Google has two mobile operating systems: Android and Chrome OS. Android was originally designed for smartphones but is also used in tablets, plus we have seen it ported to laptop style computers. Chrome OS, meanwhile, has been designed for a laptop chassis (the Chromebook) but has been used in smaller computers requiring a monitor, such as the Chromebox and Chromestick, as well as convertible type laptops with a touchscreen. Both operating systems are based on a LINUX foundation but work in quite different ways: in simple terms, Chromebooks are considered better at the productivity duties people might want on the move and Android is better at consuming media. However, there is some overlap between the two platforms, but both are run as independent but linked platforms.
Last month, we reported that the Google Chrome OS platform was set to receive the Google Play Store and the ability to download and use Android applications. Although this was a rumor, given how Google’s Chrome OS team had been working on getting Android applications running on the Chrome OS platform, this seemed a sensible option for Google to take going forwards. We have also heard a number of reports, including from senior Google Executives, that the Android and Chrome operating systems will remain separate, but connected, operating systems. One way to intrinsically tie the two platforms together is by ensuring they can use the same application store.
Here’s where things get a little bit interesting, because according to the Google I/O website, Google has today announced that the Google Play Store is coming to the Chrome operating system: “Today we announced that we’re adding the best mobile app experiences in the world, Android apps and the Google Play store, to the best browser in the world, Chrome! Come to this session and test your Android apps for Chrome OS. You will get hands on help from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks. Oh, and we will also be giving the first 50 developers to show up a free Chromebook so they can get a head start bringing their apps to Chrome!”