We’ve been talking about if and when Google will combine Android and Chrome OS for ages now, but it seems our wishes may finally come true at the company’s upcoming October 4 hardware event.
According to Android Police, Google will be unveiling a new operating system, currently nicknamed ‘Andromeda,’ which combines its two major software platforms. That’s in addition to previously rumored announcements of two Pixel phones, a new Chromecast, a new Wi-Fi router, and a release date for Google Home (an Amazon Echo competitor).
Mind you, Andromeda is separate from the company’s ongoing project to bring Android apps into Chrome OS. In fact, Andromeda appears to be the opposite: it’s based off of Android, and pulls in features from Chrome OS. It’s also separate from the Fuchsia OS we reported on last month, which is focused on IoT devices.
The company may also announce a new laptop codenamed ‘Bison’ (nicknamed Pixel 3). The report emphasizes that the laptop will not be marketed as a Chromebook, but instead as its own entity.
Rumored specs suggest the laptop will take a page off of Microsoft’s Surface Book; the 12.3″ device will supposedly include a ‘tablet’ mode and stylus. Internally, there may be two models with “either an Intel m3 or i5 Core processor with 32 or 128GB of storage and 8 or 16GB of RAM.” All this will fit in a device under 10 mm thick.
Unfortunately, this laptop wouldn’t be due until Q3 2017, and a lot could change about the hardware between now and then. Still, a legitimate Google laptop sounds like an exciting prospect.
Part of the issue with Chrome OS is that while you can do a lot on the Web, you will almost always have to turn to something more powerful if you want to get serious work done. But Andromeda could mitigate this by building off of Android with a legitimate laptop form factor and specs. Perhaps we will see a true contender to Windows and Mac OS at last.
In any case, the Andromeda launch seems fairly likely at this point. At the very least, Google thinks October 4 will be a big deal; Senior VP of Android Hiroshi Lockheimer tweeted this out over the weekend:
We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today. I have a feeling 8 years from now we’ll be talking about Oct 4, 2016.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 24, 2016
Comparing the upcoming event to the original Android launch is no small statement.