Fuchsia and Android

Today, Fuchsia has made a surprising first entrance into Android’s source code. While not necessarily important for anyone now (outside of Google), this might be a helpful hint for us continue piecing together what the future of both operating systems might look like.

Update: As of June 8th, we’ve discovered a second commit that connects the Android Runtime directly to the Zircon kernel’s memory management code. This may imply a more direct connection between the two OSes going forward.

Discovered by forkbomb444 and given to XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, the proposed change seems to introduce support for the Zircon kernel, (the foundational layer of Fuchsia and Google’s alternative to Linux), to the Android Runtime.

This should sound familiar to our readers, as we discussed last weekend on Fuchsia Friday, the possibility of the Android Runtime coming to Fuchsia. The core idea is that Fuchsia might benefit from some kind of Android app support if and when it transitions to being a more forefront project for Google, ideally without having to recreate every Android app developers have ever made.

I had proposed last week that this could be theoretically be done by running a slim Linux virtual machine built with just the Android Runtime. What today’s change may indicate instead is that Google may port the Android Runtime to work directly on Fuchsia via the Zircon kernel.

This is of course not a confirmation that Fuchsia will have Android app support, but a source has told us that the change is intended to “allow for porting of currently existing applications for testing on some internal devices.”

Details of what this will mean and how it will work are yet to be seen, but rest assured that we are remaining vigilant for any signs of Android apps actually running in Fuchsia. In the meantime, you can get your fill of information on the new OS every week in our Fuchsia Friday series.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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