Earlier this month, Google officially made it possible to run a handful of Android apps on Chrome OS. Hardly a week later, a developer came along and produced a means of running theoretically any Android app within Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux (including Chromebooks). However, the instructions were somewhat intimidating, so then someone else came along and produced an Android app that can take care of those bits for you.
Back at the Google I/O keynote this summer, we saw a very interesting demonstration - as Sundar Pichai explained, Google wants to make the experience between Android devices and Chromebooks seamless by allowing Android apps to run natively on Chrome (using App Runtime for Chrome, currently in beta). Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard were demonstrated on stage, and today Google has announced the first batch of Android apps that will run on Chrome right now.
Spectators have long wondered whether/vehemently argued that Android and Chrome OS will merge someday, and while Google hasn't shifted towards turning the two operating systems into one, it has taken advantage of this year's Google I/O to show Android apps running on a Chromebook. The company only demoed a few of them and made no promises of complete compatibility across all apps, but it did show the likes of Evernote and Flipboard running just fine.
Chromebooks are normally a little outside of our wheelhouse here at Android Police, but we figured that enough of our international readers would want to hear this that it warranted a post. According to this unaccountably rhyming entry on Google's official Chrome blog, Chromebooks will be available in nine new countries in the next few weeks.
Chile, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, and the Philippines should have models coming in a matter of days (Google says "starting today"), and Belgium, Italy, and Spain will get them in the next few weeks.
Chromecast may perhaps be the evolution of the Nexus Q, but it's not a replacement for Google TV. True to form, the company believes that the two products do not compete with one another and can co-exist comfortably side by side. This should come as no surprise from the folks that brought us both Chrome OS and Android, two operating systems that just aren't going to merge regardless of how loudly some people cry.
One of Google's problem areas has long been the living room, and the Chrome team looks to be coming to the rescue by leveraging the huge mobile device ecosystem. The Chromecast is a new device running a simplified version of Chrome OS. It enables you to get content from your phone, tablet, or laptop to a bigger screen. This is not a Chrome OS computer in a tiny package, but rather a smaller, cheaper, more capable Nexus Q.
Newly appointed head of Google's Android division Sundar Pichai - who perhaps not-so-incidentally also leads the Chrome OS team - recently sat down with Wired for his first interview since Andy Rubin's departure. Though he didn't speak to specifics about any mysterious Motorola smartphone or Chromebook Pixel follow-up, Pichai did shed some light on the state of Android, Google's open-source philosophy, and future projects.
When asked if separate operating systems - Chrome OS and Android, for instance - confuse users, Pichai said the OS is less important than the apps, ecosystem, and backend people rely on.
As soon as Andy Rubin stepped down from Android, and the head of Chrome stepped up to take his place while maintaining lordship of his former OS, rumors have flown wildly that the two operating systems may merge. Not so, says Eric Schmidt. Speaking at a Big Tent event in India, the former CEO, current Chairman says that the two will remain separate products, though they may have more "commonality" between them.
Yesterday, Google did what Google does best: announce a first version of something that is completely ridiculous, very few people care about, most folks mocked, and that will ultimately end up forgotten in the annals of internet history. No offense, Goog. Some later products are spectacular, but let's be real. Very rarely does Google get it right on the first try.
However, the Chromebook Pixel is still a huge deal and the savvy analyst should take notice, because things just changed in a big way.