Recent work on Google’s in-development operating system Fuchsia has confirmed the OS will support Android apps.
While this isn’t much of a surprise, it’s good to see confirmation of support.
The confirmation came via a ‘README’ file added to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) via a code change on the Android Gerrit.
Previously, we wrote about two Fuchsia repositories that Google had added to AOSP. The first, “platform/prebuilts/fuchsia_sdk” now contains a pre-built copy of the Fuchsia SDK. Developers can use the SDK to make Fuchsia apps.
The second, “device/google/fuchsia” contains the README file which explains what the repository is for.
According to the ‘README,’ Fuchsia will use a specially designed version of the Android Runtime (ART) to run Android apps. Further, this ART version can be installed on any Fuchsia device use a ‘.far’ file — Fuchsia’s version of the Android APK file.
Unfortunately, the README doesn’t explain how Fuchsia will use ART from there. It could run in a Linux virtual machine, or it could merely replace Linux kernel calls with equivalents from Fuchsia’s Zircon kernel.
Also of note, the README says the ART file on Fuchsia will support both x86 and ARM architectures. In other words, it should work with both mobile and desktop CPUs. This adds further credence to the idea that Fuchsia will run on multiple form factors.
Overall, this development means Fuchsia devices will run Android apps. It’s an excellent addition for Google, which allows the search giant to leverage the popularity of Android and the wealth of Android apps that already exist.
That should help ease new users into Fuchsia. Further, it means Fuchsia could potentially dodge one of the biggest obstacles for new operating systems — lack of app support.