Nation & World

Google working on a successor to Android

The goal is for one system for all its in-house gadgets

Bloomberg

A sign marks Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Bloomberg A sign marks Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

For more than two years, a small group of engineers within Google has been working on software that they hope eventually will replace Android, the world’s dominant mobile operating system.

As the team grows, it will have to overcome some fierce internal debate about how the software will work.

The project, known as Fuchsia, was created from scratch to overcome the limitations of Android as more personal devices and other gadgets come online.

It’s being designed to better accommodate voice interactions and frequent security updates and to look the same across a range of devices — from laptops to tiny internet-connected sensors.

Here’s what’s already known about Fuchsia: Alphabet Inc.’s Google started quietly posting code online in 2016, and the company has let outside app developers tinker with bits of the open-source code.

Google also has begun to experiment with applications for the system, such as interactive screen displays and voice commands for YouTube.

But members of the Fuchsia team have discussed creating a single operating system capable of running all the company’s in-house gadgets, like Pixel phones and smart speakers, as well as third-party devices that now rely on Android and another system called Chrome OS, according to people familiar with the conversations.

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According to one of the people, engineers have said they want to embed Fuchsia on connected home devices, such as voice-controlled speakers, within three years, then move on to larger machines such as laptops.

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