March 15, 2013
Google announced that Andy Rubin, who has overseen the Android mobile operating system since 2004, will step down from his position. The announcement is the latest development in Google’s broad master plan for mobile. In Rubin’s place will be Sundar Pichai, the current head of Google’s Chrome Web browser and Chrome OS project, suggesting a future union between Android and Chrome.
“And here’s where Google shows its hand,” writes Quartz, “even as he takes on new responsibility for Google’s mobile strategy, Pichai will remain in charge of Chrome.” The move shows that Google could be preparing for a time when Android for mobile devices and Chrome for PCs become one.
In 2011, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that Android and Chrome OS would some day fuse, according to the article. “Android currently runs the majority of smartphones in the world, while Chrome OS is Google’s successful but still nascent attempt to provide people with an alternative to Windows on their notebook and desktop PCs.”
Quartz writes that it sees “where Google is going with all of this,” adding that “like the operating system that runs on Apple’s iPhones and iPads, one of the strengths of Android is its enormous library of ‘native’ apps — that is, applications that you download to the device before using. Native applications can do things Web-based applications still can’t, like intensive video editing and high-end gaming.”
Thus, “once Google fuses Android and Chrome OS, Chrome will get the huge library of native applications that it currently lacks, and Android could gain the desktop-like features that make Chrome so useful for getting real work done,” the article explains.