AndroidWhen Google acquired Android in 2005 and subsequently unveiled it in 2007, there was no such thing as ChromeOS yet. Google’s entire OS effort was on Android, and separately the company worked on the Chrome browser for desktop and mobile operating systems. 

Over the last year we’ve started to see Google have success with ChromeOS in the notebook computer market. Android and ChromeOS are both based on Linux, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. ChromeOS is a very thin client, almost everything is done via the browser.

On a personal level, I’ve now gotten to the point where I’d rather consume content on a touch screen device. I prefer swiping my finger on a screen to navigate a website rather than being forced to use a trackpad. This tells me all computers will be touchscreen soon, just like all mobile devices already are.

(UPDATE: A few people interpret this to mean I'm suggesting keyboards or mice/trackpads will be taken away.  I didn't think this clarification would be required considering some Windows machines and the Chromebook Pixel have already introduced touch as an added input mechanism without taking anything away, but apparently it is necessary to make explicitly clear.)

So this raises the question — why would Google want to maintain two operating systems down the road? I don’t think they want this. And I’m trying to get my head around the possible solutions.

(I’d love to see some great discussion in the comment area from those who are more technically savvy with regards to software.)

It seems to me that ChromeOS is all about the Chrome browser, a thin OS, and HTML5 apps. I think we’re still very early days into HTML5, whereas Java seems to be regarded as long in the tooth. BlackBerry ran with Java for many years, and even they’ve abandoned it now. My understanding is that most Android app development still uses Java. Is this bound to change? In the next 5 years is HTML5 bound to be the de-facto design choice? If Google can put together an impressive SDK for ChromeOS where mostly-HTML apps run inside of an incredibly powerful Chrome browser, what else needs to be done?

And assuming Google would prefer to consolidate into a single OS, could they create a ChromeOS Android app player to bridge the two operating systems and eventually push all developers to support only one OS?

I’m not pretending to know all of the answers here. But I do think it’s an interesting topic for discussion., and I think it fits well into Amara’s law, which is “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

Are we underestimating the long term potential of ChromeOS and a shift to browser-based programming languages? Are we underestimating what this does to Android? Wouldn’t this be Google’s best path towards controlling the entire mobile / computing platform?

There are 146 comments

The first sentence in the third paragraph doesn't make sense.

mek2600 says:

Agreed. There's a typo in there somewhere. I read it a few times to make sure I wasn't skipping something.

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He's saying that unlike the popular opinion, which is touch screens are for content consumption, he prefers touch screens in a working environment. I kinda agree with this. While touch IS great for games and such, I like using gestures to navigate web pages, and in creating documents and spreadsheets. It's way better than using a trackpad to get around.

That said, the sentence is awkward in structure.

return_0 says:

Where does he mention a working environment? I'm pretty sure it's a typo; he meant to say "now" instead of "not".

I see your point. Navigating web pages is part of my workset; I think my brain just related to that in this way.

Just reading my own article and noticed the same error.  The word "not" should have been "now".  One letter difference, but huge meaning difference. Fixed.  Thanks.

Praveen K says:

Logic says that they should merge both of them together. I believe Google is waiting for Chrome to build upto the level of Android. Android name is huge, and so does its reach, and chrome OS is dwarfed by it, in terms of what it can do, outreach and app selection. For me a smartphone becomes more or less useless the moment its not connected to internet. It becomes a lot like feature phone with only few offline apps. Chrome OS will start merging with Android once it has decent collection of offline apps, developers will start embracing it to make it more capable, which it isn't so far and it becomes a viable alternative to Windows and Mac, for an average user. Chrome beta recently allowed to pin some "apps" to homescreen. This I think is a backdoor entry of Chrome OS in android. May be sites will start improving their websites so that it can be launched directly from homescreens. Nice article. Thanks.

I'm betting that they will continue to do more to mature Chrome on Android. Once things get far enough along, they might take it a step further.

mwara244 says:

No reason why you can't have dual OS' on the same hardware, like having 2 launchers on a phone. Would love the Pixel to run both android and chrome

Ethan Grimes says:

Chrome OS and Android merging was something myself and I'm sure many thought about over time, but as I've seen what Google is doing with them, it seems less likely that they would merge and it's probably for the best. Chrome OS is focused on the desktop/laptop environment and Android is focused on the mobile environment. Having a CR-48 and watching the OS evolve from pre-release to public all the way to what it is now, it feels like Chrome OS and Android will continue to borrow from one another, but making Android work on a desktop or vice verse would take a huge amount of coding and would (presumably) bloat the OS as you build in support for all the different platforms. Additionally, it makes sense to avoid some market confusion by keeping them separate and letting each one focus on the hardware they're built for, makes for easier maintaining. Just my thoughts though.

wade_county says:

IMO, Android on a laptop or desktop is still more useful than Chrome OS. (well right now at least)

brendilon says:

Absolutely. And it's so incredibly counter-intuitive that their mobile platform is so much more powerful and robust than their desktop platform.

Ethan Grimes says:

Bear in mind Google bought Android and it has been around longer than Chrome OS that they built themselves. Also, the evolution of Chrome OS shows that they didn't have a solid direction in mind when they began it but developed one as it came along. With Chrome OS moving to sit on top of Windows 8 and (presumably other platforms) it looks like Chrome OS is a way for Google to unify some apps and services across all platforms instead of strictly standing on its own. If they keep sharing some idea and designs between Android and Chrome OS then they'll be able to compliment each other nicely.

Something did strike me after I made my comment though, and that is that Google is moving Google TV to match up with core Android releases, possibly releasing a smartwatch and game console as well that will run Android. If they keep up this multi-faceted approach then it could indeed make sense for Android to absorb Chrome OS. Sundar runs both divisions now so it would make it easier on him and the teams to fall under the same banner, but it would probably take a couple years before they got everything merged well if they head that direction.

jdevenberg says:

I disagree with the entire premise of this statement. Chrome OS and Android are aimed at completely different markets. I actively use both Android and Chrome OS and I wouldn't want an Android notebook or a Chrome OS phone/tablet.

Exactly. I could maybe see them allow Chrome OS to run inside Android but honestly what can Chrome do (outside of working on a laptop computer) that Android can't? I personally think it would be counter productive and confusing.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Exactly. I could maybe see them allow Chrome OS to run inside Android but honestly what can Chrome do (outside of working on a laptop computer) that Android can't? I personally think it would be counter productive and confusing.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

takpro says:

Be careful, someone will point out your first sentence grammar and start a whole new thread. ;-)

bigrey81 says:

Can you say windows 8... I say that to say I don't think it would be a good idea if windows 8 is any indication of what mobile and desktop merger is like

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Not the same at all. Windows 8 uses the same interface philosophy as WP, but WP apps don't work on Windows 8 and vice versa. The convergence ends with the look. Personally, if I could play the games I buy on Android on my Chromebook that would be amazing.

Xader says:

Think more in terms of the iEcosystem.

Separate systems for pc vs mobile, but sharing many elements with incredible integration. Safari, itunes, iCloud, etc. All synced nearly seamlessly across all Apple devices and operating systems.

I agree that Microsoft's shoehorning of a mobile OS onto the pc was ill-advised. It's fine for a consumer interface, but absolutely atrocious for a business system, most of which use Windows in one iteration or another (7, if they're lucky).

Sir Alex says:

Moving the mouse on a laptop/desktop is still faster and less effort than reaching to swipe the screen.

Reaching left or right to work a mouse takes about as much effort as reaching up to touch a screen. Not to mention you can scroll around way faster with touch. Unless you've done it extensively, then you really don't understand how natural it becomes.

Besides, this type of interaction is personal preference. You like mice. I like screens. Neither of us is wrong in our preference, but one isn't any more valid than the other.

makapav says:

Actually, you are wrong. Move your hands a few hundred times a day across the scren versus just your fingers/wrist and you will feel the difference.

There's a reason power users that spend a LOT of time sifting across screens will use a mouse. And even more frequent screen sifters will find using a knob mouse (higher movement ratio than a mouse) to be less taxing.

Each type of interface serves a specific purpose and scenario. It's not just 'I like this versus that'.

Yeah, I've used touch screens for several months at a stretch in a common 9 hour work setting with no ill effects. So, no, I'm not.

Bwahahahaha says:

You're absolutely wrong. Don't have to take it so personal. A two year old could tell you moving your whole arm up to a screen to select, swipe, so on, takes much more effort than keeping your arm in one spot and just moving your wrist and clicking buttons with your fingers. Everything about the traditional way to use a computer is much more ergonomic. Less movement, less wear and tear on joints and so on... how does this basic concept not make sense to you??

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ConTejas says:

Agreed. As a trader I have 5 monitors at work, if they were all touchscreens (without some crazy Iron Man technology) I would throw them out of a window before 10am on day one. Love touchscreen at home, not even remotely useful for most business applications.

npco543 says:

"Reaching left or right to work a mouse takes about as much effort as reaching up to touch a screen"

And what of tasks that make continuous use of the mouse - where one hand is on the keyboard, and the other on the mouse? This is the problem with assuming *everyone* has the same workflow/requirements as you do. For tasks that involve a lot of pointing, touch is a non-starter. Holding your arm up in the air and reaching across a 20-30 inch monitor continually is an ergonomic disaster.

I never assumed everyone has the same workflow requirements that I do. Just pointing out that some people find touch preferable to a mouse.

As far as the Ergonomic Disaster you're refering to, of course it's a disaster when you're sitting over 2+ feet away from your computer. Sound a lot like you're assuming everyone uses the same workflow configuration that YOU do. When using touch in the past it's been on a laptop, in which the screen sat less than 15 inches away, and I had to raise my hand a total of 3 inches to navigate.

Again, as I said before, it's about PREFERENCE, but perhaps more importantly ENVIRONMENT. I'm not asserting that TOUCH is the best way to do things, but it's my favorite way to do them, and I can see where some people would prefer this method. You can't knock it unless you understand the work environment in which it truly is useful. I can't imagine a work environment where I would need one hand on a keyboard and the other on a mouse. It obviously wouldn't work for someone like you, if I'm correct in assuming you work that way.

ScottJ says:

The vast minority will use touch, now and into the future. It's just not more efficient than the current paradigm. It looks cooler and makes you feel more like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, but that doesn't make it better.

There's also other issues like fingerprints and precision that haven't even been touched on (pun intended).

npco543 says:

"I never assumed everyone has the same workflow requirements that I do"

You made the statement that reaching left/right to a mouse takes the same effort as reaching up to a monitor. That completely ignores the equally common situation where one primarily uses one hand on a keyboard and the other on a mouse.

And even then, I would disagree that both movements require the same effort. It stands to reason that a lateral movement where the elbow almost always stays on the table takes less effort than raising the entire arm up into the air.

"As far as the Ergonomic Disaster you're refering to, of course it's a disaster when you're sitting over 2+ feet away from your computer. Sound a lot like you're assuming everyone uses the same workflow configuration that YOU do"

Once again, you are incorrect. I neither sit 2+ feet away from my monitor (thank you for your presumptuousness), nor is that the source of the ergonomic nightmare I referred to. The act of continually raising the entire arm up into the air, over and over, continually throughout the day is - even if someone is sitting <2 feet from their screen, even if someone is sitting 6 inches from it.

And to clarify (if not reiterate), I'm not knocking touch. At all. It's a great technology that excels at certain types of tasks and on certain types of devices. What I'm knocking is when people insist that it is, or will become, the accepted superior input method for tasks and on devices where even the smallest amount of logical thought would show otherwise.

You did so when you imagined an arbitrary work environment that isn't ideal for my preference. I said I don't work that way. Again I NEVER said one was superior to the other. Just that there is little practical difference between two gestures...and I stand by that statement.

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Bwahahahaha says:

You can stand by that illogical statement all you want. All that means is you're an idiot. This is simple logic, we're not talking quantum physics here.

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xulux says:

It depends on what you have to DO. There are content creators and content consumers. Using touch for content creation would be extremely limiting - let's see you code and design an app using touch.

vawwyakr says:

Well that's the great thing! You can use a mouse if you want, you don't need to use the touch screen unless its convenient for you. Android already supports mice and touch screens, I love it on my Transformer tablet, sometimes the touch screen makes sense sometimes it doesn't but it doesn't confine me.

I also have a Windows 8 laptop and almost never use the touchscreen on it, but that is mostly because Windows' touch support and interface still just suck in comparison to something like Android. In the end I'd rather have both available for the times when I want one over the other than be restricted into one input paradigm

technomom says:

Not to mention that using a keyboard and trackpad doesn't leave greasy fingerprints on your screen.

I have both a Nexus 7 and a Chromebook. I use them for completely different needs when it comes to work/play. Typing on a Nexus is a pain, even with the best Swype/Swiftkey keyboards. Nothing quite replaces the feedback of a real keyboard especially for a touch typist. Tablets are still best for the read-mostly case whereas I still want a real keyboard for interactivity.

I don't see a merger of Chrome and Android coming but I wouldn't be surprised to see Chrome apps start to show up on Android and more desktop apps to start showing up in Chrome. But I think it is shrewd of Google to keep the platforms separate so as not to confuse users, as Microsoft famously has with its RT debacle.

I think not merging them immediately is allowing Google to learn from the mistakes of those who are going before them.

Fairclough says:

Android as the main core, than maybe open chrome is on it as a sub program similar how they are trying to do on windows 8

- Android Central App. Remember courage is contagious.

StitchTech says:

"On a personal level, I’ve not gotten to the point where I’d rather consume content on a touch screen device. I prefer swiping my finger on a screen to navigate a website rather than being force to use a trackpad. This tells me all computers will be touchscreen soon, just like all mobile devices already are."

Really, Chris? Because you prefer touch screens is why all computers will be touchscreens soon? What hubris! As long as people continue to use monitors that sit on a desktop instead of their laps or in their hands, touch screens won't completely replace the mouse or pointing device. To move back and forth from the keyboard (which will always be necessary), the pointing/touch method will always be more convenient being close to the keyboard. And if you argue that a virtual on-screen keyboard will replace the desktop keyboard, then you now have a tablet, not a computer.

brendilon says:

"if you argue that a virtual on-screen keyboard will replace the desktop keyboard, then you now have a tablet, not a computer."
You're just flat out wrong on this last part. By no definition does a computer require a physical keyboard. The first computers didn't have keyboards of any kind. Your smartphone is a computer, your tablet is a computer. Your laptop is a computer and your desktop is a computer. Desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, Google Glass, smartwatch, these are all sub-types of computers.

As for the touch screen issue, I have on many occasions found myself reaching for my desktop computer screen to do things, often right after I've spent significant time on my tablet. On the other hand I've never found myself wishing I had a mouse when working with my tablet or smartphone.

Whether touchscreens become the way of the future on laptop or desktop machines remains to be seen. However, you sound a lot like the people who scoffed at the mouse and GUI when those were first developed.

npco543 says:

"You're just flat out wrong on this last part. By no definition does a computer require a physical keyboard"

While you are, of course, correct, you're missing the point. I'm pretty sure he meant that if you have a keyboard, you have a *traditional* computer - i.e. a desktop.

"As for the touch screen issue, I have on many occasions found myself reaching for my desktop computer screen to do things"

And as many times as I've heard this, I can honestly say I've never, not a single time, found myself reaching towards my desktop monitor, before or after any length of time using a touch-screen device. And incidentally, I'm continually wishing I had a mouse when trying to do any type of precision tasks on a tablet. Be it writing anything beyond a few short sentences, or having to select any type at all, the lack of precision inherent in a touch screen is maddeningly frustrating.

I'm not saying touch won't remain with us, and doesn't excel, as a primary input method for certain tasks/uses, but it's beyond absurd when people claim with absolute certainty (which I know you're not doing, but others are) that touch will be the one and only input method on all computing devices.

Chris' opinion that because *he* prefers touch input for *content consumption* tasks, all computers will necessarily move to touch input is, as StitchTech said, a shocking level of hubris.

brendilon says:

Actually, I think that as costs of touchscreen continue to drop, then yes, all consumer computer WILL incorporate touch input. Not everyone will use that aspect of the interface, but just as the CRT monitor has died for computers (and televisions as well), the non-touch screen will fall by the wayside.

Chris's opinion may not be worded terribly well, but he's right. What he's saying is that based on his own experience with the ease of use of touchscreen input, he believes that touchscreen input on all computers will become the norm. The level of nitpickiness by some of the posters is far more shocking than his lack of hubris.

npco543 says:

"Actually, I think that as costs of touchscreen continue to drop, then yes, all consumer computer WILL incorporate touch input. Not everyone will use that aspect of the interface, but just as the CRT monitor has died for computers (and televisions as well), the non-touch screen will fall by the wayside. "

That may come to pass, but I'm not so sure it's a certainty. Flat panel displays supplanted CRTs because they have many and significant advantages - they're far lighter, take up far less space, use less electricity, they're more consistent, easier to mass produce, easier to ship and store, the list goes on.

If all monitors end up including touch input, it'll simply be as a means to maintain a certain price point. In other words, the technology will become so cheap that manufacturers will include it just as a reason to maintain monitors at a given price point. It won't be because touch input is a superior, end-all, be-all input method... because it just isn't. It's great in many areas, but horrible in many others.

"Chris's opinion may not be worded terribly well, but he's right"

No, in precisely the way he worded it, he is not right. And it's not nitpicking to call someone out on a statement like that. Such myopic statements call into question his judgement and insight on the overall industry he serves.

brendilon says:

"It won't be because touch input is a superior, end-all, be-all input method... because it just isn't. It's great in many areas, but horrible in many others."

I've already outlined below how you're wrong here. Touch is absolutely superior to mouse input. I don't see the incorporation of touchscreen input into monitors replacing keyboards and I don't think Chris was arguing for that either, though he didn't explicitly address that one way or another.

The mouse is to the computer screen what the blackberry trackballs were to smartphones. They were very good technologies in their time, but just as the trackball fell by the wayside to the touchscreen, so too will the mouse.

You really love the word 'myopic' don't you? You must be quite nearsighted yourself because all you can see is what's happening right now and that what you perceive as what touch can or should be won't work for you. You seem to lack any ability to see beyond what IS at this moment and to see what is possible. Chris's perspective is confined to his own experiences, self-centered would be a better description. But you actively refuse to consider the perspectives of others as having any validity. Your attitude is the truly myopic one.

ScottJ says:

"Touch is absolutely superior to mouse input."

Wrong. It has a few advantages over mice and lots of disadvantages.

brendilon says:

And what are these disadvantages? Please, enlighten us all. Multi-touch alone makes a touchscreen superior. If you work in a visually creative industry the gestural nature of touch blows using a mouse out of the water.

So what disadvantage does touch offer over a mouse? Are you afraid your arm might get tired? I'll bet your wrist NEVER gets tired or sore from using a mouse and it's not as though carpal tunnel syndrome is a thing...

I'd love to know how many of the people speaking so dismissively of touchscreens have actually used them in a computer environment for any length of time. I would bet it's very few. before you offer your ever-so-insightful response, please tell us how much time you personally have spent working on a laptop or desktop with a touch screen. if you haven't spent any time on such a machine, just keep your mouth shut until you can speak from experience.

ScottJ says:


-Blocking the screen
-Looking stupid pointing at your computer screen

It's like talking to your computer. Cool in theory, dorky in practice.

Need more?

brendilon says:

-Precision - Have you used one? No? Then you really have no idea. I do more precision work in an hour than you probably do in a month and the experience I've had in working with my boss's machine have been extremely positive.

-Fingerprints - Really? Who gives a frack? I just put my hands all over my computer screen, I don't see a single fingerprint. They'll be there when it turns off, but who the heck cares? It's a tool not a piece of fine art.

-Blocking the screen - Right, because everyone is going to hold their hands in front of the screen the entire time they're working. We'll never, y'know, lower them. Especially to type.

-Ergonomics - Do you have a degree in ergonomics? Have you used one of these machines at length? No? Then you have no idea what you're talking about, so, stuff it until you have actually tried it.

-Looking stupid pointing at your computer screen - Do you know why talking to your phone/computer hasn't caught on? 1. There is a total lack of privacy, everyone around you knows exactly what you just Googled. 2. It's rude, nobody around you wants to know what you just Googled, or hear the email you're dictating to a client, consultant, associate, friend or family member. It's not because you look stupid doing it, look at the bluetooth earpieces people wear, look at the stupid fauxhawk haircuts that are trendy. Heck, look at hipsters in general. Dorky/stupid is a matter of perspective. People look stupid holding up tablets to take pictures, but overwhelmingly folks demand cameras on their tablets.

So, in short, your 'drawbacks' are
1. personal insecurities (looking stupid)
2. silly (fingerprints)
3. based wholly on assumptions you've made without actually using one of these devices at any length (hands blocking the screen, precision and ergonomics)

ScottJ says:

You have no idea what I have and haven't used. I could throw down my credentials to rebut your assumptions but what's the point? You'd just dismiss them out of hand just like you've dismissed the legitimate drawbacks to touch screen use on a desktop with weak rebuttals.

There's no way you can be as precise with a normal human finger as you can with a mouse. Impossible. It's physics. In fact, that's why modern touch interfaces use huge buttons and text to allow touch screens to be useful at all.

Fingerprints are a major problem. You can just shrug it off. Your rhetorical skills are weak so I don't blame you. It doesn't change the problem.

Please tell us what kind of design work you do where you can get away with a touch interface. Something tells me you won't say. Just a guess.

brendilon says:

You've got my credentials in a post below, I won't bother repeating it. Do you want my LinkedIn next? So what do you do chief? How much time have you spent working with touchscreens on a desktop? Are you going to tell me more about how I cant possibly do my job with a touchscreen when I know people who are doing it and know that most in the design industry are eager for such tools?

How exactly are fingerprints a major problem? When the screen is on, you can't see them (unless you're some slob smearing pizza grease all over your screen, and a screen is a lot easier to clean than a keyboard) and when the screen is off, who cares? So how are fingerprints a "major problem"?

You have literally no idea what you're talking about, do yourself a favor and just stop talking.

npco543 says:

I really try not to stoop to this level, but you really are a fool.

"-Precision - Have you used one? No? Then you really have no idea. I do more precision work in an hour than you probably do in a month and the experience I've had in working with my boss's machine have been extremely positive."

Oh, really. I bow to your physic powers to know what everyone else does on their computers. You do more precision work in an hour than I (or the person you were replying to) do in a month, huh? Really? I do 3D modeling, image editing, video editing and throw in some CAD/CAM... on a daily basis. What, pray tell, do you do in an hour that requires more precision than that?

"-Fingerprints - Really? Who gives a frack?"

Hmmm, I do. I'm continually making sure my monitor is clean so while I'm retouching images, I don't mistake fingerprints on the screen for blemishes in the image. It's actually rather important.

"-Blocking the screen - Right, because everyone is going to hold their hands in front of the screen the entire time they're working."

Really funny that someone who does more precision work in an hour than most do in a month apparently doesn't understand this point. It really makes me suspect you don't actually do any precision work. Here's why it's an issue - if I'm modeling an object to be manufactured, it's actually rather important that points in a mesh line up and/or are *exactly* where I need them to be. When the tip of a finger covers an area of upwards of 8,100 pixels (90x90 square), all of which are blocked while trying to move a single point, it makes moving a point with any precision, literally, impossible.

"-Ergonomics - Do you have a degree in ergonomics?"

No, I don't, and I suspect neither do you. But I can say with absolute certainty that lifting/holding an entire arm in the air requires more effort than laying said arm on a table and resting the hand on a mouse. And here again, precision comes into play - since when the entire arm is held in the air, the hand, and by extension, the tip of the outstretched finger is inherently less stable than a hand resting on a mouse on a table. But being the savant that you apparently are, I'm sure you happen to be able to hold your arm in the air with your outstretched finger, indefinitely and without a hair of movement or fatigue. Must be from all the precision work you do each hour of the day.

"-Looking stupid pointing at your computer screen"

I could care less how I look while I'm working, all I care about is what will enable me to do better work, or work more efficiently. And touch does neither.

So, in short, you are:

1. A fool
2. Most likely full of shit
3. Arrogant

brendilon says:

I've already given my credentials, twice. Apparently HOK with their Revit/Touch customizations are fools too. God only knows how they got to be so successful.

So, how much time have YOU spent using a touch enabled desktop? I can't help but notice that every time I have asked that question of anyone here, no one ever actually answers it. The only folks to have mentioned how much time they have spent using one were positive about the experience. having spent several days messing around with a touchscreen desktop and trying to see how well Autodesk's tools functioned with Windows 8 and a touchscreen interface, I can say from personal experience that it was ergonomically comfortable to use and I found no issues with precision.

ScottJ says:

Thanks. I had to get back to actual work so couldn't continue educating the fool. Apparently, the extra precision he gains by using touch interfaces allows him near infinite time to yammer on and on in opposition to logic and common sense.

I certainly wouldn't hire anyone whose logic faculty was so impaired that they would think for a moment that a finger touchscreen interface could ever be more precise than a mouse and keyboard, much less a drawing tablet.

Obviously, Brendlion has been raiding Snoop Lion's stash if he believes his own BS.

Bwahahahaha says:

I think it's safe to say you owned brendilon, or whatever his dumbass name is, and owned him hard! Fantastic response! Straight to the point with FACTS to back it up. He's clearly a fool, and everyone should just leave it at that... let him keep talking and talking... it will only serve to make him look more like the complete and utter fool he has shown himself to be thus far. We have to just relax and eventually come to the conclusion that some people in this world just do not possess even a sliver of basic logic... and leave it at that.

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Andy_in_Indy says:

The last three laptops I have purchased for myself were touchscreen devices. The first of which was from 2002 and ran Windows XP. It is not the OS or the form factor that slow touch screen adoption.

I quite enjoy watching people distort something I wrote inside of their own  minds and then spew out irrelevant arguments about it.  Case in point, I said all computers will go touchscreen.  I did NOT say mice or trackpads will disappear.  

I say "computers will go touchscreen".  You interpret "the mouse will completely disappear".  Hilarious difference there.

brendilon says:

It's amazing how many people are making that assumption. It reminds me of the wisdom of the late, great George Carlin... "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

ScottJ says:

It's telling that people who get paid to communicate for a living blame the audience when their meaning is not clear. You yourself said he didn't word it well and now you are kissing his ass.

brendilon says:

I said he didn't explicitly say he was or wasn't getting rid of the keyboard. Since he didn't say he WOULD get rid of the keyboard I see no reason to think that's what he was saying. I'm not kissing his ass, I find the false assumptions of most of these comments and the judgmental attitudes of those who have never worked with the technology (such as yourself) to be entertaining.

He gave his opinion on what would happen in the future, folks like you swear he's wrong and touchscreens won't work for anyone (those of us who have worked with touchscreens and like them are wrong too, we just don't know it yet apparently). So you condemn him for making a statement based on his experience, while you make the exact opposite statement because of your own experience. That makes you hypocrites.

He wrote one thing, folks assumed something else. Because they're fools. Though not nearly as much of a fool as folks who condemn the technology without ever actually using it.

ScottJ says:

"who have never worked with the technology (such as yourself) to be entertaining."

False assumption.

"folks like you swear he's wrong and touchscreens won't work for anyone"

Straw man.

"So you condemn him for making a statement based on his experience, while you make the exact opposite statement because of your own experience."

No. We are disagreeing. That's still allowed, right? Touchscreens have been out for a while now. What's the adoption rate? If it's so superior why aren't people clamoring to buy Windows 8 machines with touch enabled? For a new interface method to supplant a predecessor it has to offer a better, more efficient way. Touch is not a better way for the majority of people.

We'll know who is right in the next five years or so. I'm betting on me and the rest of the fine folks on this site who have expressed their disdain for the notion of touchscreens supplanting mouse and keyboard for most critical tasks. What are you willing to bet?

"He wrote one thing, folks assumed something else."

No. We are criticizing him for using his anecdotal experience to extrapolate to the whole population without corroborating evidence, like market penetration or other stats. It would be like me saying, "I like using a stylus on the Note 2. Therefore it's obvious to me that all phones will soon come with a stylus." It's absurd reasoning.

brendilon says:

"folks like you swear he's wrong and touchscreens won't work for anyone"
Not a straw man, several folks here have made comments along those lines.

"who have never worked with the technology (such as yourself) to be entertaining."
Is that so? How much time have you spent working with a touchscreen interface on a desktop machine? I've asked several times now, you've ignored each. The logical conclusion is that you haven't done so and don't want to admit it.

"He wrote one thing, folks assumed something else."
No, that's actually what happened. He talked about how touchscreens are the future and everyone would be using them, then a bunch of folks started popping off as if he had said keyboards and mice were going away.

npco543 says:

No one has distorted anything, Chris.

While others have made the "mouse will disappear" suggestion, you've been faulted not for that, but the presumptuousness of your statement: "I've come to like touch for my use, and this tells me all computers will include touch soon". As if entire industries move on your own personal preferences.

I'll agree that these complaints might be over the top, but really no more than the presumptuousness of your statement. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and all that... It hasn't helped that several others have jumped on this "I'm a god on a computer and since I like touch, you pathetic mortals have no place complaining" attitude.

In the end, I think the lesson is: Blanket statements backed up only by personal preferences are generally a bad idea.

brendilon says:

"Blanket statements backed up only by personal preferences are generally a bad idea."

So true...

"Touchscreens for Photoshop are no one's wet dream - no one's, save those who don't actually use Photoshop."


It's my opinion that, yes, all (read the vast majority of) computing devices will use touch screens as an input choice.  Yes, anyone that starts arguing about the need for a keyboard (countering a non-existent argument in my article) is distorting what I wrote.  Simple to understand this.  Anyway, I could have written a lot more about why I believe touch screens will become the norm, but I see it as totally obvious and falsely assumed others would see it this way too.  It was a very minor point in a bigger discussion, and unfortunately that has sidetracked the conversation.   Either way, time will tell if I'm right.  People are free to disagree with my views, but I'll still call them out on distorting the hell out of them.

Adam Acuo says:

I don't think so. Touch on a desktop is superfluous and non ergonomic. Ice got my hands on the mouse and the keyboard... Why would I move my hand out to the screen when I can flick the mouse?

still1 says:

here is what Google should do with Chrome OS. allow linux App compatibility, maybe with little modification and be a big PC player like Microsoft and Apple

ryanidcomm says:

"I prefer swiping my finger on a screen to navigate a website rather than being force to use a track pad. This tells me all computers will be touchscreen soon"

O yeah? really? because of you?

you may be right but a respected journalist would not word it like that.

a mouse still beats a touch screen or a track pad in my opinion. mostly cuz i sit more then a arms length away from my monitors.

couch computer.. feild computer.. touch screen...

when work needs to get done.. ill keep my mouse handy

Hilarious .. you're making the same mistake as the guy a few comments higher.  Adding touch screen does not mean removing keyboard / mouse / trackpad.  You're just painting that picture in your mind.  I didn't suggest this.

ScottJ says:

The mistake was yours. You implied that because you find touchscreens useful that all computers would soon have touchscreens. That conclusion could only be reasonably reached if everyone were your exact clone. Market forces will decide. If my preferences dictated product design then all TVs would still have picture-in-picture as I used it a lot. The general public did not and now it's only a feature on a few models.

Don't blame your lack of clarity on the audience. If a large proportion of the people reading your words are interpreting them in a way that you didn't intend, that's on you.

Abionic says:

Dude, my two year old, who has his own ipad 2, constantly walks up to the tv and touches the tv trying to select pingu or barney, then acts all confused when the tv doesn't act like the ipad.

Wrap your hand around this, in the future EVERYTHING will be touch enabled. In fact, with sensor fusion, everything will be touch, gesture and speech enabled. And who knows what other input technology breakthroughs are on the horizon. And you are nitpicking someone's choice of words. Phifft... Lol

Posted via Android Central App via HTC One

Motorola Droid Bionic Has Been Stolen and has been recovered! Yey!

ScottJ says:

Wait till your two-year old tries to do anything in Photoshop. For those of us over two, we actually need to get some work done.

The argument isn't that touch screens aren't intuitive. However, there are major compromises that have to be made to make them work; compromises that make them less efficient for a lot of different PC work tasks.

brendilon says:

A touchscreen is a tool, a mouse is a tool, a physical keyboard is a tool. Just because you get a new tool doesn't mean you throw away the old tools.

And again, Photoshop. Touchscreen's for photoshop are a wet dream for many graphic artists.

npco543 says:

And here again you demonstrate your shocking lack of understanding of the subject on which you comment.

Touchscreens for Photoshop are no one's wet dream - no one's, save those who don't actually use Photoshop. A Pen tablet is an incredibly valuable tool, one with pressure support more so, with the ultimate tool being a pressure supporting pen *on* the actual display like the Wacom Cintiq series of tablets.

In fact, my Intuous tablet supports multitouch input in addition to the pen, and after many months of trying, I eventually turned off the touch part. It got in the way when I wasn't using it (unintended inputs), and when I was intending to use it, it was far to imprecise to be used for anything beyond large scale gestures. Even pinch-zooming was too imprecise to be any advantage over the mouse.

You might want to reconsider what you define as precision, because despite claiming to find a touchscreen perfect for your own precision work, and making claimes to it's desirability for other precision work (it's a photoshop user's wet dream), there are people in this thread who actually work in Photoshop and other similarly precision requiring programs who are telling you from *professional experience* that touch is a non-starter for those types of tasks.

brendilon says:

I see, so you have professional experience and I don't. Jeez, my boss is gonna be pissed to hear that we've been lying to our clients about my resume, that can get you kicked off of a Federal project...

Oh, or is it just that only your experience matters?

You got it. Pretty simple eh? Amazing adults can't comprehend this.

Posted via Android Central App

Scott - foolish words. I did say all computers will have touch. You've attempted to change the debate. Others who read your original comment and my reply can see that clearly.

Posted via Android Central App

He implied no such thing. You and others read that into it.

Visit any place that sells laptops and you will see several models with touch screens. When Windows 8 launched stores had maybe 1 of 2. That will steadily increase over time as prices drop and with in a couple years touch screens will be the norm not the exception.

However mice and keyboards are not going anywhere any time soon if ever.

Posted via Android Central App

one80oneday says:

I'd love an Adroid player for ChromeOS and desktop Chrome Browser for Android.
There's really a lack of ChromeOS apps and most are just a link. Android player would add a lot.
You gotta add ChromeCast, Google TV and Android TV to the mix too.

verpeiler089 says:

Most people who work in a office and use SAP (or some other enterprise software), or excel/word/pp could never work efficiently with a touchscreen.

How can a journalist be so wrong?

brendilon says:

How can a journalist be so wrong? Well, perhaps he's not. Have you ever tried using a touchscreen in an office? My boss's laptop is a touchscreen and she loves using it. The software interface still needs some work, but considering how nascent that technology is for desktop applications, I'd say it has a lot of promise. I look forward to getting one myself once the software packages I use are optimized for W8.

npco543 says:

"My boss's laptop is a touchscreen and she loves using it"

Please elaborate on that by sharing precisely what your boss uses her touchscreen laptop for. If it's for the typical "boss" tasks - checking/writing relatively small e-mails, setting events on a calendar, browsing the web, then yea, a touchscreen can work perfectly well.

But because limited tasks such as those might be served adequately by a touchscreen doesn't speak to the degree to which touch can be used for more involved tasks - lengthy text input (programming, word processing, etc), visual and/or precision input (Powerpoint, graphics, etc.).

The level of myopia people proudly display today is rather shocking - "Because *my* workflow is so limited as to make touch input practical, everyone else's must be the same". In effect, what people like this are saying is "No one can possibly be doing anything more than I am on a computer". This may come as a shock, but most people are doing more than the simplistic tasks touch is good for, many people are doing dramatically more, and productivity would grind to a halt if we all had to deal with the torturous imprecision of a touhscreen for *all* our computing tasks.

brendilon says:

My boss is the principal of our firm, she writes a lot of emails, but she also writes contracts and proposals in Word, reviews and marks up .pdfs, and develops presentations in Powerpoint. My own work encompasses much of the same tasks, but also includes extensive graphical work with Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCAD and primarily Revit (which is not optimized for W8). Designing buildings is a fairly demanding task as far as visual and/or precision input (Powerpoint? HA!). And if you're skeptical of work in my or any other heavily graphical field ever working with touch, Google for "HOK Revit Touchscreen". A very large international firm has optimized the software themselves to take advantage of touchscreen technologies (as a smaller firm, we lack the ability to undertake such efforts). Many graphics intensive companies work with WACOM tablets, it is largely the preferred method of working with Illustrator and Photoshop, touchscreens would make the WACOM tablet obsolete since you could work directlyon the digital canvas. So what oh-so-demanding tasks do you envision that touchscreen simply won't work for?

Touchscreen input doesn't necessarily mean replacement of the keyboard. I would argue that touchscreen input will replace the mouse, as both touchscreen and mouse input take up no space on the screen and serve identical functions. And with multitouch, touchscreen can do a whole lot more. A digital keyboard on the other hand takes up screen real estate. There's a reason that keyboards for tablets are a popular accessory, it's not just the tactile quality, it's also a matter of the limited screen real estate.

As for the "torturous imprecision of a touchscreen", sure it is imprecise on a small smartphone, but it's less so on a larger smartphone or tablet. On a full size computer screen, it is certainly not imprecise.

You speak of myopia, yet you yourself seem determined NOT to see the potential of this technology. Your own stubbornness to consider the potential of touchscreen technology in laptop and desktop applications while deriding the perceived myopia of others positively reeks of hypocrisy.

ScottJ says:

Imagine trying to code on a touchscreen computer without a mouse. Ugh. Horrible. What about Photoshop? For professionals who work with graphics sometimes even the mouse isn't precise enough and they use a pen and tablet instead. Touch with just your finger is useless for these tasks.

In the end, the market will decide. Sometimes business tries to force things onto a public and the public just shrugs. For example, 3D TV. Touchscreen desktops will suffer the same fate as 3D TV.

brendilon says:

"What about Photoshop? For professionals who work with graphics sometimes even the mouse isn't precise enough and they use a pen and tablet instead."

What do you do professionally? I'll bet it's not anything in the design field.
Folks in the design field who work with photoshop, illustrator, etc (such as myself) don't use WACOM tablets because they're more precise. They're not. We use them because using a stylus with a WACOM tablet is freer, more natural and more gestural than using a mouse. It's like having a pencil or paint brush in your hand when drawing on paper. Touch computer screens are like taking the WACOM tablet and putting it on the screen. It's like painting on the canvas, instead of moving the brush in one place and seeing the paint applied in another. It is quite literally something that designers have been hoping for and daydreaming about for years.

But please, tell me what it is that me and my associates need and want and have been using and the reasons for doing so in the course of doing our jobs. It's enlightening... And what is it that you do? If I had to guess, I'd say you sound like Middle Management. The type that is all about telling people who actually know what they're doing and have been doing ti for years how to do their jobs, without ever having done it himself.

Thank you for proving you have no idea what you are talking about and that you are completely and totally full of crap.

ScottJ says:

By day I'm a software engineer and have spent 18 years in the software industry. By night I own a Web design company. My wife does most of the Photoshop work for our business using both her laptop and a tablet and pen. I do the overall design and coding. She would never use a touchscreen for such precision work.

So much for assumptions, eh?

brendilon says:

And how much time have you or she actually spent using a touchscreen? I've never talked to a single designer that doesn't want touchscreens, everyone in our office (except for one old project manager) has requested one for as soon as the software we use in our office is optimized for it.

Your wife doesn't want one? Well, not everyone wanted a touchscreen smartphone either. You sound like you're so locked in to one way of thinking (Oh my god... FINGERPRINTS! Seriously, wtf is with that hangup?) and working that it's no surprise you can't imagine adding another tool. It's pretty pathetic really. You sound like the uptight old farts that work for some of the consulting firms we deal with who are so stuck in the way they've always done things they fight every possible change tooth and nail, even if it would improve their workflow.

npco543 says:

And please tell us what software you're referring to, and what *specifically* are the tasks all the designers you've talked to do.

The term "designer" can be applied to anyone in a huge range of positions - from ones that just have to pick the prettiest picture out of a series, to people who actually create said pretty pictures and need pixel-perfect precision.

I suspect you've not talked to anyone in the latter category, because I happen to be amongst that group and none of the people I know and work beside doing high profile international work have any interest in a touch screen.

brendilon says:

I've already answered this elsewhere, but sure, why not.
Software: Illustrator, InDesign, AutoCAD (booo!) and primarily Revit.

What do the people I work with and have talked to (both in my firm and outside) actually do? Let's see, we produce complex 3D models of buildings, technical construction drawings from said models, renderings for clients and marketing materials for proposals (I do the first three personally). My job title is BIM Manager, but in a small firm like ours you wear many hats.

Aside from people at my own firm (which admittedly is small, only 20 people), I've also spoken to designers at Gensler, SOM and Jacobs about this topic and HOK has been implementing it for some time in at least one of their offices. If you're in the design industry you may have heard of one or two of those companies.

npco543 says:

I'll try to bring the intensity of the conversation down a bit.

I'm not, and never have, said touch doesn't have it's place. It most certainty does, and certainly well beyond phones and tablets.

I think the issue here is that you and I (and others that also disagree with you) have very different definitions of precision. With all respect, the responsibilities of a Building Information Modeling Manager simply do not include high-end graphic design work. Now I can't say that you're not a graphic design whiz on the side, but from some of the things you've said, I suspect not. Which is fine, I'd be a shockingly bad manager of pretty much anything beyond myself.

The application which you've refereed to (HOK's system of using Revit on a touchscreen) was developed to allow adjustments to an existing design during in client meetings. That is to say, generally small changes. Additionally, building design applications lend themselves to a fairly drag-and-drop, preset, snap to a grid workflow, so while it sounds like a high-end application, the requirements for precision can actually be relatively low.

The level of precision I'm talking about is like needing to select the top middle dot in the following: ::::: How are you possibly going to do that with your fingertip? Try it, lift your finger to the screen and see how many are obscured. Unless you have little girly fingers, the'll all be! My work requires that level of precision sometimes 10-12 hours per day. Literally. And a touchscreen simply will never provide that - not because of a limitation of the actual technology but because of the physical bluntness of the pointing device - i.e. my fingertip!

I'm sorry if I got a bit annoyed with the conversation, but it's people blindly buying into technologies, and endorsing applicability in areas they really aren't entirely hands-on knowledgeable about that leads to manufacturers adding said technologies everywhere. Next thing you know, I'm paying more for monitors because they all include touchscreens which are of absolute zero use to me.

So again, I apologize if my replies were a bit heated. We just have very different ideas of what constitutes precision, and what may suffice for you (or your boss) does not necessarily (or at all, in this case) suffice for the work I do.

This is so funny. So you don't want to code on a touch screen? Use the Damn keyboard then. Nobody is taking that, or the mouse away

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fbales says:

I don't like the two OS's because I think the resources put into Chrome could be better utilized in Android. Android is a hugely popular brand and it's logo is as identifiable as any in tech, and more so than most. Google should build on that brand, plain and simple. At least identify ChromeOS with Android somehow. I too have a CR-48, and never use it (the wife does, but not much since she got a Note 2), but I use my android devices all the time.

Devlyn16 says:

The reality remains that when using a finger to swipe you are blocking part of the screen you are viewing. That combined with the simple ergonomics involved in vewing a screen of a normal size [distance to the screen from the head, looking forward not down, etc ] indicates to me we are still a good ways off from eliminating mice and other Human Interface Devices in favor of a touch screen interface.

npco543 says:

No way dude, you can't be more wrong. All the reasoned logic you employ totally fails. And do you know how I know? Because Chris finds that he prefers swiping for his content consumption tasks. I mean, what more convincing could you possibly need?


ScottJ says:


This is becoming a bit of a sad joke ... Do you really think having a touch screen has to mean eliminating anything?

ScottJ says:

You're right. It couldn't be what your wrote. It must be us that misunderstood. All of us. Got it.

brendilon says:

All of you that misunderstood, misunderstood. The rest of us actually read the article.

Straw man. A few misunderstood because it is a common flaw in how people read. They read and then have an inner dialogue debate about what they imagine they read. Not everyone does this, but many people do. Same kind of people who use universals like "everyone" in a debate :) Ok I better stop. I'm having too much fun.

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hpham72 says:

Great insights up above. Just wanted to add, which may have been alluded to already, that Google is an Internet company. So I think Chrome and Web applications is their long term goal, regardless of operating system. Note the guy who heads up Chrome development now has Android under his wing as well. Perhaps once mobile technology improves sufficiently, Android will no longer be needed.

Posted via Android Central App

Now THAT'S an interesting notion. It kinda indicates that WebOS was really WAS the future, just before its time.

joeynumbers says:

I think it's in Google's main interest to have its users on chrome. This is where search is the main way to get around and there is no fragmentation.

Posted via Android Central App

Xristopher B says:

HTML5 is a mark-up language. It can format data display. It is the content/presentation layer. But it certainly cannot handle the sophisticated and complex logic that an OS needs.

Java, while having been around for some time, has had a recent resurgence. Twitter is a good example as it moved from a Ruby/Rails code base to Java to provide more scalability, hardware efficiency, multi-threading, and reliability. With more developers moving back into Java, its likely to expand in usage.

As a developer, I also disagree that all computers will become touch screen. Its a) not practical for all audiences b) dirties the screen and c) isn't something an enterprise is likely to allocate funds to such an expense. That doesn't mean there aren't users out there with that preference...I just don't see it becoming the status quo. I would be more inclined to support the idea of gesture tracking (a la Kinect, Leap Motion, etc.) as becoming the de facto interaction in the future of computing.

The question was, will ChromeOS and Android ever merge? I say no. ChromeOS is a stopgap to keep IE from overrunning the browser market. But Google would probably prefer that computers become touch machines with voice recognition and the days of the mouse and keyboard will become obsolete. So making a browser for your laptop or desktop PC would keep it useful. Best to just not develop that.

I've been developing for over 28 years. And I just want to comment on a couple of technical concepts I think were missed in the original article. First off, HTML5 does not do apps. You can certainly use it for apps, but JavaScript makes the browser do things. HTML5 and CSS3 provide the construct or the display if you will for making things appear on the screen. JavaScript is for browsers and is interpreted on the fly. Java is virtually identical to JavaScript, but Java is compiled to a binary code (or numbers in a file) that work for a specific processor. For example, the ARM processor in most DROID phones. You pack the compiled Java code into an apk to install onto the target phone or tablet. Now keep in mind, JavaScript is supported as a real time scripting language in almost every modern browser. Windows 8 actually has Java incorporated in the OS and since Visual Studio 2012, web programming and even application development is heavily dependent on JavaScript. Java is compiled using an app like Eclipse (the freeware version of Visual Studio and for Java too). JavaScript is like BASIC and is executed from the code real-time. Oddly, JavaScript is more popular than Java or at the very least as popular. Almost all of the platform "SharePoint" from Microsoft is run by JavaScript and a modified version of jQuery (a set of JavaScript libraries to insanely simplify JavaScript programming in HTML5 and CSS3, as well as user interfaces and mobile user interfaces). To those interested, check out w3schools and jQuery (not incredibly IE compatible, Chrome likes this site better).

Another thing (and the last for me tonight!) is that Google purchased Motorola, who makes DROID (one of the best selling phones on the Android market) so I would like to think they intend to go the route of Apple and Microsoft to have hardware and software to market their system. Since Motorola does not make PCs directly, I would have to bet the farm on the fact that Google wants to make Android the money machine with Motorola devices like the Galaxy class tablets and DROID phones as the entirety of computing for the future. I think they'd like to see people just drop laptops. Chromebooks work, but they just aren't the way of the future. Look for something more like Google Glass or a wearable computer to do all the heavy lifting. Google is a future tech co., not a backwards one. So they won't stay focused on PCs. That's my take anyways. :-) Happy app'ing.

hodan says:

Third paragraph makes no sense. You don't want to consume content on a touchscreen. But you don't want to use a trackpad. Clean it up man, especially if you want to write for a living.

Posted via Android Central App

Already addressed.  We missed a one letter typo (not vs. now).  

hodan says:

Apps aren't designed using html5, that's a web language. This article is written like a forum post.

Chrome O/S is NOTHING like Android and they will never be combined. One of them may kill the other, but we're probably 10 or more years away.

MS is the only company that is on track to truly merge mobile and desktop.

Posted via Android Central App

So how were WebOS apps designed? If I remember correctly Palm made a big deal about HTML5 being the foundation of development on that platform.

I'm not arguing with you, just assuming that you know something about it that I don't, and I'm genuinely curious.

brendilon says:

You are quite correct, WebOS did indeed heavily integrate HTML5. The Chrome browser for Android also incorporates HTML5 compatibility, so ultimately, it wouldn't be a huge leap to run Chrome apps on the Chrome browser in Android.

Andy_in_Indy says:

Chrome and Android will not merge, at least any time soon. The design goals are too different on key areas like local storage, and the underlying hardware requirements are much lower for Chrome.

However, as the Android OS is updated and improved, we are more likely to see Android based set top, laptop and desktop machines. Android fills the transition point between PC based computing (the devices CPU does the heavy lifting) and Cloud based computing (The server's CPU does the heavy lifting). It is more likely to see Chrome overtaken and drown out for its niche as hardware prices continue to be driven lower.

BTW, when you hear that Microsoft is concerned about Google's OS on desktops and laptops supplanting them, they mean Android not Chrome. One need only look at the design style of Windows 8 to realize where they see the competition.

jschu22 says:

The word "journalist", and related suggestions, are being used a bit too liberally here. We are on a blog people. Quit thinking that everything you read on the Internet is actual news.

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AgentScribe says:

Well said

AgentScribe says:

I can't wrap my head (or my hands as it were) around desktop touchscreen computing. It's tiring to hold a hand up to a screen and it seems to require taking up valuable real estate moving the monitor/computer closer to me.

I haven't tried anything like it yet but gesture control might work for me, if I can keep my screen at the rear of my desk and not have to hold my arms up "all day."

While I have come to prefer touchscreen mobile devices, for the foreseeable future I see myself preferring the mouse interface.

Darkbotic says:

Well said. Some people (not talking about you Chris) just think that touchscreens will replace the mouse input. It's really tiring and annoying having to move your hand over and over for simple tasks in a computer. Imagine having to do a precision work with a touchscreen!

Touchscreen are good only for mobile devices, not for computers.

brendilon says:

"Touchscreen are good only for mobile devices, not for computers."
One, your mobile device IS a computer. So there's that.
Two, we've had several folks here testifying that they've been using touchscreens regularly on their computers (some for several years), so there's further proof that you're simply wrong. Some people may prefer not to use a touchscreen, but that doesn't mean they're bad for computers.

"Imagine having to do a precision work with a touchscreen!"
As a professional designer who does precision work all day, I'm drooling at the thought. And I'm not alone in that sentiment. Just because you can't imagine it working for you (I would bet you haven't spent more time trying than your quick walk through a big box retailer) doesn't mean it doesn't work for others. For a tech site, there are a LOT of closed-minded folks here.

ScottJ says:

Stop being pedantic. By computers you know he meant desktop PCs.

Really? What do you design that doesn't require precision? Do tell.

Another major disadvantage to touch interfaces on the desktop is that they discourage information density. Buttons and words have to be made bigger so our fat fingers can accurately press them. This leads to monstrous interfaces like Metro where information is in the middle of a square of mostly empty space. It's simply not an improvement over the previous way of working and thus its destined to remain a novelty.

brendilon says:

"What do you design that doesn't require precision?"
I'll presume you meant "does" require precision.
My company specializes in laboratory and transportation projects. I've worked on government laboratories, a crime lab, complex bridges, train stations, several airport projects and, right this moment, a small piece for a professional football stadium.
So yeah, I know a thing or two about design and precision. What do you do?

"buttons and words have to be bigger" No bigger than the ones on your smartphone, which are smaller than the ones on your screen. That's another strikeout there pal, though not as ugly as your last one.

_X_ says:

Chris I think you're missing the point of the two os. Now I'm it saying Google will never merge the os efforts, but they go after a vastly different market.

Chrome OS by your own admission is a thin client. And a damn good one. This meets the needs of the comercial quit well as it is designed to have remote storage, mainframe computing, and is easy to update and maintain.

Android is a consumer device design primary as a consumption device. Not very good at none of the features above but excellent as a consumption device.

So while some features might overlap say like a touch screen, Web surfing I don't see the os merging anytime soon

Posted via Android Central App

I don't see them merging (or one killing the other) anytime "soon" either.  This is a longer term thinking piece.  Too much obsession over my (heavily misunderstood) comments about touch screens, and not enough long term thinking about what Google plans to do in order to merge its OS efforts and crush Microsoft.



The most I can see is Google allowing Chrome to run on top of Android but a true merger of the two defeats the purpose of both. The whole point of Chrome is that it is super light weight. Its an Internet terminal to run web apps. Android is a full featured Lunux distro with access to things like hardware acceleration that Chrome just doesn't do.

People keep looking to Windows for comparison but really this isn't where Google needs to worry about (I'm not saying ignore it but it's not relevant enough to have to copy). Windows Phone is a tiny tiny percentage of the market. It took them almost 3 years to catch up to/surpass (depending on what survey literature you read) Blackberry during a time in which Blackberry (as you know) put out almost nothing for new products. They had the opportunity to grab the market and failed miserably. Windows 8 is showing nice adoption rates but that's because you have little choice but to get Windows 8 if you want a new computer. Even then tons of people choose to downgrade to Windows 7. I have yet to run into a person outside of a tech blog of forum who actually likes it. Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 isn't Microsoft bring innovative. Its Microsoft struggling to remain relevant in an increasingly mobile world.

And for the record Chris I am not a blind Android fanboy. I sell electronics for a living and have devices on all of the major mobile platforms so I'm well qualified to express opinions.

Posted via Android Central App

ybcthanerd says:

the merger will happen in time. but i still believe chrome os is a lil behind android os. this is confirmed by how often chrome os updates, which is extremely more often than android. but once it does catch up the merger will happen.

davidnc says:

On my work computer I would hate to have to keep touching the screen,its much easier to have my hand resting on a mouse and quicker to when doing QC reports and calibrating gages.

darkrad3r says:

The ability to dock your Android phone to make it a chrome device would be killer. It would start with an official one from the Play Store and other companies would follow.

Posted via Android Central App

Aron Tripp says:

I see the future of computing somewhere along the line of the "failed" Ubuntu Edge phone. I'm hoping someone will develop a platform that uses a phone/Phablet sized device to use for mobile, 24/7 use. It would contain a necesary processor to run the phone well and manage all settings/user profiles and store "local" content. Then you could simply attach the phone to a tablet with an upgraded processor for tablet/ data consumption use. The phone would act as a HDD for local content and settings. The same step would be used on a Desktop/Laptop.

As for Android /Chrome, I would hope that Android would be used to run Apps and Chrome browser/OS would be merged into one for Web Apps/ Browsing.

I can dream!

Micah Geisel says:

Hi Chris, not to be pedantic, but as a writer, I figure you'd want to know that your usage of "begs the question" is incorrect. You mean to convey "raises the question," but it really implies a logical fallacy.

Awesome!  Thanks for that.  I had no idea.  That's one more language infraction fixed, and added to my schema.  Learned something today.  Job done.

With the direction they are taking with all of their products I am doubtful it will be any time soon. They for one are trying to streamline most of their products either running Chrome or Android, on the other hand are rolling out updates for both of these. But chrome is far too nascent to be folded into android, which is what I think finally will happen (when you will see the play store also selling chrome apps) but as I said that has a lot to evolve before this to happen. And Google will be waiting for that sweet time, when it has got most of the developers writing apps for Chrome OS, With the addition of the Native Client SDK think its moving more to that. But only time will tell how this will play out and Sundar too would be having his hands free with only one division to take care off..

You do know that the Chromecast runs Android not Chrome right? Not exactly streamlining lol

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See this:

If web based App to take off then HTML5 Apps or Hybrid Apps technology need to be par with Native Apps technology. Also, the wi-fi broadband should be available everywhere and freely. Also, web based Apps should be able to take advantage of all features of the phone hardware and OS.

Abionic says:

I hate the cloud, I really do. I miss my SD card. :-( it will be a sad day if android gets rolled into chrome.

I mean what if I get abducted by aliens and taken to a galaxy far far away? What then, does my phone become a paperweight? Assuming they have paper.

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Motorola Droid Bionic Has Been Stolen and has been recovered! Yey!

hmmm says:

Once you add a physical keyboard I think touchscreen becomes uncomfortable due to the angle and space required. I would prefer if laptops remain touchfree. And if Windows 8 is any indication I don't want touchscreen interfaces for my laptops in the future.

I think eventually we will see convergence. Chrome OS should adapt the ability to use Android apps in a runtime(similar to how BB10 does). Then when that happens they can create a Chrome OS for Android phones that, when plugged into a larger screen, will open up into a Chrome OS environment. It won't mirror the Android experience, but you don't necessarily want the exact same Android experience on a 24" screen as you would on a 5" screen. You would still have all the apps on your Android phone, but be running in a more desktop friendly environment.

jdevenberg says:

Chrome OS and Android are aimed at two different markets. Apple has two OS's, Microsoft has at least two, why can't Google have two? Chrome OS is about being lightweight and quick booting (my Samsung Chromebook boots about twice as fast as my GPE HTC One). I heavily debated between an Android tablet and a Chromebook and am very glad I got the Chromebook. Sometimes you need a laptop and Android is awkward to use with a mouse or track pad. While I do like touch screens for a lot of things, when I am writing code or a paper or editing photos or video, I want a exercises input method. ChromeOS is becoming more and more robust and I think within the next 12 months, an average user who is not a heavy gamer will be able to live fully with Chrome OS with no Windows backup machine.

First, if there is one more post about this idiotic touchscreen debate then this thread should just be closed. As for, what was supposed to be the topic of discussion, Android and Chrome Os; Let's get back to that. I am fairly certain that Chrome OS is more of a testing ground for new mobile computing solutions like the dependence on cloud based storage and minimalistic back end OS software(I'm referring to the system files and associated coding) . It is also the perfect platform for testing the development and implementation of HTML 5 applications. HTML 5 apps could be run without an Internet connection just like any standard Android app that doesn't require an Internet connection. Think of opening an xml file stored on your hhd in your browser. It doesn't require an Internet connection to be displayed.
When the IPhone (I apologize for my language) was first released Steve Jobs envisioned HTML 5 applications as the source for the IPhone (again I apologize for my language) apps. Instead we got the app store with proprietary applications that are platform specific.
I don't see Google ever merging the two operating systems but rather using Chrome OS to perfect a method of developing and delivering system(or OS neutral) non proprietary apps.
Earlier in this thread I saw a couple of posts about HTML 5 and Java, the simple fact is that you could recreate almost any current Android app that is not a tied to a core system function using HTML 5. If you append any of your installed apk's to "my" and open it in your file browser you will find that almost all of the control files and res files are xml documents using standard HTML tags.
I know that Amazon is working on a similar project. They are just doing it behind closed doors instead of out in the wild for all to see like Google. Amazon's goal is to offer a service that would allow developers to create their app using HTML 5 and then, for a small fee of course, Amazon would convert the app to an apk and whatever that other company's app extension is :-) and then allow the developer to sell the app in all its forms through the Amazon app store.
I imagine Google would like to do the same.
Those are my thoughts on the subject that we are supposed to be discussing. And remember NO MORE TOUCHSCREEN STUPIDITY!

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ScottJ says:

Paragraphs. Look into it.

brendilon says:

Boy, you're just one uptight dude aren't you?

Myhrddin says:

I've got a chromebook w/hd in it and an asus tf700t. I sure hope they do not ever try to go in the Chrome os direction. Chrome is ok if you don't do anything other than webbing it but, they would lose me if they took things away from android and headed towards a chrome future. (Which I've heard rumors of already)

I'm hoping most to see the quality of apps for android get much closer to the ease of use and visually pleasing look and feel of what I've been finding on my iPad. For larger public adoption of android I think its got to get a lot more polished and have a more user-friendly layer that regular users can function on, and still keep the other layers where folk like us can dig around and futz with it how we like too.

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One of the biggest reason for keeping the two separate is the fact that Android is just now learning how to properly back up data. Even as it is now, the implementation is less than stellar. The first, and biggest selling point to for Chrome OS is that the device is ultimately irrelevant, and that your apps and data don't reside on the local machine. Coupled with the fact that Chrome OS is very slim, and allows for quick boot up, makes it an ideal choice for a traditional laptop/desktop environment. Android is heavily reliant on locally installed apps and data, and without a proper backup solution (e.g. Titanium Backup, Helium, etc.) it makes it quite difficult to move from device to device. Chrome OS simply requires you to log in.

Yes, it would be nice to have the power of Android on a laptop, but that was not the intended device type when it was created. Sure, it is maturing, and Android is on all sorts of devices now, but it still doesn't function the same way as Chrome OS. Chrome OS was built from the ground up to be a laptop/desktop OS, and I do think see the two merging anytime soon. I suspect they would need some kind of ICS-type hybrid model to allow the OS to conform to the device it is on.

lcbvet says:

Lets be frank here, I think they should slowly merge the two, but more importantly, find a way to market them both under the Chrome name and not Android. Don't get me wrong, I like the little robot, but they could use him along with the Chrome label. Today's society demands product names to be short, sweet, and hip for the sake of appealing to a variety of consumers. Now, I know that Android is popular, but there are still many who see it as a geek only endeavor, used by dungeon masters and SciFi fanatics, and default to the famous "i" device without second thought. Not to discredit the geeks out there (I'm a geek too), Android does not compete with "cool" like chrome does...I mean, Chrome is just a, bad ass name.

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FortTech101 says:

I'd like to see a ChromeOS tablet. That would be epic. Better yet, a tablet that could dual boot Android and ChromeOS. That would be my next table for sure if nothing was screwed up.

StealthDroid - Working in the Nexus Lab

djc1999 says:

YES. But instead of a dual-boot, it should run android only, with a modified kernel to support Chrome OS shell features, and have the ability to switch between Chrome OS desktop interface and Android with a long-press on the home key.

Celtictitan says:

What I would love to see it when I dock my phone to my TV I get Chrome OS on screen with an in browser access to my Android environment. Could use my bluetooth keyboard and mouse to control my phone. Once unlocked back to Android.

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Gearu says:

I formally reject the infecting of Android with Chrome.
Chrome browser and OS are straight from the evil side of Google. Android is clean and pure (after you cut google out using the appropriate settings).

Chrome OS would do well with being merged with android, for a number of reasons. Chrome OS is light and functional and thrives best there, but adding android support would add a lot more functional use to Chromebook.

Kenny_Strawn says:

Given the onslaught of packaged apps that run offline and outside the browser that are starting to emerge, Chrome OS is really no more different from Android than Mac OS X is from iOS, and if the ability for HTML5 to run locally and use Javascript for complex low-level window management is any indication... Yup, we're talking about power that should put (compiled) Java to shame.

To be honest, thanks to HTML5 and JS, I really don't see why Java and XML should be used at all. If anything, just creating an 'android' JS namespace to replace the Java class of the same name and using Android Studio to power an APK converter that automatically converts old Java/XML code into new JS/HTML5 code would definitely be the final step to putting Google on par with Apple when it comes to consistency. And of course, that would also finally mean that Chromebook users would finally be able to easily develop Android apps, just like Mac users already can iOS apps...

If google wants to make BIG money, they should let android apps run on chrome OS. If that happens, everybody would buy a chromebook.

Adam Acuo says:

I want my chrome extensions to work on my android devices. If they do *that* then they've got me. Doors anybody know why the Chrome browser on the desktop, which is compatible across Linux, Windows and Mac not compatible with Android?

Creator347 says:

HTML5 is not the solution for everything, C++ is. So should we use C++ everywhere? I don't think so.

djc1999 says:

I certainly hope that HTML5 will not become the dominant coding platform, because, all too often developers take glitchy "web apps", and just take the code from the website, unoptimized for a mobile platform, and sell that sorry excuse for software as an app. In my experience, HTML5 apps tend to be buggy, and Java works great, although that could change. In regards to Chrome OS and Android merging, YES. However, the current chief of the Google mobile devision doesn't seem to like it. -_- It would be awesome to just switch between a desktop, and android. I would love to see some kind of long press on the home key to go to a Chrome OS shell. I would love that.