Google Fuschia Might Be Able To Run Swift Apps


Google is reportedly developing a new operating system called Fuchsia, but it's not yet clear whether it'll replace Chrome OS, Android, both, or coexist with them.

Its purpose is pretty much obscure at this point, though speculation says it's meant to become a one-size-fits-all OS, meaning it's able to run on smartphones, tablets, or laptops and still offer much of the same experience and run the same apps.

Google Fuchsia And Swift

There was some controversy last week about Google "forking" Swift, Apple's programming language that was officially made open source in 2015. Ensuing speculation said Google was attempting to make its own flavor of the language, but thankfully, the language's creator, Chris Lattner, clarified the situation on Twitter.

"Swift at Google has enough folks working on it that we need a staging ground/integration point, and we decided it should be public," he wrote.

What that means is Google simply wanted its own copy of the code to make changes to and then contribute them to the official Swift repository. It wasn't making its own flavor of the language whatsoever.

One of those changes has now landed in the form of a pull request to the main repository, and that's Fuchsia support. That's right: Google is working on Fuchsia support for Apple's Swift programming language. They're working fast too. There's already a Swift app for Fuchsia, actually, one which outputs emoji and Chinese characters for "Hello World."

A ton of iOS apps were built using the Swift language. With Fuchsia able to support it, does that mean it'll run iOS apps? Well, not quite.

The fact is some iOS apps require access to proprietary parts of Apple, meaning they won't be able to run natively on Fuchsia. Even still, there's a potential future in which developers can create their core program logic via Swift and then create separate user interfaces for different platforms and port them easily. Essentially, this helps them create apps that are multi-platform without having to rewrite everything, just the user interface appropriate for the platform it's meant to run on.

Google Fuchsia Is Promising

Much about Fuchsia remains a mystery, but it's already looking highly promising. In addition to Swift, Fuchsia is also going to support apps written in Dart, a Google-developed language similar to C. This could make it a more attractive OS to develop for.

Again, it's not clear what the future holds for Fuchsia. Is it eventually going to replace Chrome OS or Android? Is it a successor? A contemporary? A third tier? It's hard to say, but it's undeniably becoming more and more interesting as time goes on.

What do you make of Swift support on Fuchsia? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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