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