The killer Google device I want: Chrome and Android, together

It may not be at this year's Google I/O, but we're getting closer: it's only a matter of time before Chrome and Android combine for a next generation of killer products.


SAN FRANCISCO -- At this year's Google I/O developer's conference, a promise was made: Chrome on Android will start feeling more like Chrome on the desktop.

This is as it should be.

I've never understood why Chrome and Android function as separate environments. They're two sides of the same coin; Chrome handles superior cloud-computing and Web use, and Android handles the app-based, offline world: documents, physical media, and files. Chrome has excellent touch-pad and keyboard support, and Android has touch. The two can use each other.

Actually, the lines are already blurring: the Pixel has a touch screen, and there are Android tablets with touch pads and keyboards. The more important work comes under the hood, though. What I want to see is a device like those that are all over the Windows 8 landscape: an excellent tablet/laptop hybrid that's Android and Chrome, all in one.

We're close, but we're not there yet. Microsoft has to be afraid of this proposition: it could beat Windows 8 at its own game.

Google hasn't formally announced that killer future product at Google I/O -- at least, not yet -- but giving out Chromebook Pixels to attendees is a clear message: the next development push is to Chrome and Chrome with touch. Demonstrations of Chrome working across multiple screens via a racing-game demo -- easily, one of the most exciting moments of the keynote -- show where this type of computing could go next. After that, maybe Android and Chrome will be well on their way to being one coherent ecosystem. It'll be a great moment when they are.

Or, perhaps we're already there. If Chrome really starts feeling the same on Android as it does on Chrome OS, then new devices won't be needed. They're already in everyone's homes. They just need to be knitted together.

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne