What Is Google Chrome OS And How Does it Affect Android

If you're interested in getting to know Google Chrome OS, Google's latest development in re-creating how we use computers, the videos after the jump are a great start. The funny thing about Google Chrome OS is that it's ambitious in what it's trying to do but relatively tame in its execution. The idea of Google Chrome OS centers around creating a browser as the Operating System, which makes some sense for a lot of users. Since what we do on a computer is often just access the internet through the browser already, the extra weight and fluff of an OS doesn't apply as much anymore.

So Google Chrome OS is basically a browser. Your applications are fueled by either pre-existing web apps like Gmail, Google Docs, etc. or forthcoming ones that'll be developed according to web standards but more powerful (has access similar to what native apps have in other OS's). It looks pretty much exactly like what the browser Chrome looks like just with a few more tabs. It also supports little things to extend usability like 'virtual desktops', the ability to place smaller windows of apps on top of everything, and running different processes for each tab, so it's a bit more powerful than your run of the mill browser.

So what kind of hardware will Chrome OS run on? And how does it relate to Android? Hit the jump!

Read more about Android Central's thoughts on Google Chrome OS after the jump!

So what kind of hardware will run Google Chrome OS? For starters, Google is pointing Chrome OS to netbooks. Since this isn't an in-depth OS, Chrome OS is intended for secondary devices. Interestingly, Google Chrome OS only has support for solid state storage (no spinning hard drives) and will only be available on Google Chrome OS-specific devices (hardware approved by Google). Anything that identifies as a storage device will work with Chrome OS as will the ability to print (they're taking an innovative approach to printing, whatever that means). The overall M.O for Chrome OS is speed, how can I do what I want to do fastest.

So how's it relate to Android? Well, we don't know exactly but since Google is suggesting that Chrome OS is intended for netbooks, we can assume they're implying that Android isn't. And considering the fact that Android works better with touch-based inputs (smartphones, MIDs, etc) anyway, we might have to agree with them. For use on a netbook, an OS intended for netbooks is better than an OS intended for smartphones. Luckily, since Chrome OS isn't available today and Android is, manufacturers will have time to see if Android can translate on the netbook screen. We're thinking they stick to Chrome OS.

Regardless, we, and we're sure Google does as well, strongly believe that Android and Chrome OS can and will co-exist. Obviously (or interestingly), they won't go hand in hand like say Mac OS X and iPhone OS X, in fact, we'll be surprised if they ever acknowledge each other. They're simply different products with different intentions and different goals, no need to panic that Google is going to focus solely on Chrome OS development now. But still, we're definitely not expecting Google to deliver a syncing solution for the two, but then again Chrome OS isn't intended to be your primary computer.

And maybe you can fault Google for treating them as separate entities and for not creating a better synergic experience between the two and we're sure some will. But the ecosystem of Google still exists and it exists wonderfully in Android and from the looks of it, works just as well in Chrome OS. So though they might not work directly together, they both work with Google and that's really all Google needs to know.

In all, we think Google has a good thing in Chrome OS. Considering Windows is eternally entrenched in the desktop/primary OS market and Apple is enjoying their corner with OS X, it's rather smart of Google to bring a viable OS solution to the burgeoning netbook or 'secondary' computer market. Cause really, sometimes, all you want is a browser.

Casey Chan
  • A PC has the ability to run many different programs.
    If the only program it can run is a browser, well in doubt this very fast, it is limiting my possibilities as a user. + Chrome OS, seems to be suitable as a Web-Terminal. (like in the old 70-80's where the terminal was only showing the mainframe. The PC actually changed that). - So with Chrome OS i can't watch the Fotos from my Digital Camera.
    (I have to upload them to the internet first) - Manage music that I want to put on my IPOD - ... and so many more other things or, not yet? But for a camping or kitchen computer I think Chrome OS would be enough.
  • IM a dumbass, what is a mainframe?
  • Some of your concerns are fairly warranted, but I think your analogy is a little off. Terminals way back did very little computation, thats what the mainframe was for. That is not the case here. Your computer will still have the ability to execute code (ie run an iTunes-like app) but the source libraries and executables will be located elsewhere and transferred to your machine as needed. Obviously when they say that "nothing" will be stored on your computer, they are exaggerating. The OS can't just appear out of nowhere when you push the power button. Where they draw the line, though, will be the interesting part I think. I like where Google is going with this idea. I hope they execute it well.
  • well guess what you in fact plug in your camera and your pictures come up so you can view them, and there are mp3 player capabilities built in, so you can sync with the cloud and your player.
  • I can't wait anymore to test Chrome OS, it seems to be the best think in the last years!
  • Use some distribution of Linux on the netbook.
  • my wife wants one of those netbooks, and Im all for running something other than windows. but she wants it to dump photos from her camera on vacations. so a SSD is a no go for me. too much money for not enough storage. so if it is a 100% fact that it will never work with a real harddrive, Ill never experience chromeOS until they have 100+GB SSD's that can rival conventional HDD prices.
  • Being an IT dude from way back in the days of Netware, my concern is security. One of the dumbest things Microsoft did was integrate one of the most vulnerable applications into the OS with IE. I can't be comfortable or excited with this until I see what proactive security measures (not reactive like virus scanners) will be implemented. That said, it's only a matter of time before everyone does it and I have no choice but to use a browser-based OS.
  • I agree with you on both parts.
    More optimistic tho.
  • I can see this working and can imagine how it would work, but I'm just wondering if it would catch on. I'd like to try it, but I don't think it would pull me away from OSX. I think they would have to be more flexible in how they're building it if they want it to catch on. But I can see it working for netbooks, although I don't know why anyone would invest in one of those.
  • Agreed with the comment above. This OS will miss out on so much. Where would i be able to play my itunes? I don't really understand this.
  • Agreed with the comment above. This OS will miss out on so much. Where would i be able to play my itunes? I don't really understand this.
  • This won't be your main computer, with all your photos and music and whatnot. This will be your secondary computer, for the internet and for e-mails and whatnot. With cell phones getting as advanced as they are, I feel the need for this OS might not be as great as Google predicts. I guess it allows me to do spreadsheets on a netbook, but if I needed to do spreadsheets, I'd be using my main computer.
  • I know it wont be replacing my desktop, or even MY laptop, but it would be whats replacing HER laptop. only thing it reallys goes on vacation for is email/web browsing, and to dump photos to to clear the CF card. and 10+ MP photos take up a good deal of space, and she takes LOTS! lol
  • I believe it will allow you to upload those pictures directly to Picassa, then. That really should solve all your storage problems.
  • when were camping out in the sand, or down in mexico, we dont have the inernet. of course at the vacation house in mexico then there is a sort of "neighborhood" direcway deal a few of us are in on, but its pretty slow so 1.) uploading would take way too long anyways, and 2.) we have a very limited bandwidth before it drops to dial up speeds which ruins it for everyone else, so there is no file transfer allowed, up or down, strictly web browsing (I know youre technically downloading files, but you know what I mean). plus, some of us like having stuff on "our" actual computer and not somewhere in fantasy land. of course if we went on vacation somewhere with the web, and they went straight to picasa, we could get home and then download them to our desktop, but its just more time wasted transferring files.
  • Exactly - you don't need a lot of onboard storage because your data all gets stored in the cloud. So long as Google doesn't claim ownership of what's uploaded to the cloud, I could see ChromeOS being a very elegent net/smart-book solution.
  • Exactly - you don't need a lot of onboard storage because your data all gets stored in the cloud. So long as Google doesn't claim ownership of what's uploaded to the cloud, I could see ChromeOS being a very elegent net/smart-book solution.
  • google is the mayor of awesome town!!!
  • Google works with lala which lets you scan your music collection and get copies of your songs as web songs that you can play when logged into lala. With this working as a second computer they want you to have lala and your music stored on your primary computer and then you access it through lala
  • so now you gotta waste energy and leave your desktop on when you leave the house...
  • nope, lala scans your songs once and then makes them available when you log onto lala so you don't have to leave your main computer on
  • And what if I want to use GIMP or Blender or Inkscape or another program...? then I have to use me old Linux? or can I use Google Chrome for that?
  • This is a great OS for netbooks (secondary computers with very constrained resources.) It will also be very handy for public internet terminals, etc. This will not replace the standard OS. If it did, how are people going to use Google's other tools - i.e. sketchup, google earth. As for always having an internet connection, well I believe that is not required. Remember that with Google Gears you can run all these online apps (google docs) off-line without an internet connection.
  • Chrome OS...hmmm...Well, we all know how Google likes to dip it's toes in and test the waters before they dive in. Perhaps they are using such a lightweight OS to test the reception they get from consumers before they unleash a real beast. I could very well see this as a stepping stone for Google to try something new, see how it pans out, and then start playing for keeps later on down the line with a full-blown OS that is as functional (maybe more-so) than the competition. I'm no Google fanboy, but this could very well happen. It's just how Google seems to operate. "Hey, lets make Google Maps!" ... Android 2.0 comes out: "Hey, lets crush Tom Tom and Garmin with turn by turn navigation now that we've got this whole mapping thing down and integrated with our search engine!" It all made sense in the end and everyone knew the day would eventually come. Google may potentially be gearing up to strong arm everything we know about computing and using an OS in it's current state. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, but that is yet to be determined and for now...well, enjoy your Chrome OS netbooks because you'll likely be in for a very long wait before we see an all out war started by Google in the OS market. We all know Microsoft pulls no punches when they want to trump the competition; I wonder if Google will at least be kind enough to hire a marching band to wheel out the competition to a roaring rendition of the Death March if they do eventually take hold and prove to be the supreme conqueror they have been in the past with anything they do.
  • Looks amazing, something I'm wondering though is that what if I'm somewhere that I can't get a wifi connection, does that mean that my computer is completely useless? If this isn't true then I will be jumping on this ASAP
  • Well this is made for netbooks. everyone seems to think a netbook is just a small laptop but what they are really made for is being permanently connected to the 'NET with a service plan from Verizon or some other phone company. So they are not expecting people to have to rely on strict wifi areas. I heard some stuff still works without being connected, but they really are expecting you to have internet connection mostly everywhere you go.
  • hey what if my internet goes down.. will google switch my computer off.. as if i dont have internet.. so i dont have PC.. right??
  • Google forwards its inventions... Actually, that's great! I believe that Android must not worry too much because having a strong competitor presupposes a certain push to work better and invent new things. Besides, these products have their own aims... It looks much the same as a competition of escort agencies and model business. Though, again they have their own goals.
  • kelly777 we know that competition between escort is a great war!
    Technology moves forward, but the escort instead :-)
  • I use Google Chrome is I can not complain.
    I feel good.
    alano arlecchino
  • A number of us know Microsoft draws no single clouts by which they want to trump the competition; I question if Google will at least be kind enough in order to employ a marching band to wheel out their competitors to a roaring rendition of the Death March if they do eventually take hold and prove to be the supreme conqueror they have been in the past with anything they do, It will also be very handy for public internet terminals, etc.. This will not replace the standard OS. If it did, how are people going to use Google's other tools, Bangalore escorts this is a great OS for notebooks
  • London Girls test it and is good.
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