Story 2015-11-05 SMM1 Google plans to merge Chrome OS and Android

Google plans to merge Chrome OS and Android

in google on (#SMM1)
Chromebooks have been wildly popular on Amazon. But what will happen to them if Google merges Chrome OS and Android? Rumors have been circulating for quite some time that Google would someday combine Chrome OS and Android, and now it looks like that might happen sooner than anybody expected. A new report indicates that the merge of the two mobile operating systems may happen by 2017.

This move make a great deal of sense. Android and Chrome OS are Linux-based operating systems, which support apps in different ways but share the same foundation. Android forms its own distribution family, while Chrome OS is based on Gentoo Linux.

Both have their own strengths they could bring to a merged smartphone, tablet, and desktop operating system. Android, which runs on more than a billion devices, is the single most popular end-user operating system, with more than 1.6 million apps. Chrome OS has shown that Web-based apps are sufficient enough for many desktop users. In addition, Android is plagued with multiple versions that are very difficult to upgrade.

It makes sense now to explore with mobile devices becoming the primary device. There are opportunities to provide an open platform for both mobile and desktop. This is already happening. Examples of this direction include Chromecast running on a version of Android and the new Pixel C Android tablet.

The actual release date is still over a year in the future. The combined "Android Chrome OS" won't ship until 2017.
Reply 3 comments

Android on phone not in pc (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-11-05 21:30 (#SQ5Y)

Except for the lack of a root account by default (my! device! Fugoogle!) I quite like android as an OS. On a laptop? No. Too many ui issued which are easily forgiven on a phone, this year.

'Bout Time (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-11-07 19:35 (#SWZ2)

The first response of every techie exposed to the two is "hey, why don't they just combine..."

This has been too long coming. The best explanation I've heard for the ongoing split is a very Microsoft-like siloed set of development teams for the two pseudo-OSes...

Chrome is fairly sucky though, really, both as a browser and as a pretend OS. Getting Android more functional with a desktop/keyboard multi window environment would be the way to go in my opinion.

Bob (Score: 1)

by on 2015-11-10 03:42 (#T3HT)

Why do I feel that this is the equivalent of Microsoft, mid-90s, deciding to merge Bob and Windows? In my mind there is little inertia behind Chrome OS, but a freight train with Android. Why bother? Why not just add extensions to Android to allow the display/window manager (or whatever they call it) to have the parts of an OS that keyboard-ists want? Off the top of my head adding a "start" menu, full libreoffice suite, control of things like firewall, etc. and easy root access would be all they need. Apps will adapt to the world of supporting keyboard/keyboard and touch/touch, or dwindle in obscurity behind those that do.