There has been ongoing talk about Google merging Android and Chrome. Despite seeing some crossover such as the touchscreen display being added to the Chromebook Pixel, or peripheral support being improved back in Honeycomb — Google is not pushing to merge the platforms anytime soon. In fact, Matias Duarte recently spoke with SlashGear and said that the “two platforms meet different needs.”

That is not to say that a merge could not happen at some point in the future though. Duarte noted that Android and Chrome will remain independent platforms as long as it makes functional sense. One interesting aspect, it seems that despite Android being the bigger of the two platforms, Chrome (the team) has been an influence. Duarte mentioned that “Chrome on Android is the best browser we’ve ever had, and we would not be at that level without the Chrome team doing the work that they do.”

Maybe this will have some reverse crossover in that Android will help to improve the touchscreen functionality in Chrome OS. More specifically at the moment, on the Chromebook Pixel. In fact, it seems Duarte believes that all devices should be touchscreen. He noted that he thinks “every screen should be a touchscreen in the future, regardless if it has a keyboard or not.”

It seems that at some point the two platforms would converge. Whether that means Chrome OS merging into Android or the opposite. Of course, given the current dominance of Android, we suspect that if this ever happens — it will be Chrome coming to Android. Speculation aside, at the moment we have two platforms coming from Google and judging from the comments from Duarte, it looks like that is how it will remain for the foreseeable future.

[via SlashGear]


  1. The merge is happening in Android 5. Doesn’t mean Chromebooks run Android, just means Chromebooks can support Android apps and Android devices get a fuller better Chrome browser that performs pretty much 100% same as on the ARM Powered Chromebook.

  2. When Chrome for Android can run as well as Chrome for Linux/Windows/Mac the merge will be irrelevant. I don’t understand why there are not more Android laptops/convertibles right now, anyway.

  3. I don’t mind to see the merger (in fact I’d love to see that soon) but before the merger could take place I’d like to see these things happen first:

    1. Chrome on Android have full support for add-ons as its desktop counterpart does.
    2. ChromeOS to support Android apps to enhance its offline capability.

    • That’s also what I am looking for.
      A merger doesn’t make much sens, but cross-platform functionality does.
      And when you consider the work done on Quick Office ( An Android app compiled to run on Native Client and therefore on Chrome ) this might be on the way.

      I am not sure that support for extensions on Chrome Android is a Good idea, though.
      Not all of them at least.
      What is good about the Google talk plugin when you have the app? What good for Notifications extension when there is the Notification center and widgets.
      Smartphones are getting better, but Native apps are still better than a webapp in many cases ( performances, UI… ).

      Anyway, if Google manages to have a cross platform ecosystem, where apps, webapps and extensions development could be merged and licences shared, that would be wonderful and surely Chrome OS would look much more interesting.

      For gaming especially, since Chrome has support for gamepads, and Portable Native Client should be able to run on Android, we could see this soon.

      • Clearly you don’t use the same set of extensions as I do, and I don’t use the same set of Chrome extensions as you do. I don’t use Gtalk plugin on Chrome but I discovered lots of visual novels where I don’t think the developers are going to make an Android version anytime soon.


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