For as long as Chromebooks have been popular, a large portion of the Android community has been asking for Android and Chrome OS to merge into one platform. Earlier this year, we saw Chrome OS gain access to the Play Store, essentially making Chrome OS and select Chromebooks an Android device in all but name, as many of them are now able to run the same apps and games that Android smartphones and tablets can run. Google has been mostly mum on the subject of the two merging into one platform, despite lots of rumors earlier this year about the Andromeda project. Now, however, Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Google Play, Android and Chrome OS, has spoken out on the subject, saying that the two will remain separate platforms.
During the latest episode of the All About Android podcast, Lockheimer was asked how he would relate the differences between Android and Chrome OS to someone that had never seen or heard of the two platforms before. He went on to answer the question with something of a history lesson, and ultimately defined their differences by how they got their start in life, and ultimately what sort of products they ended up in. As we all know, Android started off life on smartphones, and while it has evolved to cover tablets, smartwatches, the connected car as well as TVs and set top boxes, it’s mostly a mobile platform at heart. Chrome OS, meanwhile, is a sort of mirror of the likes of Windows and Mac OS, and while the majority of Chromebooks are super-portable, the platform is still very much Desktop-orientated, when compared to the mobile platform of Android.
Of course, the elephant in the room when discussing the two platforms as separate is the Play Store, which now delivers Android apps to Chrome OS on selected devices. Lockheimer goes on to say that this is an example of something Google wants to going, which is the way that the two benefit from one another, and together offer Google users a lot of variety to experience the Internet giant’s myriad of products. This won’t come as a surprise to some users, but others will still be hoping Google merge the two systems.