The product pages for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro make absolutely no mention of Android, could hint at a Fuchsia OS future
Google has launched the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to a lot of fanfare. They feature the company’s first (semi-custom) processor called the Tensor, a new camera system, an all-new design, high-refresh rate displays and more. It also features Android 12, the latest iteration of Google’s popular operating system -- but you wouldn’t know it looking at the product pages for Google’s new Pixels, oddly enough.
Google runs through every major feature of its new Pixel phones on their product pages. However, the only time it points to the operating system, it doesn’t mention Android, and it doesn’t even use the term ‘operating system’. It talks about “software updates and new features dropping every few months”, though it doesn’t call the new Android 12 “Material You” theming system by name either. It just mentions “A new experience from Google that’s all about you”. Incredibly, Google doesn’t mention Android in the ‘Tech Specs’ section, but sticks to the hardware features only.
Contrast this with Apple’s product pages for both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models and not only is Apple happy to talk about iOS 15, but the pages also link to Apple’s detailed iOS 15 product page. It might be one thing for Google’s OEM’s to downplay Android and focus on the features of their respective devices, but even Samsung acknowledges that its devices are powered by Google’s Android operating system.
It is clearly a deliberate decision and not an inadvertent omission on Google’s part. Which begs the question, why? Google could be looking to further differentiate its Pixel line in future with a bespoke OS and it is positioning us for the change, indirectly. Google has been developing its new Fuchsia OS with more modern underpinnings and built on a custom micro kernel called Zircon, instead of Linux. It has already rolled it out as an update to first-generation Google Nest Hub and has plans to expand its footprint.
Another clue as to the possibility of Fuchsia making its way to Pixel phones in the future are three recent job listings published by Google last month (since deleted). The company is looking to bolster its Fuchsia development team with at least two new software engineers and an engineering manager. The software engineer's description says “now it’s time to expand to additional smart devices and other form factors”, which is certainly an interesting coincidence.
Whatever the actual reason, there can be no question that Google’s Pixel 6 product pages have been deliberately distanced from the Android 12 operating system that powers them. It’s certainly an intriguing decision, but seems to run contrary to the narrative of making a custom processor to create a better marriage between hardware and software.