For years now, there has been an awkward disconnect between Google’s two main operating systems – Chrome OS and Android. While Android was geared towards more touch-friendly interfaces such as smartphones and tablets, Chrome OS was better suited for the desktop, which is why Google powered all of its Chromebooks with the lean OS. Unsurprisingly, that might be changing sometime soon, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.
The report states that, according to people familiar with the matter, Google plans to fold its Chrome OS into Android by the year 2017. Google engineers have supposedly been working for roughly two full years on the big transition, and have just made significant progress recently. The single operating system will become officially available in the year 2017, though Google will show off an early version next year.
The single OS will become available in the year 2017
The new version of Android will also run on PCs and will have access to the Google Play Store. Google apparently wants to get its moneymaking software (Search and YouTube) on as many devices as possible, so what better way to do it than this. Additionally, Chromebooks will apparently be renamed, though the new name has yet to be revealed. Google’s Chrome browser will retain the Chrome name.
Although it sounds like a stark change in mindset, this should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been watching Chrome OS and Android develop throughout the years. We’ve seen Microsoft do the same thing with Windows 10, which allows some applications to run on both PCs and mobile devices. Google just recently unveiled a new tablet at its big Nexus event in September called the Pixel C, which, oddly enough, runs Android. It’s the first device in the company’s Pixel line of laptops to drop Chrome OS and run Android, which was no doubt an interesting move. Google has also made Android applications available on Chrome recently, which should be the biggest sign of the two operating systems coming together.