Code updates imply that Google is working hard to enable native Android apps to run on Fuchsia

Code updates imply that Google is working hard to enable native Android apps to run on Fuchsia

Tech Highlights:

  • We have already heard rumors that Google may have thought about migrating Android and Chrome devices, including its Pixel phones, to Fuchsia, and even Samsung is contributing to its development. A couple of reports have also indicated that future Samsung phones may run Fuchsia. Google had initially tried running Android using a virtual machine on Fuchsia devices, but that wasn’t necessarily the most efficient way. To create a more direct relationship, the company created a project called device/google/fuchsia in public Android code (AOSP) in 2019 that would create builds of the Android Runtime designed for devices running Fuchsia. Work on the project stopped in early 2021 and this week, all code for it was removed from Android.

  • According to 9to5Google, Google has withdrawn the code for their open source, Zircon-based operating system Fuchsia from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Fuchsia appears to have been in development since 2016; in 2019, the project was referred to as one of Google’s tests with novel operating system ideas. In May 2021, the first gadget to run Fuchsia was the original Nest Hub. Google reportedly wants software from other platforms, like Android and Linux, to run on devices running the Fuchsia operating system. This should eventually enable Fuchsia to take the place of existing operating systems.

That code has been replaced with a “TODO” message, which indicates that Google might be working on a replacement. The developer who made the change works on the Starnix project, which has been designed to enable Fuchsia to run apps and libraries that were originally built for Android or Linux natively. This is similar to how Apple M-series-powered Macs run Intel-based apps using the dynamic binary translator Rosetta 2.

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As we expand the universe of software we wish to run on Fuchsia, we are encountering software that we wish to run on Fuchsia that we do not have the ability to recompile. For example, Android applications contain native code modules that have been compiled for Linux. In order to run this software on Fuchsia, we need to be able to run binaries without modifying them. The Starnix team currently seems to be working on making Fuchsia compatible with Android and its applications. All of this seems to suggest that Google is actively working to bring Fuchsia to more devices.

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