An exchange of tweets between the creator of Swift and engineers at Google indicate that the company will be using Apple’s programming language in its new operating system, Fuchsia. Google is using Swift for Fuchsia, but we still don’t know why.
The tweets were spotted first by The Verge, and give us a little bit of insight into what’s happening with the development of Google’s mysterious operating system. They came from Chris Lattner, the creator of Apple’s open-source programming language, who now just so happens to work at Google. Lattner addressed concerns over at GitHub that Google was “forking” Swift.
Swift at Google has enough folks working on it that we need a staging ground/integration point, and we decided it should be public. https://t.co/hyphe0KrU0
— Chris Lattner (@clattner_llvm) November 15, 2017
Shortly after, a developer named Zac Bowling, whose Twitter profile describes him as an “engineer on Fuchsia @Google,” responded to the tweet. The Verge mentions that Bowling was one of the developers who ported Objective-C over to Android years back. Bowling confirms that the use of Swift at Google has indeed been for the development of the new operating system.
And my team is adding support to Swift to target Fuchsia. https://t.co/ziGwc11yih
— Zac Bowling (@zbowling) November 16, 2017
Fuchsia is a new operating system that’s currently in development over at Google. It’s been reported on long enough that we know what it is and what it looks like — you can even test it out yourself. We still don’t have a clue, however, as to what Google plans to use it for. It could be meant to replace Android or Chrome OS … or to bring the two together. Who knows?
It should be noted that Google’s other alternate operative system, Andromeda, was canned altogether earlier this year. Reports indicated that Andromeda was meant to be a GUI that unified the worlds of mobile and desktop operating systems. As things go with Google, it’s no surprise to hear that Google has multiple, secret products in development at the same time — and cancels those projects long before they become official.
Swift is Apple’s proprietary programming language, made for the purpose of making apps for Apple’s various software platforms. Fuchsia is already compatible with Dart, C++, and Go — adding Swift into the mix just means that it will be that much easier for developers to bring apps written in those languages over to Fuchsia.
Google has remained silent about Fuchsia and what even the point of it is. All we know is that the longer Chrome OS and Android remain separated, the more they clash when Google forces them together in products like the Pixelbook.