Google has two operating systems intended for mobile devices (and more), Android, which we know and love, and Fuchsia, Google’s OS of the future. These two have just gotten further connected with the incorporation of the official Fuchsia SDK and a Fuchsia “device” into Android’s AOSP code.
In a new commit posted today to Android’s Gerrit source code management, two Fuchsia-related repos have been added to the primary “manifest” for the Android Open Source Project. For the unfamiliar, this manifest is used to inform Google’s download tool “Repo” of what should be included when you download AOSP.
There are a few different versions of this manifest available, including one that downloads only what you need to build and work on the Android Emulator. The version of the manifest that was altered is the “default” manifest, used in a typical AOSP download. This means that everyone who downloads AOSP, going forward, will download these two Fuchsia related repos.
The two “Fuchsia” repos in question are currently empty in AOSP, meaning we can only guess their purposes by their names.
The first, “platform/prebuilts/fuchsia_sdk“, clearly indicates the official software development kit (or SDK) used by Google for developing Fuchsia software. We’ll be diving into the purpose of the Fuchsia SDK very soon, so stay tuned for that.
Update 2:45PM: This repo will soon contain a huge amount of Fuchsia code, according to another commit posted today.
Also note, the Fuchsia SDK is distinctly different from Google’s Flutter SDK, which is currently used internally to create many Fuchsia applications, but is not yet ready for members of the public to build Fuchsia apps.
The second repo, and the one I personally find most interesting, is “device/google/fuchsia“. This implies some sort of “device” being created by Google, that runs on Fuchsia, but also needs to be managed by Android’s codebase.
One possibility comes from knowing that Android code also has “devices” like “device/generic/goldfish” created for the sole purpose of running in the Android Emulator. Just last week, we discovered that Fuchsia support is coming to Google’s Android Emulator, included with Android Studio.
My personal belief is that this Fuchsia “device” will be used as the baseline for developers to build Fuchsia applications with the now-included Fuchsia SDK and run them in the Android Emulator that they likely already have downloaded.
It’s impossible to say for sure at this stage, but it seems highly likely to me that Fuchsia app development will be accessible directly from Android Studio, thanks to its inclusion in AOSP. And at the rate that these changes have been coming from Google, we may very well see Fuchsia be legitimized in the coming months.