Though we’re just a week away from the much-awaited hardware launch event of the year, leaks surrounding the unveiling of new stuff doesn’t seem to sieze. Google is readying itself to take center stage and unveil the first iterations of Pixel smartphones and possibly a new Wi-Fi router on October 4th. But new reports now suggest that the tech behemoth could have some ‘unexpected piece of software’ up its sleeve for the launch event.
Did that get you even a little bit excited? It sure did get my full attention when I first read the reports, and it is sure to catch you off-guard as well.
There have long been consumers who’ve questioned the existence of Chrome OS and the mighty Android as seperate offerings. And though Google has recently updated Chrome OS to natively support Android apps — a step in the right direction, there have previously been reports(h/t WSJ) suggesting that it has secretly also been working on an Android-Chrome hybrid OS for the past couple of years.
But, Google-focused publication Android Police has confirmation that the Mountain View-based tech behemoth is actually working on merging the capabilities of Chrome OS right into Android. Not only that, the hybrid operating system has been internally codenamed ‘Andromeda’ and is expected to make an appearance at the upcoming Pixel launch event. The rumors of the demo have further been fueled by a tweet from Hiroshi Lockheimer ,Senior VP of Android, Google Play, and Chrome.
We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today. I have a feeling 8 years from now we’ll be talking about Oct 4, 2016.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 24, 2016
The Journal report from over an year ago had claimed that Google engineers had recently made progress and the company is likely to show-off an early version of its single, new operating system in early 2017. But, it now seems that the testing for the OS is underway and we can see the demo of the same much sooner than expected.
It also added that this move from Google could finally help it foray into a category that they’ve left unexplored for quite long — laptops(and similar devices like convertibles or 2-in-1s). And this drives us into the next report from another Google-focused publication 9to5 Google. It has also gathered some intel on the existence of Andromeda, and has found evidence that the company is currently testing the hybrid OS on an HTC Nexus 9 tablet device.
A screenshot from the Android 7.0 Nougat AOSP running on a Nexus 9 device refers to the existence of Andromeda quite a few times. In the screenshot attached above, you can see the hidden free form window management feature that comes bundled with Nougat, but isn’t available to users as of now. The mentions of the hybrid OS in this feature could appropriately see it debut along with Andromeda.
An anonymous source has told us of users running early builds of Andromeda on the Nexus 9, but we have not been able to obtain direct confirmation from those users.
says the publication.
This tid-bit of information also kind-of reiterates the fact that Google might be developing the OS for a tandem of devices, including laptops/convertibles. This could also be the reason behind testing the early builds on a Nexus 9 –a tablet device.
If all the aforementioned rumors are in-fact true, then we could soon be greeted with the next step in the evolution of Android. And this could also give us a glimpse into the future of software and corresponding hardware innovations from the tech behemoth. Oh man, this gets me even more excited for October 4th..!!
What are your views with regard to the release of a new Chrome-Android hybrid OS? Comment your thoughts down below.