Android and Chrome hybrid set to appear in 2017, according to reports
Google will combine a lite version of the Chrome operating system found on Chromebooks with its Android smartphone and tablet operating system in the near future, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal says Google engineers have been working on the merger project for around two years and demonstrates the growing power of smartphones and tablets.
Android dominates the worldwide smartphone operating system market, with an 82.8 percent market share in the second quarter of 2015, according to IDC. However, in 2014, Chromebook sales accounted for just 1 percent of all PC sales, shipping just over 5 million units.
Last month Google showed off a new tablet called the Pixel, which ships with a keyboard so it can be used like a small laptop. However the Pixel runs Android – not Chrome OS.
An early version of the combined OS could be tested next year, allowing Google to expand Android’s market share as it moves to PCs, not just smartphones, tablets, watches, TVs and cars, and allow laptops to access Google Play.
A commercial release could happen in 2017 and Google will also continue to work on its Chrome web browser, which has between a 25 and 30 percent share in the market. It is suggested the browser will retain the ‘Chrome’ branding but Chromebooks will be renamed.