS it was using before.
Google’s work on Fuchsia OS first appeared in 2016, and the open source operating system was notable because it does not depend on the Linux kernel, and instead uses a small kernel called Zircon.
Petr Hosek, a technical officer at Google, said at Tweet About Fuchsia OS Project: You don’t introduce a new OS every day, but today we’re announcing Fuchsia OS.
While the operating system for Nest Hub devices (originally released as Google Home Hub before it was renamed) begins rolling out today, the entire release process takes several months.
The operating system reaches users in the preview program first, before slowly launching it on a larger scale.
Reports had indicated Google testing the operating system via the Nest Hub, and earlier this month more evidence of the release emerged thanks to a Bluetooth SIG listing that showed the Nest Hub is running Fuchsia 1.0.
Although Nest Hub devices are replacing the existing Cast OS with Fuchsia OS, the experience is likely nearly identical, and most users are unlikely to notice the switch.
It appears that Google is moving cautiously with this offering, and it could take months, because switching operating systems is not a simple update.
Today’s release marks Google’s biggest public move towards Fuchsia OS being an operating system that the average person can use.
Research giant Fuchsia describes OS as a secure, scalable, comprehensive, and realistic production-level operating system.
The operating system may run on laptops and smartphones (the company tested it via Pixelbook in 2018, and recently proposed a solution for how to run Android and Linux apps), but Fuchsia OS is not intended to be a single alternative to either Android or Chrome OS.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, president of Android and Chrome OS, said in 2019: Fuchsia OS is about pushing the latest technology in regards to operating systems, and the things we learn from Fuchsia OS can be integrated into other products.
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