Google's mysterious Fuchsia OS gets Apple Swift language support

And Google allays concerns that it is forking Apple's popular Swift programming language.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

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Google has given its mystery operating system Fuchsia an update to support Apple's Swift programming language.

Swift has quickly become one of hottest languages among developers. Google last week caused a stir after it forked Swift, causing speculation that Google wanted to take the language in a different direction.

Swift is an open-source programming language created by Apple for writing iOS, macOS, and tvOS and watchOS apps. Its source code is hosted on GitHub at apple/swift but a few days ago was forked by Google at google/swift.

But Chris Lattner, who created Swift at Apple and now works at Google, told Business Insider that fears over Google forking Swift are a "misunderstanding" stemming from GitHub's terminology. In GitHub's parlance, forking and copying mean the same thing.

Lattner said on Twitter that the Google's Swift clone was just a "staging ground" and "integration point" that it felt was necessary because so many people at Google are contributing to Swift.


Google's addition of Swift support does little to clarify what its plans are for Fuchsia.

Image: Github

One of the things Google is contributing to Swift is adding support to target its Fuchsia OS. Besides macOS and iOS, Swift can be used to target Linux, so Fuchsia adds one more option.

Unfortunately, this development does little to clarify what Google's plans are for Fuchsia. It has been developing Fuchia OS in the open but has yet to explain what it's for, leading some to speculate it could be a replacement for Android, or even be used to combine Chrome OS with Android.

However Google's move on Swift adds support for one more language for Fuchsia OS. As Android Police notes, Fuchia already supports apps written in Google's Dart and Go languages as well as C/C++.


Chris Lattner, who created Swift at Apple and now works at Google, says the Google's Swift clone is just a "staging ground".

Image: Chris Lattner‏/Twitter

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