A new feature has snuck into the Chrome OS dev channel that, while not yet fully baked (okay, it's still mostly a block of ice), could one day allow users to unlock their Chromebooks automatically just by having their phone in close proximity. This feature is "Easy Unlock."
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.
Google just launched a $1,300 laptop. That's a pretty big deal. In fact, it's a pretty huge deal. In double fact, if our team wasn't about to get on a podcast (see you at 8PM EST!) I'd be sharing all manner of reasons why that's a monumental deal. Unfortunately for you, that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, we can only talk about the device itself. So, what is it?
During his keynote speech at IFA, Eric Schmidt made some interesting comments in regards to Android, tablets, and TVs. Specifically, TV's would be shipping with Google TV software on board (rather than as add-on hardware), and tablets will run Chrome OS rather than Android.
That tablets will primarily run Chrome OS may come as a surprise to some people - after all, nearly every tablet that doesn't run Windows (or iOS) runs Android.