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ChromeOS, Android ‘Convergence’ On The Cards

Google have hinted a possible ‘convergence’ between their web-based ChromeOS and mobile operating system Android.

The suggestion of combining the two systems to work as one unified OS comes from the mouth of Sundar Pichai, the Senior Vice President of Chrome and Apps at Google.

Speaking at this years AllThingsD conference, Pichai was asked how he saw the future of Google’s two operating systems existing in the future. He said: –

“Android is extremely successful, we couldn’t be more proud of it. We have exciting steps ahead with tablets, too. There are many instances where people spend all of their time in the browser.

The notion that, for the first time, your experience is in the cloud. You still run on a local device, CPU, SSD, etc. – but the notion that your computer is actually in the cloud enables zero administration. And from a web console, you can deploy and manage apps. There’s no installing software or anything like that.”

Continuing (emphasis mine):

I think what is important between Android and Chrome OS with users, is that it makes sense. Look at Apple, there’s MacBooks and iPhone, and they use different operating systems. Convergence will happen, sure. But look at Gmail – you go from a Chromebook to Android, and it just works.” 

Does it make sense?

Reading between the lines of Picahi’s words I get the notion that the ‘convergence’ is less about ‘one OS to rule them all’ and more about making your ‘Chrome’ life – be it Chrome browser on the desktop, Android or ChromeOS, ‘unified’ as one.

With Chrome set to the be default browser on Jelly Bean – the next iteration of the popular Android OS –  Android users will gain instant access to the bookmarks, password data and, potentially, web app shortcuts they created on their desktops or Chromebooks on their mobile devices.

But maybe the ‘convergence’ Pichai speaks of will work the other way too.

Perhaps Chrome on Android will open up the way for syncing of Android data (address book, message history, photos, etc) with your Google Chrome?

Maybe, like many third-party apps offer, notifications could be pushed from your Android device to Chrome, letting you respond or act on them within Chrome. We already known that ChromeOS is getting an SMS notification feature.

However it happens the chances are that it’s going to be good. 

Via Slashgear


  • AngusPearson

    The more I think about it Chrome(ium) does sem to be fairly separate from the rest of Google, and you probably could say the same about Android, But I can’t see a merge making both sides happy.

  • CJ Holder

    Nice article, not too sure how I feel about this however. What does this mean for the future of android, will it need constant access to the internet? I know Android works a lot better with the internet but in certain areas it’s just not possible to get. I don’t get mobile internet within 2 miles of my house.

    • I would suspect Android will remain largely the same, it’ll be more so that the two OSes learnt to ‘talk’ to each other without user input, creating a seamless life across Google devices.

      • I think it will be less of a convergence and more of a port. Google’s working hard on Chrome for Android and that might be the big part of the convergence there. Android will use Chrome for the default browser, and Chromebooks will use Android 5.0. Also things like the taskbar and notifications look identical to Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s already starting bro.

  • Joel dos Santos Almeida

    Well, Android is mostly for touch devices, it isn’t so good without the touch thing. I have an Asus Transformer and it is great when using the touch screen – not the same if I use the touchpad. It is simply horrible.

    I also think that Chrome for cellphones wouldn’t work at all… As an application yes, but as the OS, pretty shitty…

  • Hasseo

    Hmm, I feel like the only way ChromeOS and Android could merge would be via a “dock connector” sort of thing that the Atrix has. You would plug your phone into a dock and you would have access to ChromeOS.

    • Yup, I feel that Ubuntu for Android is going to get killed before it has a chance once future androids dock and activate chromeos by default

  • David Metcalfe

    I thought it was clear he was talking about convergence with respect to Apple’s and Microsoft’s dual platforms. The discussion at the time where he spoke of platform convergence was in response to Mossberg commenting on Balmer’s callout of Google’s two separate OS’s.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that Android and ChromeOS won’t see increased unification, though. It seems a natural evolution of the two parts.

  • Omar Abuzaid

    you can already sync contacts, etc with gmail and android.

  • I don’t see them merging the two OS’s. They’re too different. I could however see Android swallowing Chrome OS whole. I’m becoming quite disenchanted with Google’s attitude towards the Chromebook. It definitely seems to be the product Google is putting the least effort into.

  • xshaneyx

    Although I think he was indeed talking about iOS/OS X, I do think Android and Chrome OS will converge at some point.
    I think the huge popularity of Android and tablets in the past couple of years has possibly dented or even killed Chrome OS’s potential market.