Some recent forays into the code for Chromium reveal a project called Athena that could be a new touch-optimized interface for Chrome OS. While Google could just be working on a major facelift to their Ash interface that has been used for a couple years now, it does appear Athena could open the door to Chrome OS being deployed on a smartphone or tablet.
Some of the issues that developers are working on as part of Athena include:
- a touchscreen or virtual keyboard;
- a card-based interface for some items;
- a system to incorporate extensions to Athena;
- an initiative called Ares that “will be the home/launcher screen in Athena as well as the launcher for Ash.”
Some of the work discovered for Athena includes a heavy emphasis on new touch gestures, like dragging the bottom edge up to access an “overview mode” or dragging right from the left edge to access a split-screen mode.
Thus far, no specific devices have been found in reference to any Athena entries. However, at least one entry indicates Athena will support a gyroscope and an accelerometer, hardware one would not expect to find in a laptop.
A move to produce an interface that could run on laptops, desktops and mobile devices could also be part of the long rumored merger of Android and Chrome OS.