Google’s two operating systems will soon be one. Google will combine its Chrome OS software, which mainly powers its Chromebook laptop computers, with Android, its operating system for smartphones and tablets. The company plans to release this newly unified software in 2017. Chrome OS will continue to be available to other companies, but Google will focus on extending Android to laptops.
Combining the two operating systems means setting up Android to run on laptops and desktop computers, which would require big changes, as well as supporting the Google Play Store. Chromebooks will reportedly receive a new name to reflect the new OS.
This is a pleasant surprise in the tech industry since Google’s Chromebooks accounted for around 3 percent, according to research firm IDC. Chrome OS is different from Google’s Chrome Web browser, which is widely used on Macs and PCs. In addition, Chromebooks have been fairly successful and are a great low-cost computer option.
Android is now a popular operating system followed by Apple’s iOS. Google acquired Android in 2005 and is now the centerpiece of the company’s mobile efforts far beyond smartphones and tablets. The software now powers television-guide menus, car dashboards and smartwatches. For Google, the change would be profound given its roots as an Internet search engine born on desktop computers.
Cnet reports the shift also highlights the importance of mobile devices and the software that powers them. You can now buy groceries, listen to music and hail a ride all from your phone. Most people around the world are doing these things from Google-powered phones. Android runs on four out of every five smartphones globally.
Google’s new CEO Sundar Pichai, who led development of Chrome OS in 2009, was also put in charge of Android in 2013. Last year, Google put Hiroshi Lockheimer, Android’s top engineer, at the helm of Chrome OS. So, did Google copy Microsoft? Microsoft’s Windows 10 now runs across computers, tablets, smartphones and the Xbox game console. Apple, however, has maintained that it wants to keep iOS, the software that powers its iPhones and iPads, separate from its Mac OS software for PCs.
Sometimes back Google released the convertible laptop, called Pixel C. The Android tablet was developed by the team behind the Pixel Chromebooks. The Pixel C has a 10.2-inch display with a 2,560 x 1,800 resolution (308 ppi), 500 nits of brightness and a reportedly wide coverage of the sRGB color gamut. It comes with an 8-megapixel camera and 2-megapixel camera on the front.