Vice president of engineering for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer is now heading up the engineering team for Chrome OS, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While Lockheimer has already been reporting to Sundar Pichai – senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps – on the Android side of things, he’ll now be reporting to Pichai for both the Android and Chrome OS teams, though he won’t be responsible for the other Chrome engineering teams, including the browser and the Chromecast.
Pichai has reiterated time and time again that we shouldn’t expect a merger between Android and Chrome anytime soon, but that hasn’t stopped the two operating systems from working together in Google-powered harmony.
More and more Android apps are making their way to Chrome OS (officially or not), Chrome Apps can be built for Android with Apache Cordova, and features like Google Now and even the outlines of the upcoming Athena UI make Android features and workflows feel right at home on Chrome OS.
With Lockheimer providing an additional layer of integration between the Android and Chrome OS teams, it’s likely we’ll start seeing even more points of integration moving forward. Easy Unlock and Yosemite-like Continuity were already demoed at this year’s Google I/O; but Lockheimer could provide the key to getting even deeper integration than what was demoed – e.g., “actionable” notifications that let you answer calls or text back friends right from Chrome’s Notification Center.
A more deeply integrated Google ecosystem and an already impressive suite of services and web-based tools give Chrome OS the infrastructure it needs to compete with other increasingly convergent platforms.