Usually when a new version of Android is approaching, Google is adding a new statue on their campus, to represent the name of that Android version. So when we had Android “Donut”, they put a donut statue there. When Froyo appeared, they put a frozen yogurt statue there, and so on. But now it seems they’ve added an Android statue that is covered with a “chrome” plating. This was clearly intentional, but the question remains if it’s actually a hint of what’s to come in the next version of Android, or simply a tribute to Chrome on Android.
Probably the most obvious “speculation” is that Google might somehow merge ChromeOS and Android at Google I/O, in the next version of Android. Sergei Brin has said years ago that he could see ChromeOS and Android merge at some point, so are we finally about to see that?
It’s not yet clear how the merger would be done, or if it will even offer any benefits over simply using Chrome for Android. If it’s somehow integrated into Android, then isn’t that just like Chrome for Android? What’s different there? They will need to make the case for it, if they want people to believe in the merger of these 2 products.
Or will there be some kind of dual boot or rapid switching between the 2 operating systems, depending on which you want to use? For example you would get Android on the phone or tablet, but when you’re connecting it to a larger monitor, then you could switch to ChromeOS, and use that “PC-optimized” interface on the larger screen, instead of the more “touch-optimized” Android.
I suppose that could make sense to some degree, but wouldn’t it be easier/better to just make Chrome for Android do all of that? When in landscape mode, Chrome for Android already looks a lot like the desktop Chrome version. So I’m not sure there’s a real advantage of adding ChromeOS to Android, instead of just making Android more optimized for PC when it’s in that “mode” (obviously they shouldn’t compromise the touch version for it).
They could also argue that ChromeOS is a lot more secure, but does that imply Chrome for Android is not very secure? And why not just somehow integrate the security of ChromeOS with Android? Why the need for a whole new “OS” alongside to Android? If Google wants this merger to make sense, they will have to clear up all these questions that I’m sure people will be asking after they announce that.
Of course, this merger might not arrive at this Google I/O, and perhaps never. It’s possible the “chrome” Android is just that – a cool new statue Google put on their campus, with not much significance other than being a tribute to Android having Chrome now. If it’s anything more than that, we should hear about it at Google I/O in May.