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‘No Plans’ For Chrome OS Android Merger, Chromecast Passes One Million Sales Mark

VP for Android, Chrome and Google Apps

VP for Android, Chrome and Google Apps

There are no immediate plans to merge Chrome OS with Android Google’s Sundar Pichai has, once again, confirmed. 

As the Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome and Apps Pichai would be at the centre of any such unification effort. But in an on-stage interview at the SXSW conference in Austin, USA this week he reiterated the benefits Google find in keeping each platform largely independent of each other. 

Pichai explained that Google: “…view them as building blocks. By investing in both, we believe that over time we will be able to meet almost all use cases,” adding that the company  “…feel fortunate to have both.”

Pichai’s latest comments on the dilemma echo those made by Eric Schmidt back in early 2013, when it was said  that the plan was for each OS to remain separate ‘for a long time to come’.

The assumption that Android would seek unification with Google’s cloud-centric operating system has been a long-standing rumour, one many gave more credence when Pichai was promoted to a newly created role as the head of Android, Chrome and Apps.

In other SXSW news, it was revealed that sales of the Google Chromecast have now surpassed the one million mark, with Pichai assuring attendees that the HDMI dongle will launch in “more countries” in the coming weeks. The company also announced that an Android software development kit for wearable devices is to launch in the coming months — an area Google has, until now, not shown massive interest in.

  • moe

    a merger would fill the gap that both operating systems have.

    • I’m an anecdote, admittedly, but I don’t think my Chromebook has a single gap that Android would fill. I can’t even imagine what that would be. There are a few work-related things I still have to have a powerful desktop for, but Android wouldn’t fill those gaps. I have no idea if the reverse would be true, because I have an iPhone and I’m not familiar enough with Android.

      • Iiari

        There are some outstanding apps (Pocketcasts comes to mind) on the Android OS that I use every day for which I just can’t find high quality website or Chrome app equivalents. Plus, I’d love to be able to have my apps sync across platforms and devices.

      • SPM

        So install Chrome browser on Android, and you have what you want. Google is also going to allow packaged ChromeOS apps to run on Android devices. Putting Android on ChromeOS would cause ChromeOS to lose its advantages (security, low maintenance, centralised data, app, and user management), that result from stateless nature. Android’s disconnected use advantages and its ability to interface directly with hardware would be lost if Android had to go through standard HTML5 interfaces.

  • Sean Lumly

    A merger is a silly proposition. More than likely, Android and Chrome OS will share technologies (eg. PNaCl, Chrome, other APIs), and Google will course correct development of both OSs based on market response.

  • Good. I have no interest seeing Android merged in with Chrome OS. I like the simplicity, security, and design of my Chromebook’s operating system. I don’t want to muddle the waters as Microsoft has done. Also, I think the future lies more in the direction of Chrome than Android. I could be wrong, of course.

  • jm9843

    Synergy between platforms is the way to go, rather than a merging of the two.

    Give me a 12″ Android tablet with keyboard dock and the option to switch to a virtualized ChromeOS instance; wired together between their notification systems. And in addition to Apache Cordova, I’d like to see a web-based Android run-time that can coexist with the Dalvik VM and run mobile-optimized Chrome packaged apps for true “write-once, run anywhere” development.

    • Boothy

      Seconded :)

  • cheeto0

    I think he actually said millions? Wouldn’t that mean 2 million or more?

  • Wesley Files

    Android and Chrome OS on the same device could be an interesting product, but I’m glad it’s not something Google wants to push for.

    I’m smitten with the thought of seeing Chrome OS on a device I could fit in my pocket, then plug into a monitor for a “big screen” Chrome OS.

  • maevian

    I think that over time they will both be based on the same kernel, but this is a change under the hood that no user will notice. After all why would they keep suporting two seperate kernels? The android kernel is perfectly capable to act as a chrome os host

  • Dwala Farmer

    “Pichai’s latest comments on the dilemma echo those he made back in early 2013 when he stated that the plan was for each OS to remain separate ‘for a long time to come’.”

    Sundar Pichai never said that, it was Eric Schmidt. Here’s what Sundar really said last year:

    “We embrace both [Android and Chrome], and we are continuing to invest in both. So in the short run, nothing changes. The picture may look different a year or two from now…” May 2013

  • Guest

    “Pichai’s latest comments on the dilemma echo those he made back in early 2013 when he stated that the plan was for each OS to remain separate ‘for a long time to come’.”

    Sundar Pichai never said that, it was Eric Schmidt. Here’s what Sundar really said last year:

    “We embrace both [Android and Chrome], and we are continuing to invest in both. So in the short run, nothing changes. The picture may look different a year or two from now…”Sundar Pichai, May 2013

  • Joe

    How about some ODF support, its the main standard for Open Documents and yet Google just doesnt support it.

    • SPM

      Google Docs does support ODF.

  • Bram Schrijver

    No ODF support its the reason I do not use google docs its worthless.

  • moe

    I think a lot of people are interested in how this will turn out, i think that both Chrome and Android OS are complementing each other well right now however in the future they could complete one another as a whole and that’s what people are excited about.

    • Spring Snow

      They aren’t complementing each other in any way. Chrome OS is a puristic form of the Chrome platform, while Android is a traditional (albeit modern) operating system meant to compete against iOS/OS X, Windows, Ubuntu and the like.

      The two approaches are completely different; I believe that in Google’s ideal world, Chrome OS would be the leading operating system. Alas, such world is very hard to realize, due to competition and the growing needs users have and the web can’t yet fully realize. The next best thing? Bring Chrome OS’s core to all other platforms. This is what Chrome is; a virtual operating system that can exist in all sort of places. Android is one of those places.

      • Boothy

        I’m pretty sure Google consider ChromeOS to be a contender against the others in it’s own right.
        They are just for different devices. Chrome OS for desktops/laptops, Androind for phones and tablets (touch).

  • Smallwheels

    I’m not interested in Android, or any other mobile OS for phones. With more and more cloud services and apps coming on-line there won’t be a need for a merger. The people who run web based apps can have their services running on their servers. It will be the app creators who will create software so that all OSes can access their apps and use them. Such apps will be accessible from multiple machines through the front end with a password. You will then be able to share data between your phone and desktop machines.

    Such a situation will totally be up to the developers. If they see a market they want to access they will create portals for different OSes. Any developer who only wants to work with Microsux will be limiting his potential income.

  • MediaGod

    I was very much excited when I first heard rumors of Android merging with Chrome OS and I’m disappointed to say the least at the proposal being a non-starter according to Google Execs. I understand how many say it will be up to developers to create for Chrome OS because of cloud based services and such but I really hate waiting on apps and extensions for my Chromebook. What is worse is it is normally the case where whatever app is made is usually a duplicate and seldom the exact game or program and ends up being a Google Version. This is fine when it’s a tool for office solutions and so forth but as a game player, there is no such thing as a ‘generic’ or duplicate version to any game. You get to play with your friends or you do not and I’ve ran into this quite often. I cannot, for example, join my friends in a current Facebook game. It would be nice but it just isn’t going to happen any time soon. If the merge had taken place then I would be a happy camper at this very moment. I would be able to compete and see the progress of my friend as we played the game TOGETHER.

    It’s also unfortunate because it seems every time I find a new cool tool or application, I go and do a search for whatever I am looking for, it gives me a link to download X application and sure enough 99% of the time it has download options for Windows, iOS, Android but alas, I almost NEVER see any options for a Chrome OS option. What I had hoped would be an all in one solution has become an all in one pain in the butt.

    I really love Chrome OS and I love my Chromebook (with one hardware exception of memory issues). The one thing I keep hitting a brick wall on is the inability to really join the rest of the world or be in touch with the rest of the world in the same way I could with my Android phone which now I only use for games and other solutions. I do not even carry any kind of phone service. Just the phone and my Wi-Fi to do the things I cannot do with either Windows or Chrome or iOS or anything else unless I use an emulator which usually is so big, bulky and sucks up so much resources it can barely run anything else.

    So, these non-starter ideas of not merging with Android makes everyone a loser in my opinion. I would think whomever, or whichever OS DOES make the merger will watch the sales and usage of their operating system go thru the roof. It is a WIN/WIN hands down.

    Meanwhile, I await every new day in the hopes I will be able to do more with ONE machine which as of now I would prefer be my Chromebook, but as of now, I am on an Acer One 10 – Win 10 Surface, Toshiba WinVista Laptop, WinXP Desktop, Samsung Galaxy Prime something or another (my LG that kicked BUTT got it’s face cracked), Acer Chromebook, and this little POS Droid substitute till I get good battery for Galaxy or new Face for LG – this little substitute is horrible. Touch on it and it just wants to DIE from no memory. TOO MUCH TOO MUCH It’s all too much, for me to take, the OS choices are astounding.

    Final point – No android os merger is a loser choice. I want it and I know a ton of people who would love the option of booting to Android or having it integrated. Chrome OS seems to be the best way to use in such an open manner. All but for this Chrome OS is the future imho, with everything all in one place, all connected, a touch away from anywhere I want to be.

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