Chrome or Android – Will Google Merge Them?


There’s a convergence coming in the mobile OS market with respect to mobile technology, platforms and consumer demand. Google aims to capture the best of all 3 areas. We can see it happening right before our eyes. The popularity of Android OS on mobile devices, the announcement of Chrome OS and Google’s partnerships with manufacturers to build Chrome OS proprietary hardware.

After Chrome OS was announced last year, I’ll admit, I was pretty damn excited….in fact, I may have peed a little. That was right around the time I got an Android device and began to realize how deadly it was, especially after updating to Eclair. Now, I’m not sure that I have a real need for Chrome OS. I mean, won’t it essentially be doing what I’m doing on my smartphone already, with respect to cloud computing and application use?

Google Chrome OS

At least we know Google won’t be charging for Chrome OS, it is open-source…as is Android. Would I buy a netbook when they come out pre-installed with Chrome OS? I honestly don’t know. Would you? Or would you rather get an Android Tablet? I have to say I’m leaning towards the tablet right now.

The fact that Google has been fairly quiet about Chrome OS the last couple of quarters of 2010 should tell you they’re either re-considering it’s major release (at least this year), or they’re waiting for Android OS to slow down its climb, giving Google a reason to release Chrome OS later to maintain its focus and keep the development train rolling.

Or maybe…they’re combining forces. Chrome OS merging with Android OS. Best of both worlds shall we say?

google android chrome

In any regard, I’m still curious what’s going on with Chrome OS, what devices it will run on, when I can get it, and why I should use it in place of Android OS on a tablet device. Chrome OS is supposed to be released this quarter, with Android 2.3 coming out Q1 of 2011.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we may never see Chrome OS reach any type of popularity as seen in Android OS, and therefore, Google will either dump it late next year like they did with Google Wave, or they’ll build it into Android OS.

What do you think… Will they merge? Will they dump Chrome OS? Will they release both and dominate the PC and mobile markets?

About the Author: Jesse Bauer

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Jesse works in IT professionally. Jesse enjoys keeping up with all things Android and Google related, whoopin butt online in ModNation Racers, keeping up to date on the latest metal music, playing/recording original music, and reading Star Wars novels. Ahead of all those things, Jesse holds his family at the top of the list, who all somehow manage to support him with his endless list of things he wants to accomplish.

  • Matt Oakes

    Honest, what is there to merge? Chrome OS is essentially the Chrome browser and not a lot else. They won’t port over the browser as they already have one on Android that’s much more suited. The only stuff they have left in Chrome OS is all the stuff they’ve put in to enable drives to be attached and things like that – which doesn’t make too much sense on Android, even tablets.

    The only useful part I can think of is to do with printing. If I remember rightly it would print via the web so you could print from anywhere and it would pop out of your web connected printer, much like HP is doing at the minute. That’s the only feature which really makes sense to save.

  • Jojo

    Android and Chrome OS are very different. I see Chrome OS as a direct hit against Windows and Mac desktop computers plus laptops. It is a new cloud oriented way of using your desktop computer. Should Android and Chrome eventually merge, it is at least a few years away …

  • millgate

    Bring it on Google. My Netbook and I are ready now !!

    My Samsung Netbook is ready … I’ve updated the Synaptics Touchpad to allow ‘multitouch’ – and it works fine with Google Maps Navigation … Bluetooth is running very well with my rechargeable Jabra earpiece/’mic … and the Netbook already works fine in a WiFi environment with a ‘dongle’ … and SKYPE works just great.

    All I need is for Google to release a Chrome OS/Android version which puts Windows XP into limbo and I’m in great shape to take the Netbook on the road.

    With a DELL Streak in my pocket and my trusty enabled Samsung Netbook I shall be a real ‘road warrior’ !!

    Bring it on Google … anytime you want.

  • felixHcat

    You can’t “merge” OS’s… you just… can’t. Dalvik VM could be made to run on Chrome OS– sure… and Chrome apps, since they’re web apps, could probably run on Android, sure. But “merging” two distinct operating systems? Uhh? no. Also– the two products are distinct in their goals, implementation, and methodologies.Chrome OS isn’t going to tank just because you lack an understanding of it’s goals. Google sees that the future of the web is an application platform. It empowers developers (eg. eliminates pirating, all source is contained on servers and auth systems are embedded), lowers the barrier to entry for developers (eg. web tech is approachable), web apps TRUELY are universally executable (in modern browsers eg. will work on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, etc.) and with HTML5 application caching and other advanced features, slowly, over the next few years, the web and software as a service (SaS) will begin to encapsulate our entire application ecosystem on our desktops (and mobile devices).Chrome OS is Google’s forward looking OS, preparing for a future that is clear to them since the web is their very business.

  • Lars D

    The problem is not in the technology, it is in the marketing. Android provides a lot of usability improvements compared to Windows, that would make an Android tablet+keyboard more useful to a casual consumer, than a Windows, Mac or Ubuntu computer.

    Google has to view Chrome OS in that context: If Chrome OS is positioned as an alternative to Windows netbooks, and hardware manufacturers then start to flood the market with Android netbooks, Chrome OS will fail to deliver the planned strategy.

    However, if Google can make Chrome OS contain the same features, like easy app development and installation, it has a good chance. However, if an app developed for an Android tab can be made to work on Chrome OS, they could tap into Android market. That, however, would be a significant change to the Chrome OS strategy.

    My best guess is that they are making the Android tablets their highest priority right now, and that Chrome OS will need to adapt to the market position of those. Since Android tablets and apps for these are not widespread, yet, that simply puts Chrome OS on hold.