Chrome OS is reportedly making a big jump all the way to Android 12. Which is fairly significant to say the least. As virtual Android in its current state on Chrome OS is sitting at Android 9, which means it’s behind by a couple generations.
What about Android 10? or Android 11? According to Android Police evidence points to skipping all of that entirely and moving the virtual Android state on Chrome OS to Android 12 instead.
The details are somewhat minor at the moment, but they are there and suggest that Google is already in the process of jumping things ahead. Android 12, which isn’t yet out for phones, was just released in the developer preview form earlier this week.
So there’s plenty of time for Google to continue development on a version for Chromebooks and other Chrome OS machines. Given that Android 12 for Android devices isn’t going to release until sometime in the second half of the year.
Android 12 for Chrome OS is hinted at by a new Chromium Gerrit entry
A new Chromium Gerrit entry indicates that Google is hard at work on a virtual version of Android 12. Based on its development of Chrome OS using virtual machines.
In the entry, a few strings of letters and numbers are seemingly meaningless. But that isn’t really the case. In the string Add android-vm-sc, “VM” stands for virtual machine and “SC” stands for snow cone which is reportedly Android 12’s internal code name.
The letter S is referenced in the Chromium Gerrit entry once again in relation to the Android Runtime for Chrome.
What does this mean right now?
Basically nothing at the moment. Google hasn’t officially mentioned Android 12 for Chrome OS yet. So even though it may be working on it, there’s no developer preview version that users can install on their Chromebooks like they could with their Android smartphones.
And that means there’s not currently anything to dig into in regards to features and visual changes. However it’s still likely an exciting thing to think about if you use Chrome OS often and have been waiting for a version jump forward.
It’s also likely to be a while before there’s a version that users can install. If however you want to install Android 12’s first developer preview on your smartphone, you can easily do so by following some simple steps that shouldn’t take too long.
Keep in mind that you will need a Pixel phone to do so, and that it has to be at least a Pixel 3, and you need to flash the software manually.