It may not have been that noticeable, but Google is weening us off Android and preparing the way for Fuchsia OS. A unified operating system, which Google says is the true future of the company and will eventually completely replace the Android.
It is a given fact that Android has been the making of Google. Since its introduction a decade ago the system has found itself on millions of devices. Whatever phone you hold in your hand, chances are it has some Google apps or services installed.
But in recent times Google has been renaming certain core Android services without the ubiquitous Android brand name. For instance, when Google launched the Pixel 3 recently the word Android was never mentioned during the entire live presentation.
Likewise, the Google Home Hub is the first significant hardware to use this new foundation and commentators believe that eventually both Android and Chrome OS will be subsumed by Fuchsia.
In the meantime, Chrome continues to have a life. During its live presentation Google made a great play on Chrome as a viable alternative to the Mac OS and Windows. But it was noticeable the yawning absence of Android.
One reason given by those commentators is the perception of Android as a cheap alternative to Apple. While Apple played on its exclusivity and the desirability of owning an iPhone, Android was considered a workhorse.
Google’s licensing strategy meant that any hardware manufacturer could exploit it, and as a result has appeared on some cheap and nasty devices. But if Android had taken the Apple marketing route it is highly unlikely it would have been as successful as it has been.
As a result, Google is in no position to threaten Apple at the high-end products. In fact, only Samsung are in any position to do so. Efforts by Google to break into the high-end sector have been well received such as with the Nexus line of phones. But Google’s insistence you could only buy it through them backfired on sales.
So, Google, it seems has decided the Android brand name has become anachronistic and has moved towards the friendlier brand name of Pixel or indeed Fuchsia. One thing is certain that sometime in the future Android will have become a nostalgic name associated with one of the most productive and successful periods in Google’s history.