The US product page for the Toshiba Chromebook 2 references Android apps not yet available on Chrome OS — but is it an unsubtle leak or a misunderstanding?
Anyone visiting the landing splash for the 13.3-inch Bay Trail device is greeted with a ream of information, including an interactive overview pointing out some key features.
It’s here, in the callout for the App Launcher, where the curiousness arises. Under the heading of “Android Synergy” the blurb references a set of Android apps “Voice Search, Google Now, Vine, Flipboard and Evernote” as being available on Chrome.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on developments you’ll know that only a handful of the Android apps listed — Vine and Evernote — are available. So what’s going on?
Flipboard was one of the first Android apps to be demoed (alongside Vine and Evernote) running on a Chromebook. Its omission from the first wave of “ARC” apps, of which the others featured, was therefore noticeable. The reference to it by Toshiba is therefore simply based on tentative information.
But Google Now and Voice Search? These, I suspect, awkwardly miscommunicate the fact that Chrome OS includes features of Android, rather than Android apps per se.
Google Now cards and voice search are baked into the browser and app launcher, making use of hotword detection and the Chrome Notification Center.
Read on and you’ll see the blurb mentions the ability to “…get all your call and message notifications easily, by quickly moving from one screen to another.” This was a feature showcased during June’s I/O keynote but has yet to land in current builds.
So has Toshiba simply crossed a few wires here? I think so. But with Android L looming, nothing is certain — we could be in for a few surprises yet…