When Sundar Pichai took over as the head of Android after Andy Rubin stepped down, we had a lot of questions. Sundar Pichai is also the head the Chrome, so we wanted to know if the two Google operating systems would be merging at some point in the future. Chrome OS can run some Android apps both OS’s are built on a Linux kernel, so maybe this was something that could happen. Pichai has said on a couple of occasions that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, and he reiterated that fact a couple of weeks ago in an interview with The Economic Times of India. Android and Chrome are going to remain two separate operating systems, and there’s no foreseeable future where they will merge.
Pichai said in the interview that Google is not looking to “force convergence” between the two OS’s. If they are ever going to join into one multi-platform system, it’s something that will have to happen “organically”. This isn’t new news by any means, as sources at Google have said this a number of times. Pichai did expand on the thought process and decision making behind the scenes, however. “If we had decided to fully converge, we wouldn’t have arrived at Chromecast. The team could think about it in a different way because the attributes of Chrome are different,” he said. Because the two teams and the two operating systems are separate, they can focus on making their own individual products better. They can also focus on creating new and interesting things, like Chromecast.
Android and Chrome are pretty great as they are, and there is already a bit of convergence with things like the App Runtime for Chrome that lets some Android apps run directly in the Chrome browser. Google is also unifying the overall design language around Material Design. That design language is effecting changes in both Chrome and Android. While we won’t be seeing a true cross-platform OS like the one Canonical is working on with Ubuntu Touch, we’re in a good place with Android and Chrome developing as they are.