Chromium Project Hints at New, Touch Friendly Window Manager; Chrome OS Tablet on Its Way?

June 13, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson


We’re big fans of Chrome OS here at Android Headlines, not only are Chromebooks exceptionally affordable, but there’s just something about the Chrome OS’ simplicity that makes it so appealing. Sure, it’s not for everyone and specific uses still require another machine, but for writing all day long they work just great for me and my HP Chromebook 14 is now my main machine for work stuff. I have a PC gaming rig for heavy duty things and well, fun, but Chromebooks are great value and so they’re so simple they’re a nice breath of fresh air from the norm.

It would seem that touch is to be the next big thing tackled by Chrome OS. Chromebooks like the C720P and the infamous Pixel have been shipping with touchscreens for some time now, but the current interface isn’t great for touch-based operation. A new finding in the Chromium Project, which itself becomes Chrome hints at some big changes when it comes to touch, A new window manager, dubbed Athena, has been detailed to replace the current one, Ash. Athena will feature a virtual keyboard and be better optimized for touch, with a new launcher – dubbed Ares – to be the launcher for both Ash and Athena on Chrome OS.  These are just entries in Chromium however, and they could take a long time to see the light of day, but it sure sounds like there’s something big on the horizon for Chrome OS.

Could this mean that a Chrome OS tablet is finally on its way? Well, it could, after all fixing your Window Manager is the first thing to do when touch becomes more of a feature. However, as devices like Lenovo’s Yoga start to run Chrome OS, we’re thinking more hybrid applications for a newly revamped Chrome OS is more likely, especially as the web gets friendlier with touch. While a lot of us are still hoping for an Android tablet that becomes a Chromebook, we’re pretty sure that Google will continue to keep their two operating systems separate, if not at a software level then at least a hardware level. Still, I can dream, right?