Google is releasing Fuchsia for the Nest Hub Max

Roughly a year after launching on the original Nest Hub, Google is making the Fuchsia operating system available for the Nest Hub Max.

For over five years now, Google has been quietly toiling away on Fuchsia, an operating system intended to replace and/or compete with Linux. While many Google fans were hoping that Fuchsia’s launch would be a splashy one, like that of Android in 2008, the real launch was nearly as quiet as the development itself.

Just weeks after Google I/O 2021, the company officially shipped Fuchsia to owners of the first-gen Nest Hub, but it was done in such a way as to disguise (to most people) that anything had happened at all. Google later published an official guide for enthusiasts to know whether their smart display had gotten the Fuchsia update.

Considering how much was changing and how many things could go wrong in such an upgrade — with no path to downgrade if anything did go wrong — this was an incredible accomplishment, despite its smaller bugs. ace one Googler put it at the time, successfully pulling off that update was “like replacing the drivetrain on a car while barreling down the highway with the family inside listening to the radio.”

Google has confirmed to us that, as of today, Fuchsia is now becoming available for 2019’s Nest Hub Max, beginning with a small rollout to some of those enrolled in the Preview Program. Just as last year’s Fuchsia launch changed little for the original Nest Hub, Google says this latest update will not include any meaningful changes to the Nest Hub Max’s feature set, but we’ll need to get hands-on with it to be sure.

By comparison, this upgrade is likely a bit more difficult to pull off than even last year’s, as the Nest Hub Max additionally serves as a Nest camera in your home. Given that potential role in your home’s security, the Fuchsia upgrade will need to be nearly flawless. Despite that, Google has told us that we can expect Fuchsia to have a faster rollout for Nest Hub Max owners than was seen last year.

Seeing Google put in the effort to update a second device speaks to Fuchsia’s future, taking over as the operating system on devices that would otherwise normally run on Cast OS. Presumably, 2021’s Nest Hub (2nd Gen) could be next in line to get updated to Fuchsia, while the future for Google’s many smart speakers and Chromecast dongles remains unknown.

Over the years though, Google has shown far grander plans and ambitions for the future of Fuchsia beyond the smart home.

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