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Google is using the Honor Play to test Fuchsia OS

Image via Huawei and Google Fuchsia OS (w/ edits)
Image via Huawei and Google Fuchsia OS (w/ edits)
A commit posted to Fuchsia's source code management hub last night showed that a Huawei engineer was able to boot the Fuchsia kernel (Zircon) on the Honor Play. This commit hints at many things, mainly that Fuchsia development is continuing strong and Google has partnered with Huawei to continue work on Fuchsia, perhaps to bring the OS to consumer smartphones.

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We’ve previously reported on Fuchsia OS, a new Google-bred operating system that aims to unify the company's growing world of “smart” devices. While we’ve only seen demonstrations of the OS on a few select Google devices, it looks like Google has partnered with Huawei to bring Fuchsia OS to the mobile world, starting with the Honor Play.

A new public commit by a Huawei engineer to Fuchsia’s Gerrit source code management last night showed that Huawei has been working on bringing Fuchsia support to Kirin 970-based devices, and the Honor Play has the honor of being first. The commit stated that the engineer successfully booted the Fuchsia kernel (Zircon) on the device, taking the first step in getting the entire OS running on the handset.

This first step is a big one for the open-source OS. First (and perhaps most importantly), this is the first time we’ve seen Fuchsia OS booting on a widely available Android device. It also shows Huawei has a commitment to the project and will likely continue to work on its development.

Keep in mind that the engineer only noted that they were able to boot Zircon on the Honor Play. There was no other mention of any other layer of the Fuchsia stack in the commit, so this test likely didn’t include running a full instance of Fuchsia. Still, the fact that Huawei is actively pursuing Fuchsia development for a consumer-level smartphone shows a lot of promise for the future of the OS. If the Honor Play can successfully boot and run the entire Fuchsia stack, then it’s likely other handsets powered by the Kirin 970 could as well. That means many of Huawei’s most popular handsets may soon be able to boot Fuchsia, including the Mate 10, P20, P20 Pro, and Honor 10.

What this commit says about the future of Android is still unclear at this point. It’s very possible that Fuchsia could replace Android in the future, as Google seems to hope. It’s also possible that Fuchsia could become a third player in a market dominated by Android and iOS. Whether or not Fuchsia will be able to do what operating systems like Windows Phone, Tizen, and Ubuntu Touch couldn’t remains to be seen.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > Google is using the Honor Play to test Fuchsia OS
Sam Medley, 2018-11-23 (Update: 2018-11-23)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.