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Google’s Fuscia OS Now Has a User Interface

Google's latest operating system shed some of its mystery this week with the revelation that intrepid programmers can get a glimpse of the open-source user interface by running it as an Android app.

The new OS, codenamed "Fuscia" and in development since at least August 2016, now has a partially built user interface available for download on Github, ExtremeTech reports.

To get it up and running, however, you'll need to compile it as an Android APK and install it on a phone or emulator, a great weekend project for someone with the required set of skills, but not something casual Android enthusiasts will probably take on.

Fuscia's user interface is code-named Armadillo, and if you do manage to get it up and running, you'll notice several similarities between it and Google's two main existing OSes (Chrome and Android), according to Ars Technica. The home screen, which scrolls vertically to display its content, includes a profile picture in the center with the date, a city name, and a battery icon. Tapping on the picture will bring up an Android-style quick settings menu.

Armadillo's main departure from Android is the home screen scrolling feature. Instead of recently used apps, you'll see "story cards" that can include apps and other "modules" grouped around common themes, Ars reports.

Armadillo is still in its infancy, and many of its features are mere placeholders that don't actually do anything in the Android APK. Google's plans for the OS are unclear, although it can reportedly run on 32- and 64-bit ARM CPUs, as well as 64-bit Intel CPUs. That versatility means it could one day be integrated into everything from car dashboard displays to desktop PCs.

Meanwhile, for some context into what Fuscia's developers are thinking without actually having to compile the software into an app yourself, it's worth perusing the readme file, also available on Github. You'll even find a rudimentary hand-drawn Armadillo logo, which almost certainly will not show up in the finished product.

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