Okay Google, It’s Time to Bring Chrome OS to Android [Opinion]

Published by Jesse Afolabi on

Android with Chrome OS

For many, transitioning from one computing platform to a different one can be quite exhausting and naturally. It does take its toll in the form of a learning curve that may be steep depending on who you ask. But that is hardly the case with Chrome OS. In fact, Chrome OS has matured at such a pace never seen before and that’s essentially because the focus on building the platform has been well-directed from the start. 

Looking back, we didn’t really see Chrome OS picking up as much steam until the past couple of years when Android support was officially announced. Essentially, Google brought Android to Chrome OS, which is great. In truth, it’s been an awesome experience with pretty minor quirks that will inevitably get sorted with time. 

It takes two to tango:

The Android experience we’ve come to know and love is now at the epicenter of desktop computing in the shell of Chrome OS of which integration has been official for a good part of the past two years. 

The Chromium development team continues to do an extraordinary job redefining the continuum model through their integration of Android in Chrome OS for a native experience [using a containerized environment] akin to that of the competition whilst dismantling the negative stereotypes associated with the platform. 

At this point, you’d agree that the Chrome operating system isn’t quite complete without the Android experience atop … that is, the future of Chrome OS relies heavily on the continuous availability of Android. 

Android with Chrome OS
Android with Chrome OS

Given that fact, you’d reckon it’s just about the time that those roles were reversed. In essence, we’d love to see Chrome OS return the favor by expanding the usability of Android smartphones beyond mobile. 

Best Remote Desktop Clients for Chrome OS

Of course, it wouldn’t be unusual to see such a dream come to fruition … you may even argue that it’s on the timeline of the Android development team assuming we continue to paint Fuchsia in the light of a side project.  

While both platforms [Chrome and Android] are independent in their own right, there’s no denying that they’re also inextricably-connected as Google continues to blur the line between what makes them different.

Why you need to worry, really …

Given the recent announcement of the Microsoft Surface Pro X, Neo, and Duo, it’s quite obvious that the Redmond giant is pushing the envelope in regards to their research and development efforts in the personal computing space … thanks to their new CEO, Satya Nadella, who is arguably the genius behind Microsoft’s recent cultural revamp. But of course, [considering our inherent bias towards Chrome OS] we would very much like to see Google leading that innovative charge as opposed to Microsoft. 

On that note, I worry not because if this is any indication, we may very well expect a resoundingly positive response from Google … most certainly not in due time, however.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Google deserves accolades for having been quite extraordinary with their innovative tactics in software development.

Android in love with Chrome
Android <3 Chrome

In recognition of that accomplishment, a trickle-down culture is necessary to invigorate the same spirit of innovation in their hardware division. Rick Osterloh would most-certainly agree that Google’s hardware sector isn’t doing nearly enough in regards to R&D.

The overarching theme:

Talking about innovation, you can very well say that the Pixelbook continues to stand out as a groundbreaking example for other Chrome OS manufacturers to emulate when it comes to its design, build, and overall craftsmanship. 

Google has a history of success with such initiative in their discontinued line of Nexus devices where they [seemingly] led the charge in mobile innovation primarily directed at tech enthusiasts who craved the best software experience Google had to offer via its Nexus experiment. 

This initiative effectively earned the Nexus brand a successful cult following whose dedication was primarily centered around the software experience Google was able to craft around said Nexuses. 

Chrome OS Password Manager

#MadebyGoogle, on the other hand, takes a not-so-drastic but unconventional approach in their hardware business and in crafting the general perception of the Pixel brand as a luxury equivalent to the respective competition of the iPhone, Macbook … you name it!

That is to say, this new line of devices undoubtedly came in the shadow of the Nexus but with the twist of an entirely new Pixel identity married with a revamped hardware culture.

At this point, the Pixel brand is already 6 years old but gives the impression of a much younger hardware sub-division … in retrospect, it  certainly gives the impression that the Nexus never went away – because the Pixel is seemingly stuck in that shadow with its stunted growth – which is just as counterintuitive as a Pixelbook running Windows.

Arguably, the Pixel brand has been trudging along just fine for the last couple of years. Be that as it may, there’s still a lot of improvements that have to be made on Google’s end in regards to how quickly they’re able to innovate on hardware. 

So quite understandably, other hardware-centric companies such as Samsung, are practically years ahead of them in regards to experience and R&D efforts … 

But you could argue that it’s not really the investment cost that matters but market presence, connection, and exposure. These are pre-requisites Google already musters and considering their AOSP program and varying Nexus OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] over the years, it’s no surprise that the new Pixel line continues to benefit from such partnership in the form of the OG Pixel and Pixel 2 that were manufactured by HTC and LG.

So what gives?

Granted, they may be playing it safe … I mean who wouldn’t? After having had several rocky years in the hardware business, it’d seem Google is just giving it enough to stay afloat and not necessarily trying to offer groundbreaking solutions to the modern problems that plague the computing world … I’m talking about the optimization of flexible displays on otherworldly devices … The thing of science fiction that reinforces our love for the accompanying software experience on such devices. 

I mean we all do fancy a neat device we can store our treasure trove of memories and still be able to reflect back on the good times the said device helped us create. I know I’m definitely making a case for nostalgia here especially when you consider the undeniable brand loyalty that comes with well-crafted pieces of hardware… so yeah, I’m asking Google to optimize their hardware playbook and not necessarily take an entire page out of that of the competition.

C330 Comparison

In other words, this is the direction we hope Google steers towards wherein their innovations in this category will continue to set the benchmark for not just AOSP partners or Chrome OS manufacturers but others outside Google’s immediate periphery. 

Realizing this goal will reset the tracks or even give Google a headstart in the inevitable future of that “single device to rule them all” where software prowess would be paramount in crafting the experience consumers expect. 

Chrome OS Office Suites

And in order to build the momentum towards this future, Google must learn to foster brand loyalty by implementing some of the aforementioned solutions to secure its future in AI/ML [artificial intelligence/machine learning]-centric computing as traditional handhelds slowly grow obsolete.

Verdict

Now that everything has been said, we may embrace and look forward to the idea of a new future that focuses on creating invaluable technovations that will primarily work on consolidating our computing experiences to a single device.

Whether or not that will come in the form of Google integrating Chrome OS to Android or in the entirely different form of Fuchsia, it’s certainly a development that can’t come soon enough. 

What do you think?


Jesse Afolabi

Having been a technical writer for over 4 years, and co-founded Fossmint.com in 2016, I took my passion to the next level with the founding of Itschromeos.com which so happens to revolve around my love for open-source technologies and Chrome OS. It's my hope to venture into new avenues in the tech universe and take you with me on that ride.

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