According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, Google has plans to merge the operating system that runs Chromebooks, Chrome OS, and Android. According to the Journal, a new name, still undecided, would be given to Chromebooks, as well as an Android-based operating system.
The report states that the project has been in the works for the past two years. When finished, Google will stop the Chromebook name and devices will run a version of Android instead. Google’s Chrome browser’s name will stay unchanged.
According to the report, the new operating system will also run on PCs so that people will have access to Google Play Store and other content from other computers and laptops.
It remains unclear when the new version of Android will be launched, but according to report Google will not reveal it officially until 2017, though an early version may be previewed in 2016.
This is not the first time rumours have been heard about Google planning to combine Android and Chrome OS. Google is yet to confirm the news (a spokesperson from Google refused to comment on the Journal’s report) that the company has initiated the steps to bridge the gap between Chrome OS and Android.
In 2014, Google began making apps that could work on Chromebooks and later unlocked it to any Android developer. In addition, individuals who use Android who also have Chromebooks can use their smartphones to unlock their devices.
Last month, Google demonstrated the Pixel C, a new tablet/laptop hybrid. The unreleased device was designed by the same team that designed Google’s Pixel Chromebook, although the Pixel C runs Android. The fact that the same team behind one of Google’s most premium Chromebooks designed a new Android tablet could be viewed as an indication that the company is reviewing the way they think about Android and Chrome.
Although Chromebooks are highly popular in schools, the Chrome based devices are not nearly as popular as Android devices. Rebranding these devices under the Android name could attract new users to the platform.