Google has provided a further peak at its third operating system, dubbed Fuchsia, for reasons best known to the company. The operating system could end up replacing Android or, it is speculated, will be used to unite Android and Chrome OS - or just used for embedded applications.
Fuchsia ditches Linux, however, which means that Google wouldn't be obliged to make it available as open source to third parties, like it has to with Linux-based Android.
Fuchsia OS first emerged, albeit barely, last August. It runs an in-house developed microkernel that Google calls 'Magenta', which the company describes as targeting "modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation".
Kyle Bradshaw at HotFix.net claims to given us our first look at the new OS in action, along with its 'Armadillo' UI, which has been compiled using Google's Flutter SDK, a project that produces cross-platform code that runs on Android and iOS.
It's an early build so it's all a bit shonky right now, but this early look confirms that Google is building Fuchsia OS from scratch, complete with a new stripped-back, card-based design.
Bradshaw shows the whole thing off on video (below), which reveals that cards can be shuffled around for use in a split-screen, or tabbed interface for easy multitasking. According to Ars Technica, the OS can handle three apps at once with a 33/33/33 split, or even four apps at 75/25/75/25.
While clearly inspired by Material Design, navigation on Fuchsia OS is a far cry from Android too, with the Armadillo UI presenting itself as a vertical scrolling list, taking you from your profile, to recent apps, to Google Assistant.
Tapping the centre profile picture will fire up a menu similar to Android's Quick Settings, showing battery, connectivity options, screen brightness and so on. There's a new keyboard, too, which has a new dark theme, but it doesn't really work properly right now.
If you fancy giving it a spin, it's possible to download the source and compile Fuchsia's System UI into an Android APK and install it on an Android device, Ars notes.
It's still unclear when Fuchsia will be ready for prime time, or whether Google is planning to launch it as a future Android replacement. It's unlikely we'll know more any time soon, either.
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