26 December 2019

TechCrunch: “Facebook is building an operating system so it can ditch Android”

By moving to its own OS, Facebook could have more freedom to bake social interaction — and hopefully privacy — deeper into its devices. It could also prevent a disagreement between Google and Facebook from derailing the roadmaps of its gadgets. Facebook tells TechCrunch the focus of this work is on what’s needed for AR glasses. It’s exploring all the options right now, including potentially partnering with other companies or building a custom OS specifically for augmented reality.

One added bonus of moving to a Facebook-owned operating system? It could make it tougher to force Facebook to spin out some of its acquisitions, especially if Facebook goes with Instagram branding for its future augmented reality glasses.

Josh Constine

Hmm, hasn’t Facebook already tried something similar with the Facebook Phone, back in 2013, and failed miserably? At least this time they are framing the project as an OS for AR devices, not for mobile, where the market is thoroughly saturated. Even so, this feels like a long-term plan with slim chances of success – no matter what other people may think, I don’t expect AR/VR to become mainstream in the next five to ten years. But it could be a tactic to attract and retain engineering talent in the company by giving them a challenging task to work on, now that the public sentiment on Facebook is not favorable, to say the least.

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