TechSpecs Blog ponders:
I decided to dig through open source to examine the state of Google's upcoming Andromeda OS. For anyone unfamiliar, Andromeda seems to be the replacement for both Android and Chrome OS (cue endless debates over the semantics of that, and what it all entails). Fuchsia is the actual name of the operating system, while Magenta is the name of the kernel, or more correctly, the microkernel. Many of the architectural design decisions appear to have unsurprisingly been focused on creating a highly scalable platform.
It goes without saying that Google isn't trying to hide Fuchsia. People have clearly discovered that Google is replacing Android's Linux kernel. Still, I thought it would be interesting for people to get a better sense of what the OS actually is. This article is only intended to be an overview of the basics, as far as I can comment reasonably competently. (I certainly never took an operating systems class!)
To my naive eyes, rather than saying Chrome OS is being merged into Android, it looks more like Android and Chrome OS are both being merged into Fuchsia. It's worth noting that these operating systems had previously already begun to merge together to an extent, such as when the Android team worked with the Chrome OS team in order to bring Update Engine to Nougat, which introduced A/B updates to the platform.
Google is unsurprisingly bringing up Andromeda on a number of platforms, including the humble Intel NUC. ARM, x86, and MIPS bring-up is exactly what you would expect for an Android successor, and it also seems clear that this platform will run on Intel laptops.
Google will contribute changes to Apple's Swift programming language, and will support the language in the Fuchsia OS, a presumed replacement for Android, ChromeOS, etc. that is designed to work on all devices:
Fuchsia is Google's not-at-all-but-kind-of-secret operating system that's being developed in the open, but with almost zero official messaging about what it's for, or what it's built to replace. (Android? Chrome OS? Both? Neither?) The operating system's core is written in mostly C and C++, with Dart for the default "Flutter" UI, but other languages like Go, Rust, Python, and now Swift have also found a home in the project.
Of course, just because you'll be able to compile Swift to run on Fuchsia doesn't mean you'll be able to instantly port any iOS app to Google's new OS when or if it ships. While Apple has open sourced the Swift language itself, much of the iOS platform (like the UI stuff, for instance) is closed source, so code that relies on those closed Apple libraries won't be portable.
Also at Android Police.