Today, the Fuchsia operating system, the third main operating system from Google, is expanding its dominion. The Fuchsia deployment to the Google Nest Hub Max has been finished. That brings two of Google’s three smart displays, with the second-generation Nest Hub being the lone holdout, along with the original Nest Hub/Google Home Hub, up to the new OS. The Home Hub only received Fuchsia after it was withdrawn from sale, making the Nest Hub Max the first product presently sold by Google to run the operating system.
Flutter, a Google programming language made for portability, is used to create the user interface for Google’s smart displays and is compatible with a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Fuchsia, and the odd cast platform that Nest Hubs normally utilise. As a result, it is incorrect to refer to the user interface as “identical” following the OS switch because Flutter works with almost any OS and uses the same code. Though it does include a Bluetooth menu, you are receiving a somewhat updated version of the code. You can view the “Fuchsia Version” field, which will read something like “6.20211109.1.3166243,” in the settings by selecting “about device.”
It’s a little strange to move your entire operating system over to the mysterious, futuristic Fuchsia project and then essentially have nothing to show (or say) for it in terms of noticeable performance or security enhancements. Even while you may go into the Fuchsia source code’s nitty-gritty details, it’s still unclear what uses it actually serves for customers. Nobody really knows what Google is trying to achieve with Fuchsia because the company never discusses it.
A Suitable Location For Smart Screens
This OS change may have been necessitated in part. Due to the lack of a solid OS base for Google’s smart displays in the past, Fuchsia may be a means for these devices to join a robust Google platform. The initial Google Smart Displays were produced by third parties and ran Android Things, a simplified version of Android created specifically for IoT devices and smart displays. There is no longer an Android Things option for smart screens because it was discontinued in early 2021.
The peculiar choice to employ a Google Cast platform branch, an operating system designed for the Chromecast, was made by Google for its in-house smart displays. It was a major shift for something that was previously merely a video and slideshow receiver to build full touchscreen interactivity and a whole UI into the Cast OS, but Google stuck with that strategy. Instead of updating its own Cast OS, Google moved to Android TV when the real Chromecast line needed to go through a similarly drastic UI update (now called Google TV).
Will Google continue to support Cast OS? The Chromecast, the original hardware of the device, doesn’t seem to be interested in continuing to support it in the future. Even the cheapest Chromecast must run full Android TV and have a remote control if Google wants to compete with Roku. You can still cast media to an Android TV with just a single phone button click, and it now offers installable media applications and games in addition to all the simple advantages of a Chromecast. Smart speakers will be the only thing keeping Cast OS alive if the Chromecast abandons its eponymous operating system. It’s possible that Cast OS may completely disappear or that it will only exist as an embedded, zero-UI OS for smart speakers.
As one of the few operating systems that isn’t based on Linux, Fuchsia is unique. The project Fuchsia advertises itself as “a new open source operating system designed at Google from the kernel up to satisfy the demands of today’s expanding ecosystem of connected devices.” The kernel is called “Zircon.” Fuchsia initially said that it will eventually function on smart displays, speakers, laptops, and smartphones, but as was seen above, the OS roadmap at the fringes of Google is subject to rapid change. Though it’s difficult to envision any project displacing Chrome OS or Android, Google isn’t adverse to product overlap.