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Chrome OS Will Be Merged Into Android

android chrome apk maker iconChrome OS will be pining for the fjords* in due course according to the Wall Street Journal.

And by ‘will be’ we of course mean Google has been working on merging Android and Chrome OS for “roughly two years” and plans to have a unified operating system by 2017. You won’t have to wait quite as long to see what they’ve been up to. The Wall Street Journal also reports that we’ll be seeing their progress some time next year.

This isn’t exactly earth-shattering news given Google CEO Sundar Pichai headed up both Android and Chrome development way back in 2013, saying as recently as last year that convergence of the platforms would happen “organically“. Perhaps even more telling in hindsight was Hiroshi Lockheimer putting on both Android and Chrome OS hats last October.

But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom until 2017. After all, the thing that started it all – the Chrome browser – is going strong and a new Chromecast was just released. A world of Androidbooks and Android Pixels isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if, as Ars Technica points out, we see big gains on the other side like a robust update mechanism for Android.

Whether the ease, simplicity and user experience of Chrome OS survives the process remains to be seen. Let’s hope it’s truly the best of both worlds.

*Update: A Google spokesperson and Hiroshi Lockheimer have chimed in that Chrome OS is not being “killed” as such and that Google remains “committed to Chrome OS”, but we’ll have to wait to see if we only have Chrome OS seeing out its last few product cycles or spinning up even more beyond 2017.

  • GerardMcEvoy

    I hope they get this right. I love ChromeOS as it is. Just bought a new i3 chrome box and Toshiba Chromebook 2.

    ChromeOS running android apps would be ideal for me. Android on a desktop environment doesn’t fill me full of confidence.

  • Chrome OS to me means a lightweight, “nothing-but-the-web,” fast, and simple OS. While Android has gotten “less complicated,” it’s noway near the Chrome OS level. I hope this doesn’t happen—or at least will be sad when it does. =

    • normcf

      And ChromeOS is highly secure. I worry that android will introduce security holes. Having Android apps run inside a sandbox on ChromeOS was good enough, but bringing ChromeOS into Android will be difficult to secure.

      • liamdools

        Yep. RIP the idea of a fast, secure, and light desktop oriented OS. Let the insecure, bloated, tablet OS run on all the Chromebooks!

    • Deckard_Cain

      Fast and simple don’t go with the web.
      If you want to use spreadsheets or word editors that extra layer makes Chromebooks slower than dedicated software.

  • S Blevins

    So I guess the big question is if the merge means that the current Chrome OS devices will be updated to whatever Chrome/Android hybrid. I like using my Chromebook with Crouton and using it as a dev machine. I am sort of saddened to hear this.

    • If you already have an OS other than Chrome OS, I think you’re good.

  • Every year Wall Street journal says this same thing.

  • I’m cautiously optimistic. The main question now, I think, is if current Chromebooks will be updated with the new OS, since they haven’t reached their EOL dates…

    • It seems they won’t. They will keep being “just chromebooks”, receiving updates for 5 years, but for Chrome OS, and new Chromebook won’t be released after, in my opinion.

  • S Blevins

    WE’RE SAFE! Check The Verge update.

    • Update 7:40PM: We’ve updated the article’s headline to be more accurate. A Google spokesperson has confirmed to The Verge that both Chrome OS and Android will continue to exist; Chrome OS is not being “killed.”

  • person

    ” A Google spokesperson has confirmed to The Verge that both Chrome OS and Android will continue to exist; Chrome OS is not being ‘killed.'”

    • There’s also the little matter of the 5 year warrantee on software updates, so they’ve promised to support the platform through two Moore’s Law epochs.

      • “Don’t be evil” lasted just exactly as long as they could be bothered with it. Google doesn’t stick to anything, it kills everything eventually.

        • MrTrunky

          Go to sleep

  • James A Parr

    Is it a coincidence then I’m seeing a lot of info about Mozzila and Firefox lately..?
    I used it when it 1st started for a couple of years.

    • Yes, coincidence.

    • Darrell Latham

      If you used Firefox & Moz when it first “started” it was about 13 years ago, aka 09-23-2002

      • James A Parr

        Exactly…I was doing everything I could to help Windows ME work. hahaha

        • liamdools

          What would a browser do to help an operating system?

          • James A Parr

            I had no idea what I was doing then…my 1st real experience with computers was Windows ME and Internet Explorer.

  • Ondřej Page Bárta

    When I saw the headline my thoughts were that maybe it’ll be the Windows 10 way where you can connect your phone to big screen. On Android it can be like you connect your Android phone to big screen where you can use ChromeOS-like Android and on mobile it’ll be like normal Android. I would love this version! But I’m not really sure what to expect.

    • Biky Alex

      That’s why we have Ubuntu.

      • MAS Googler

        And nobody uses Ubuntu

        • Biky Alex

          Guess what: the author of almost all OMGChrome articles uses Ubuntu. Along with 25 million other “nobodies”.

          • MAS Googler

            25 million is Nobody. That is a slim slim slim, nearly nothing market in computing

          • Biky Alex

            That’s only the consumers, take into account servers and soon all the IOT (though most of the time I find IOT kind of stupid – except for routers and security stuff) and network infrastructure (especially future 5G towers – many telecom providers and ISP are working with Canonical for that – and Canonical has demonstrated at MWC2016 how easy it is to deploy 5G on many towers at once in only 20 minutes). I’ll let you think how many “nobodies” use Ubuntu again (directly or indirectly). I’m not counting the phones, because the phones are a niche market for Ubuntu.

          • MAS Googler

            This wasn’t a discussion about servers. This is about consumer OS. 25 million is Nobody. Especially when people rely on specific programs that have superior & reliable support by dedicated teams

  • Cristian Otegui

    Digan adiós a las Chromebooks

  • moe

    Exciting to see how this turns out, both operating systems are great at what they do, combining both could mean better tablet sales for the new os and also laptop sales as well. How this will affect this Android mobile will be interesting, i expect it to be like Ubuntu where you plug the phone into a monitor and you get a full os.

    • Morten Ulv

      I guess we’ll see if the Windows Phones that will do this will be any success. I predict no, but perhaps they will do something clever to make it appealing.

  • Samuel Horne

    What will this become, ‘OMG! Android!’ ?

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Then we will need OMG iOS and OMG Windows as well :p

    • Morten Ulv

      According to the WSJ article, the new laptop OS will get a new name. A good move I think, to dispel the idea that its “only a browser”. Also, new product, new hype. There is a lot of potential in this movie, but I think it will be difficult to do right. It will be exiting to see how they will solve it.

  • Mi Pen

    I do hope this still means my Chromebook C710 will get the combined Chrome OS/Android upgrade when it finally comes.

    • liamdools

      Knowing what Google’s been doing lately, you’ll probably be left behind and they’ll only give it to post-2014 CB users.

      • Mi Pen

        Well it would give me an excuse to buy an Asus Chromebook Flip I suppose.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    I’m wondering what will this mean for the current and future Chromebooks still planned to be released this year

    Will their support be simply dropped? Will they migrate to the new OS (performing a powerwash and reformatting the internal storage in the process)? Or will they still be receiving Chrome updates but nothing else in the system (design, apps, functionality) will be touched by Google?

    • ChrisGX

      If this turns out to be more than a rumour, I expect that whatever coding reorganisation may occur and whatever way Google has found to efficiently converge the two systems users will experience almost no inconveniences at all. Everything that works now will continue to do so. Android, in particular, will just continue to evolve. ChromeOS, if that is what it still gets called, may be able to run unmodified Android apps and the look and feel will be closer to a material design desktop, perhaps. All, this has been technically possible for some time. The problem has been how to converge things in an efficient way, how to make sure that whatever gets converged remains great for users (from highly efficient small footprint client platform for phone users to something that can meet the needs of demanding power users) and how you can deliver such a converged system without ending up in a more complicated legal minefield than Android is already in. Of course, it is good news if Google is ready to confidently take another step towards covergence.

    • Michael Huff

      They’d be smart not to drop support for them if that’s the case, but I don’t think it will be.

  • Singkawang

    Seeing the source is Wall Street Journal, and not tech site, I think there might be something missing in translation.

    I think maybe ChromeOS will be able to run android apps natively, and ChromeOS will become a FULL OS, not just glorified browser OS anymore. Therefore, they mention, it will have new name.

    • liamdools

      I honestly miss Chrome OS back when it was just a huge browser window. Sure, it was different, but it encouraged (or at least tried to encourage) developers into making better, more useful webapps that could replace heavy desktop software and run on lesser hardware such as the CR-48’s Atom processor. The tab bar is the new taskbar, the Apps NTP was your new desktop, and they were going to implement smaller windows that docked to the bottom right and could pull up little webapps so you could, say, read an article with Spotify playing in the corner. Once the traditional desktop and Android apps were thrown into the mix, I feel like it has become less trying to make the web replace the desktop and more primarily using tablet apps with some limited webapps that people won’t bother making good because you have Android apps as a fallback. Seriously, go look at some old User Interface mockups on the Chromium Projects site, it’s all pretty exciting to think about even now.

      • Biky Alex

        Devices are becoming stronger and why would we make 8 core mobile CPU if we don’t take advantage of it. By using servers to make the heavy duty workload be done on the web, those mobile advancements become useless.

        I want to take my “desktop” in my pocket, not just some PDA that can access the web (client) and can’t do anything without some strong servers on the other side of the web (host).

        • liamdools

          Who said anything about servers? All you’d need is an advanced enough webapp that could replace a desktop app.

          • Biky Alex

            I thought you were referring to webapps as those apps that are computed in a server and streamed to a device (like Gefore Now). But usually those webapps have less features than websites themselves, unfortunately.

            Well… sorry for my misunderstanding.

          • liamdools

            Wait, why? Webapps are just websites with offline capabilities.

          • Biky Alex

            Not always. On some platforms (Windows for example), webapps have less options than a webpage. Yes, normally, they should be full fledged websites that you can access offline and edit settings. But most of the times (probably because of lazy programmers) this doesn’t happen. Some examples are Facebook, Twitter and OMGUbuntu RSS from Windows Store.

        • liamdools

          Why have an 8 core mobile CPU if you’re just going to spend it on a heavy desktop environment? Wouldn’t you want to give that power to what matters, the webapps?

          • Biky Alex

            If you have seen or heard about Ubuntu and Convergence plan, you can understand easier. But I’ll try to explain the best I can. Webapps are fine for some things, but sometimes we need native apps that can be processed faster (intensive 3D games, for example, aren’t good as webapps). The mobile phone is becoming the personal computer. It won’t replace the desktop as we see it (a phone can’t become a workstation), but it will replace the desktop and laptop for basic things like surfing the web and doing spreadsheets and word processing + in a few years, probably as a portable game console.

            The raw power in mobile is needed to advance more at the same or less power draw especially for these things to happen and many other things to be invented.

            In my initial comment, I thought you were making a reference to Cloud Computing (and I thought you want a world where everything is processed in some huge cloud servers and then streamed to some low-powered devices, that can’t do any serious workloads, to be shown on their screens). That would be a huge drawback to our world.

  • No ? Nooo? NOOOOOOOO!
    This can’t be true !

    Chrome OS is amazing, I don’t want an mobile operating system like Android on a powerful Chromebook or Chromebase.

    Maybe all this fuzz sounds great in the ears for individual users of Chrome OS and Google Finances but the education sector is praised by Chrome OS, Chrome OS and Cloudready machines are helping schools and colleges to ensure they can provide cheap but powerful laptops and PC’s for their students and their teachers.

    I think Android needs to get merged into Chrome OS but not Chrome OS into Android.
    If they would just wipe the chrome web store and change it for the Google Play Store they will have their Chromebooks running again.
    App Developers won’t focus on Chrome OS as of right now since their market value is minimal, Chrome OS and Android needs get universal, not more.

    Chrome OS for the win !
    Be patience and subscribe to the awesome beta and dev channels of Chrome OS and you will be happy with all the amazing upcoming Chrome OS updates.
    Chrome OS is not dying, they first need to get livin !

    • Singkawang

      As I think this whole story were a story that lost in translation (from wall street / non-teechie site), I don’t think we’re not to worry about it.

      I think ChromeOS gonna get the ability to run android runtime (apk), and WSJ non-teechie dude that don’t know anything about android/ChromeOS write something wrong.

      • Michael Huff

        I second that. It won’t be a train wreck. It’d be fun to play some of the Android games on a Chromebook with some stability.

      • Biky Alex

        Working on 2 projects at once is costly (even if they have infinite $ cheat codes), so they will combine Android and ChromeOS and make a new OS (I’ll refer to it as Chromdroid) to cut costs. If Android gets a way to make updates like normal OS, that would be great. Also, some security fixes are also welcome. The bad part is that Chromdroid will inherit the lagness of Android (because of Java Virtual Machine – Google isn’t that stupid to make so many apps go to waste).

        Google said they are unsure if current Chromebooks will receive Chromdroid, or keep updating ChromeOS. But I’m wondering more what will happen with Android phones. Will they receive updates to Chromdroid too? Or will they be discontinued and only new Chromdroid phones will be updated? Android users are used to not receiving updates, unlike ChromeOS users, so who knows. Maybe Nexus users in development mode will be able to receive some beta upgrade to Chromdroid.

        Eh, I don’t really care since I hate Android and I don’t care about ChromeOS. I’ll switch to Ubuntu Touch when BQ launches the convergent phone (if it doesn’t have 4G I’ll have to wait even more for anybody to launch an Ubuntu phone with 4G).

        • MAS Googler

          And you were wrong.
          You have separate costs because each OS is targeting a different market and use case

          • Biky Alex

            Both operating systems are under (Alphabet’s) Google’s umbrella. And their objective as a company is to grow. Not only they cost more, because they are 2 separate entities, but even with Google’s “unlimited” cash, they could harvest the manpower to work on one OS only, thus testing and fixing bugs being done faster for Chromedroid.

            Look at Android x86 – they combined with Remix OS and now it’s Android running on ChromeOS skin on x86 machines. And Android Marshmallow has support for mutiwindow mode. So we might see a time when Android replaces ChromeOS. ChromeOS apps can run inside Chrome browser (most of the times – if not all the times, though don’t quote me on my second assumption). So I could see ChromeOS apps running inside a Chrome browser on an Android laptop. It’s about when, not if.

          • MAS Googler

            It is about “if”. They are completely different use cases. There is more cost to having your OS lose, than it is to maintain 2 OS’s.

            Ability to do something doesn’t mean it’s the optimal solution.

            The cost of maintaining 2 OS’s is negligible. Their use cases arent

    • liamdools

      You know what? I’m sick of what Google’s been doing. If I have the time, I’m forking 2011 Chrome OS and making my own OS that focuses on web apps and improving web apps. Switching to Android apps just leaves a totally good concept of having lightweight, full desktop replacement apps in the cold.

  • Mo Djavanroodi

    As another comment already pointed out the source for this article is the Wall Street Journal.

    ChromeOS and Android are both based on the Linux Kernel, meaning that Google is effectively maintaining two separate Linux distributions internally. What I think is likely to happen is that wherever possible the two are going to be aligned so that Chrome OS and Android share the same code base, with different UIs.

    I bet from an end user’s point of view there’s hardly going to be a noticeable difference, and all the differences are going to be “behind the scenes”.

    The upshot of this is going to be massively reduced maintenance costs for Google (since there’s going to be a single engineering team dealing with both ChromeOS and Android) and probably a greater numbver number of Android apps available on ChromeOS.

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a variety phones that can be connected to a dock and a keyboard and mouse to provide some kind of ChromeOS a-like experience (a-la Microsoft Continuum on the Lumia 950/950XL or Ubuntu Phone’s convergence model). If this is what Google’s aiming for personally I believe ChromeOS is in a far better position to handle this than either Microsoft Windows or Ubuntu.

    • Singkawang

      I think, as of yesteryear, ChromeOS is android without the ‘java/apk’ layer. The real story here is (according to my guess), is ChromeOS will be able to run android runtime, but google still figuring it out on detail to NOT turning this into another Windows/MacOS/Linux clone*.
      *because google want ChromeOS to be lean thin client, who were easy to manage.

      • Michael Huff

        They could effectively combine them into one with complimentary sets of run times. Since they’re both running on top of Linux, why not?

        • Singkawang

          Well, they could kind of “combine” it, but there has to be something different. Otherwise, it would be one product. LOL

          Second,
          Because the usage of the device is different. For example, I’m very comfortable sharing my Chromebook with my friend, co-worker, even stranger, since I know they can’t access my personal file. But I’m not comfortable sharing my tablet or phone with stranger or with someone that I don’t want them to see my personal photo collection without me near the device.

          • ANdroid actually supports multiple users, tap on your user pic in Android and select Guest (or another user if you have one setup).

          • Singkawang

            Yes, I know that. I set up my parents tablet (Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 ed) for 2 user, so my mom can have seperate profile/data (photo/email).

        • Bubba Jones

          FYI, it is complementary, not complimentary.

          • Michael Huff

            Well, whoop-dee-doo.

          • Bubba Jones

            Truly, I understand your “whoop-dee-doo”, you may not have known there is a difference between them, nor their meanings and usage. There are many words in the English language where one letter changes the meaning thus usage of a word. That one letter change can make a sentence not make sense to the reader. In contract law every word must be correctly used and spelled, otherwise the contract may be contested and possibly nullified. Please do not accept mediocrity.

            Cordially and respectfully submitted

          • Michael Huff

            I don’t “accept mediocrity”, you putz. I thumb typed it on my phone in a hurry to get back into my office. Please don’t make assumptions.

          • MAS Googler

            Your a moron. People typing quick informal replies in a comment section aren’t proofing their work.

            Nobody asks or needs your grammar lessons, dip head

    • The Red Comet

      Totally agree – this will most likely be an under-the-hood change, where the kernels merge but the end-user experience still looks like ChromeOS on a laptop/desktop and Android on a phone/tablet (with some devices able to switch between the two).

      The rest is branding – if the merged OS gets a new name (for example Alphabet), do we stop calling them Chromebooks and Android phones?

    • Rowan Humphreys

      I agree with everything you have said, although I would like to question whether you think android tablets will now run chrome os UI

    • Mike Speed

      Do you think the merged version will do OK with the limited storage on Chromebooks? My own chromebook usually has only a few gigs spare. Loading up Android Apps will be tempting but will possibly crunch the system, where it starts to delete files to sustain itself?

      • 3r0s

        That is because many Android apps will install onto the Internal Storage without even checking if there is a SD Card available, and many Android apps don’t even give the option to be moved to SD Card.
        That is extremely annoying.
        Many phones and tablets support at least 32 GB (some 64 GB) SD Cards, while Internal Storage is more expensive to implement.
        Probably Android minimum requirements to make apps should be to have all apps to give the option to be moved onto and be run from SD Card.

  • Gladson

    in what device that Android & chrome os combine??

    • MrTrunky

      Píxel C

      • MAS Googler

        Nope.

  • It would be good to have an ‘Android powered’ Chromebook that feels like a Chrome OS Chromebook …. because that’s what they’ll be aiming for. With Android established as the leading mobile OS, there’s no way they’d make compromises that risk its progress there.
    The question is, will we go down the ‘surface’ route of two-piece, touch screen … or will the light, efficient, quick, long-battery-life notebook live on?

  • Michael Huff

    Hmm…ChromeDroid?

    • Singkawang

      It will be R2D2 & 3CPO
      LOL

      • Michael Huff

        That’d be kinda neat.

    • Biky Alex

      Lol, I thought of it as Chromdroid. Nice

  • Kik Bm

    I don’t understand very well does it mean it will be an android os for pcs? I’m really tired of windows mac and linux.

    • Ryan Hellyer

      Android uses Linux. So if are tired of Linux, then you are also tired of Android.

      • Kik Bm

        I know android uses linux and its the best implementation of it, the other linux oses are not very good and there is not much applications for them

        • JonthueM

          Their is plenty of applications for linux. And their are linux distrubtions that are amazing and fairly exceptional. After all linux desktop is like burger king, you can have it your way!

          • Kik Bm

            I have been using linux for some years trying different distros linux could be good but they are not really good in user usability for instance, I am an indie videogame developer and I cant find any of the apps that I like to use in linux such as unity3D, game maker studio, and construct 2, there is not a good video editing software such as sony vegas in linux and software like photoshop has to be hacked to be used in linux for that I’m dissapointed of linux so far.

          • hamayame

            Hey, Unity 3D already on Linux(it’s on beta).
            I’ve been using it for 4 months. :)

          • Kik Bm

            Great, but how can I get it and how can I install it?

          • liamdools

            And yet, no Unity Web Player yet. Dafuq Unity?

          • hamayame

            Yeah, it sucks. But in exchange of Unity3D running on Linux, I can handle this for some future release;

          • There’s a HTML exporter. I played 3d shooters made in Unity on my Linux OS without any issues. Browser plugins always suck tbh. We don’t need yet another Flash.

          • liamdools

            Alright, stop it with the Flash garbage. Flash isn’t the problem, advertisers are. Flash should be used for animations and games and whatnot, not full ads that litter webpages. If this goes on and Flash gets killed off, a whole community will be killed off as well, an archive of content will be inaccessible, and people would have to find new means of animating content since there are no good HTML5 creation tools in existence yet.
            If you’re so intent on hating on Flash, disable it, but don’t complain about it online and ruin it for everyone else because Adobe will kill it if you do, and those who want it won’t be able to use it.

          • MAS Googler

            Yet, Linux still lacks the major apps & programs many people rely on, and NO, they don’t want Open Source 3rd party versions of their main programs. They want the quality programs they use, are familiar with, and are heavily supported by dedicated teams.

            Especially people who rely on these programs for work and business

      • jsebean

        Android != GNU. All the other “Linux” people use is. They are quite different operating systems that share only the kernel… and from a user perspective, nobody even cares nor pays attention to the underlying kernel.

        • Ryan Hellyer

          You seem to be confused. Llk did not mention anything about GNU, just Linux.

          • jsebean

            You seem to not understand. So called “Linux” Kik was referring to and Android are very different projects. He wasn’t saying he was tired of the linux kernel… obviously… since he uses android and seems okay with it on “desktop”.

          • MAS Googler

            You damned well know he means Linux desktop distros, and not the Linux kernel.

  • ChrisGX

    Google has rarely put a foot wrong in the way it develops its ‘mobile’ OS platforms and I don’t think it is about to start now. If WSJ is right that there are some changes on the horizon then it is far more likely that these will benefit all Android and ChromeOS users rather than harm either group. Google has always been aware of the technical landscape and interested to use new technologies to improve user experiences as they become available. As it happens in both the Java and Linux worlds (and all Google OS tech is based on these two opensource projects) there has recently been some changes in the way these systems can be be structured that offers radical new possibilities for software designers and potentially very much improved user experiences. If you care to look some of this stuff up you could search on these terms: Docker, CoreOS, linux containers, OSv, Truffle, Graal. Google is probably going to use some of this new tech in its own system(s). But all the changes will be plumbing, users shouldn’t notice any new rough edges at all.

    • MrTrunky

      Upvoted. But Java is not an open source proyect.

      • ChrisGX

        Well, you are right, that Java hasn’t been genuinely open in the past, but things are changing slowly. So, despite Oracle’s erratic flips of direction where opensource is concerned the OpenJDK, and that platform is where all of the interesting research is concentrated, is either open now or well on the way to being open.

      • Neil C Smith

        Java *is* an open source project (and OpenJDK has been the reference implementation for years now)

        Most Google “Java” *is not* based on the Java open source project.

        • ChrisGX

          With Google’s recent announcement it is clear that WSJ has misconstrued things. That said, the last sentence of your comment points to some important and unresolved questions for Google. What will be the way forward for portable/mobile code for Google? Google seems to have many options, each with their benefits and limitations: Java/dex/ART, Chrome/V8, Dart/Javascript and C/C++/NaCl/pNaCl. That is a lot of variety and it can look a bit like disarray at times. Still, Google is showing no inclination to give up on any of these development paths nor to return to a pure Java approach. Maybe there is a way of bringing some of these under a single umbrella, but we haven’t seen it yet.

  • Frank J. Alejo

    You know I love my Chromebook, I literally use it for everything. Am in the Photoshop streaming beta so I literally do not touch any other computer besides my Chromebook. I don’t think it would be a smart move to kill it ,but to continue with what google did with Vine etc, make apps stream onto the Chromebooks.

    Calling it, I want to be able to play Hearthstone on my Chromebook! Make it happen Blizzard and Google!

    Android is great and all ,but Chrome OS is just simple and sexy. Once more things turn to streaming the more it will make sense.

  • Archie Roques

    For me, Android is for entertainment, my Chromebook is for work, programming and hacking. For me, it’s great to have two OSes which are unmistakably different, but with some key, seamless similarities between them – for example the browsers are the same, I can get the same documents and files and photos on both of them, instantly. If they can merge them without making it into a complicated mess, great, but that won’t be a walk in the park.

    The reason I love ChromeOS is that it is simple, and it is fast. My Chromebook has a processor with a very low clock speed, but it can still boot up in eight seconds, and hardly ever slows down. I can’t help but think that this would be hard to keep if it was merged with Android.

    Having said that, however, having a new, merged, good operating system could be revolutionary. The thing that really annoys me, is that as someone who does a lot of 2- and 3D design and cross-platform programming, I still have to have a £400 Windows or Mac PC to do that even when I can do everything else on a computer which cost me £130. If they can make their new operating system a real competitor, so that people like Autodesk or Adobe can see it as a viable OS to develop for, I’m sold. It could be fantastic – the customisability and networking tools of Linux, which administrators love, and a beautiful UI which would make it nice to use could combine to make an OS to beat all OSes. However, I really, really hope that this won’t turn into another Google+ – a product which was ultimately too late to the market to make a difference, and decidedly mediocre in functionality anyways.

  • Rob

    Just bought a Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2; really like it for casual use. I’m just hoping that Chrome OS doesn’t become the next OS/2 Warp.

  • Drew Ciccotelli

    The Wall Street Journal just put out irrelevant untimely news for no reason. No one else was reporting this until they did and now a rumor has made news. There were no recent announcements concerning the merger, they just made an assumption based on old statements cause they have no real news to report.

    • Homer J. Simpson

      I totally agree with this. The Wall Street Journal isn’t official news from Google. For all we know, it’s just a fabricated story.

      • Drew Ciccotelli

        WSJ is just another Murdoch monkey wrench.

  • HenryV

    If we end up with a proper Linux in widespread use it can only be good surely? Never been comfortable with Chrome as the “OS”. I don’t use Android. If Google give us a full Linux that has an Android front end for phones and tablets, and a desktop front end for work. Simples.

    • jsebean

      The only thing Android has in common with your typical linux desktop distribution is the kernel. Aside from that they’re miles apart :P

      • HenryV

        If the kernel is present, the data is present, and then all we have to do is swap in the userland stuff dependent on the device in use or how the device is being used.

        • It’s probably quite heavily modified…

          • Stephen Sharp

            There are already apps to run Gnu/Linux alongside Android, so, why not?

        • MAS Googler

          Just run Linux. Chrome OS and Android target different use cases. Neither are trying to be a full desktop Linux distribution, because those already exist in numerous fashion

  • Stellanatus

    If they Merge I hope that I still have the chrome desktop interface. I have my apps bar maxed out for my own use. I don’t want to open chrome in android and it just open the browser… I want it to open the OS. Or better yet I reall want android apps to be added to my chrome os desk screen instead and open android apps in windows instead of fullscreen doodoo

  • JohnCalla

    Todd Ogasawara over at ExtremeTech posted a statement from a Google source that the WSJ story is not entirely accurate and that Google is “investing heavily in Chrome OS moving forward”. Expect an official statement from the Google PR department in the coming days.

    So it appears that this rumor is not quite what it seems at face value.

  • So will it be worth it to purchase the Pixel-C out of the gate or sit and wait and see what this new “merged” system might look like and its tech requirements?

  • Daniel Thursfield

    Love both Android and Chrome OS. I think a merger could go well… but I’m also afraid it might mess things up. I hardly use my regular Windows PC anymore since I got myself a Chromebook a few months ago. Would hate to see Chrome OS get ruined!

    • jjcoolaus

      I’m the opposite. I’ve hardly used my chromebook in the last year because I’m finding all these web based applications that don’t work on anything but windows

      Here in Australia we have a lot of stuff still running on silverlight, yet all those things have android apps that work well.

      It will be very interesting to see how the new system comes up, and if older chromebooks (like my toshiba chromebook 1) will get an upgrade.

      • AES

        “web based applications that don’t work on anything but windows” Care to share a few links because I cant name a single MS only web app.

        • MAS Googler

          Exactly. Silver light is discontinued, and web apps are meant to be cross platform. Sure, there are browser issues on old out dated sites, but most modern sites should work well

      • 3r0s

        Silverlight has been discontinued by Microsoft.
        How come it is still used?

  • simon gray

    I hope that the merged OS allows one to just login with one’s google password. Couldn’t good results be attained just by running android apps in some sort of contained window? I don’t really see why more than that is necessary…

    • MAS Googler

      So, this is exactly what they’ve done. Everyone claiming “merge” has been wrong

  • Thomas Raven

    Nominee for click bait headline of the year. Meh.

  • Thomas

    nice

  • like Phillip answered I cannot believe that you can make $9890 in 4 weeks on the computer.try this website on `my` `prof1le`
    dxfdtgy

  • wfbor

    Please, dear God, don’t let them mess up Chrome OS.

  • Desktop and mobile use cases are so different, hopefully they will fork android into desktop, mobile and kiosk versions with UI and browser optimisations for each version.

    • MAS Googler

      Why fork it? If you can have the UI adapt, and allow apps to scale & adapt, like UWP

  • A desktop android (with real desktop apps) installable on any hardware (like a linux distro) might be a game changer and provide real competition to windows.

    • 3r0s

      Exactly to stop the fragmentation Android device makers are creating.

      • MAS Googler

        Android Fragmentation is overblown. Especially since ICS. It’s not nearly any worse than having various Windows devices running everything from XP to 10

    • Heimen Stoffels

      There are already desktop Android distro’s available to install on any hardware. Android-x86 is one example.

      • true but it is not optimised for mouse or multi user and doesn’t run desktop chrome. Thus it is not a desktop OS and can not succeed as a desktop OS (unlike Chrome OS). Thus it can not compete with Windows, OSX or Linux distros.

        • MAS Googler

          Android would need to heavily change to be a true Windows desktop competitor. But RemixOS has made UI advancement towards making Android fluid on desktop.

          BUT app devs still code for mobile, unlike a Windows desktop or Windows UWP apps.

  • Toby

    Agree. Android is already can do almost everything on ChromeOS. If we run Android on laptop (Chromebook), the only thing Android need to change is the Chrome UI.

  • As a fairly recent blog post of mine points out, ARC is still in beta. It makes sense for, when ARC goes from beta to stable, Google to integrate ARC deeper into the Chrome OS system… heck, it’s almost as if WSJ among other mainstream media outlets has it backwards when it comes to which platform will get merged into which.

    • regs

      I would say it’s in alpha yet. Very unstable and functionality still far away from even being beta.

    • ChrisGX

      I think you are right that Google will be integrating ARC deeper into the Chrome OS system. But, to the technically ignorant, that could be mistaken for one system (i.e. Chrome OS) being folded into another (i.e. Android). How so? Well, while I doubt that Google will abandon support for any significant part of the Linux/Posix APIs it is conceivable that they could recommend that future application software development for Chrome OS should target some suitably enhanced set of Android APIs. With the distinctive look and feel of Chrome OS giving way to a more Android influenced experience some may conclude that Android has taken over the show. In fact, if anything like this should happen, and I suspect it might, it will be primarily due to innovations within the Linux kernel not Android. With unified application container specifications currently being sorted out by the Open Container Initiative technology that permits the deployment of purpose built OS images that can range from stripped down systems for IoT devices to richly endowed systems for developers and operations staff the dream of building scalable systems with the required complexity, but no more, from a common (or close to common) code base, is starting to look achievable. With this new tech going into the mainline Linux kernel the fortuitous opportunity also arises for Google to increase the degree of commonality of their own Linux codebase(s) – providing the plumbing for Chrome OS and Android – with mainline.

      • MAS Googler

        So, it seems nearly everyone speculating has been wrong about Android & chrome OS. Its just running Android apps in chrome Windows, which isn’t really a “merging” of the two OS’s like people have been speculating.

        • ChrisGX

          No. The arrangement that has been implemented is running Android in a ‘container’ without any reliance on the browser (i.e. Chrome browser window or tab). The references to containers (a kernel based virtualisation technique) in my comment were correct but ARC, in the end, played no part in the solution – it is likely a dead project at this stage. The ars technica article “The Play Store comes to Chrome OS, but not the way we were expecting” gives a good outline of how Google was able to achieve the goal of Android compatibility.

          Running Android on Chrome OS is technically very much like other “Linux containers” solutions out there where a user mode or guest version of an operating system (in this case Android) runs as an application on the host operating system kernel (Chrome OS). This is not difficult because both guest and host are based on some version of the Linux kernel and the host can be enlisted to perform the relevant kernel functions by the guest, by calling upon relevant features found in pretty much every Linux kernel these days.

          You are right, of course, that Android apps will have to run in windows provided by Chrome OS, but these are not the Chrome browser windows that have been used by Chrome apps and extensions in the past, but rather desktop windows like you would find on OS X, MS Windows or classical versions of Linux. There will be no special reliance on the browser by Android apps – they will appear in their own movable, resizable and minimisable windows on the Chrome OS desktop. It would make sense if Chrome apps were themselves to fall in line with this new convention favouring the use of dedicated windows for individual apps but that is one of many details that remains to be confirmed.

          • MAS Googler

            Difference between running Android, running Android apps, and merging 2 OS’s into a single Operating System, is what I was getting at.

            Most people assumed the 2 OS’s would be merged into one single OS, that is maintained as a single OS rather than maintaining two separate Operating systems.

            They did not merge into a single Operating System the way the vast majority believes it would.

          • ChrisGX

            Well, you are right. Many better informed commentators have disputed or questioned this merger thesis since it was first put. If you look across the comments I have made over a long period you will see that I have been a strong critic of the merger thesis, too.

            Talk of a shift towards a more common codebase is of a different order – it is about rationalising and improving the OS development process. And these days Google does closely track Linux mainline (LTS) releases for all of its in-house OS projects.

            The falsity of the merger thesis is by now apparent. Just as it would be a mistake to say that layering a Java Virtual Machine on Linux, say, represents a merger of Linux and the JVM so too the layering of an Android execution system onto Chrome OS is in no sense a merger, even allowing i) that there are some common Linux kernel components that both Chrome OS and the Android execution system may rely on and ii) Chrome OS routinely calls upon Android based services to provide some parts of the environment in which applications (Android applications) execute.

  • g105b

    This news makes so much sense, yet so little. So confused.

    • ChromeCrunch.com

      It’s not true, Google cleared up the confusion.

  • CorneliusCook

    There is a large software company that sees a competitor in Chrome. those who buy a Chromebook can not spend more money on a laptop. it may just be that someone is spreading FUD?

  • norcal64

    Is this site still being updated? This was debunked by Google some time ago. Maybe remove this story or retract it?

  • disqus_QQmo5i3vVTT

    Excellent move! Android has all those apps and folks can concentrate on one project. I am sure it will look and feel like our current chromebook and merge seamlessly with chromeos.

  • Scott Gibbs

    Ok, someone talk me off the ledge: I’m really close to taking the plunge and buying a Chromebook Pixel, so I need assurance that Chrome OS isn’t going anywhere. In fact, could it be safe to assume that with the development of ARC we might someday see basically the entire Google Play Store available for Chrome OS? I’ve messed around with Twerk and ARC Welder and some Android apps work on my CB but most don’t. Could this be the “merger” they’re talking about?

    • Tim Small

      I think you’ll slowly see the ability to run more and more Android stuff on Chrome OS, until it reaches 99% (with the 1% being malware I hope).

      I doubt that they’ll throw out Chrome OS’s well designed security architecture (and particularly update mechanism vs. the current Android mess) as part of the “merger”. So, I wouldn’t have any qualms about buying a Chromebook now I think…

    • snowlo

      Hey Scott,

      Sorry to hijack this thread, was looking for info on a chrome OS app and found limited latest info on the web .
      I looked at some articles on running Instagram on ARCWelder online on web but they are few months old , not sure since then if there was some code update or something on IG/ ARC Welder side that broke IG on ARC setup.

      I do not have a Chromebook to test. I would appreciate if you could test & advice if Instagram still works on Chrome OS when you get a chance .

      Thank you in advance
      SL.

      • Scott Gibbs

        Hey, snowlo, I just tried running the Instagram APK on the ARC Welder Chrome app and it didn’t work. I tried APK’s from a couple different sources and none of the them worked. Oh well, I’ve heard that at this point most Android apps still don’t work. Hopefully that changes soon.

    • Robert Kraychik

      Don’t do it. The purpose of a Chromebook is to be a less expensive alternative computer solution. The Pixel defies that. Don’t know about your financial position, but if you’re anywhere near average, then that $1000 is better spent somewhere else.

  • Qw3rtz

    I may consider one of their laptops in the future.

  • Pãńkâj Çhåmÿáł

    I think it should be named “Androme”.!! Its a good debate whether they should be merged or not. For every chromeuser out there, merging doesnt mean that they are making it an android laptop… chrome os is not perfected yet.. to perfect it, it requires some features which android could provide.. sure it will make boot a few seconds slower.. but the features are worth it. BTW how many of u have ever shut down your chromebook. just pull the flap down.. it keeps on stands by n doesn’t drain an ounce of your battery.. so same can be done for android… instead of shutting the androme one can simply stand by or put it to sleep.. just like microsoft did for windows 8 and 10.

    Androme—

    CONS : Boot time

    Pros: Android games

    Offline interface

    Better multimedia interface

    If u are a strict chromeos user…

    —Google should launch a protable android os on a usb or sd card for chrome users who would like using android.

    —They should launch 2 versions of chromeos.. one can be a classic chrome os(which we currently use) and one should be a hybrid one.

    One should be able to install them.. just like we install ubuntu of different version via terminal on a chromebook!

    GIve it a thought!

  • M. Thomas Frederiksen

    ChromeOS is much better than Android. Android has far more overhead and is far slower. I think ChromePhones would be a much better idea. Then phase out Android… flush Java down the toilet, and don’t look back.

    • Andrew Gomez

      Reckon you’re right. Android wasn’t built by Google; it was just bought to counter Apple’s iPhone iOS. My money’s on Chrome OS.

    • MAS Googler

      Firefox tried the “web app browser based phone” and it died

  • Emu

    Hahaha yeah right. Google also said they would merge Android with true Linux at some point. Still hasn’t happened.

    • MAS Googler

      Exactly what do u mean merge with true linux

  • Andrew Koss

    awesome! can’t wait!

  • IMDLEGEND

    I’d rather see a Chromebook with an “Android Mode” for those with touchscreens/tablet modes.

  • bobjr94

    I would rather have an android laptop then a chrome os laptop. Having everything run in a browser window isnt a very good design. And the whole thing is pretty backwards, my android phone is much more useful offline than my chrome laptop. Ill probably just load linux on it anyway and not mess with chrome.

    • MAS Googler

      A window is a Window. And chrome OS has offline features and capabilities. It’s up to devs to support that

  • Lee

    I”d like to define which apps are rooted and which are purchased from the google store. Nothing worse than not being able to uninstall an embedded app.

  • Jägers Roué

    Please don’t merge! The Chromebook OS is so stable, fast, and power driven. I have android phones and I love them as well but the two should truly be separate. Please don’t kill the one thing your user base loves…. CHROMEBOOK!!!