Android, Chrome OS Merger: Why It Makes Sense - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Android, Chrome OS Merger: Why It Makes Sense
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2015 | 5:55:02 AM
Security and device management are ChromeOS strongpoints
Chrome OS:

Security updates on Chrome OS and frequent, timely, centrally managed by Google, install automatically without annoying the user and just work.

All user data stored on the device is encrypted by default.

User crypto secrets are securely stored (hardware assisted) on all hardware.

Easily centrally managed to the extent that Chrome OS devices are now outselling Apple in the educational sector.



Security updates on Android are a horrific mess.  Top tier Android vendors leave handsets unpatched for months on end against serious security bugs, Google retains no central control, updates are massive and often take > 10 minutes to install.

All user data is NOT encrypted by default, enabling full disk encryption has caused various performance issues (although this is changing).

Most hardware doesn't include strong crypto storage hardware assist.

Poor centralised management.


I use both platforms, but can't recommend Android for anything security concious or centrally managed.


Security is a central part of the original ChromeOS design and it shows...
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 8:17:00 AM
Merging makes sense
ChromeOS is less popular. Android is most popular. Android devices are getting as powerful as Chrome Devices. Merging makes perfect sense.
User Rank: Ninja
11/9/2015 | 4:13:31 PM
Re: When it comes to mergers, think compromises

Isn't a Core i7 a little overkill for a Chrombook? I wonder if you can install Windows 10 on one of those.
User Rank: Ninja
11/9/2015 | 2:36:52 PM
Re: makes perfect sense
Ever since the concept of Chrome OS was proposed by Google publicly, I loved the idea. But at this point, things have changed. 

In 2009 during Chrome OS's earliest stages, many of us thought the web would become the defacto platform on the internet. That hasn't actually happened. Mobile apps are really successful because people are moving away from desktop devices. This is why Chrome OS and Android merging makes a lot of sense. 
Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Ninja
11/8/2015 | 1:19:16 PM
Re: When it comes to mergers, think compromises
Charlie, I'm not looking forward to install Android apps on my Chromebook. I just want to run them, on the cloud, on demand.

Most Chrome devices have limited storage, usually 2GB or 4GB RAM, and only 16 GB SSD (leaving about 9GB free). That is not enough to install most the apps people use. The typical high-end smartphone comes with 32GB or 64GB.

Some Android apps are now becoming available on ChromeOS, but you can't install them on the device.
User Rank: Apprentice
11/7/2015 | 7:18:33 AM
Simplicity of Chrome
I have been using Chrome as my browser of choice for years running first on Windows Vista and then on Windows 10.  And you know what; Chrome always just works.  I don't have to do periodic updates.  I don't have locked up apps that fail to work or failed applications and compatability issue I frequently experience in Windows however Windows 10 is significanlty better.  But in the end Chrome just works.  It starts fast, I never have to update it and it gives me access to everything I need.  

Now I also have an Android phone and of course it runs Android 4.4.2.  It was made someplace in China and sold in the U.S. by a company almost no one has ever heard of called BLU.  But the phone works well, I can text, talk and take 8 megapixel pictures which looik just fine for my casual use.  But I have accepted the fact that the phone will NEVER be updated by either Google OR BLU and that is the rub I see.  

Android is not Chrome.  Android does not start fast, does not get pushed updates by Google and uses apps developed by everyone and anyone on the planet.  These apps can inflict significant damage to the Android operating system.  Did I mention that Android as I understand it DOES NOT get pushed updates like Chrome.  

I see my grandsons using their Android tablets which are some pretty nice devices, quad core, 1 GB Ram, 8 GB of memory, nice tablets.  If they start their tablets at the same time I start Windows 10, Windows 10 is loaded and ready for use before their Android tablets are ready.  I do run an SSD in my desktop which helps Windows 10 start quickly but really, Android is no where near the speed of Chrome.  

I sincerely hope Google gets its act together and IF they joint the two operating systems together I hope they take into consideration the differences between a desktop user and a mobile user.  I don't use my phone for word processing or management of a spreadsheet.  I don't use my desktop to do video chats since a mobile device works better for that funciton.  My phone has a 5" screen, my desktop has a 22" screen.  Just becasue you can join two opeating sytems together does NOT mean that is what is best for the user.  

Thank you for reading this very lengthy posting.  




Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
11/7/2015 | 1:42:27 AM
Re: makes perfect sense
This is a correct step forward since it will enable Google to build a stronger ecosystem. In an ecosystem the end user should enjoy the same, smooth and frustration-free user experience instead of taking care of difference among OSes.
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
11/6/2015 | 7:54:19 PM
When it comes to mergers, think compromises
Pablo is laying out a good case for an Android/Chrome merger. But in addition to the gains, there would most likely be some trade-off losses. For example, I'm not sure you'd retain the "boots in five seconds" attribute, and with a bigger, more complicated operating system, the battery life might come closer to that of a Windows laptop than a Chromebook. Compromises would have to be made. But who knows.
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2015 | 11:22:30 AM makes perfect sense
Excellent article!

And i concur with your statement...merging Android and Chrome OS makes sense in many ways. I think Chromebooks would greatly benefit from having the android playstore available, the same way Windows 10 PC have with the Windows App Store.

If this was to occur, it would definitly boost Google to become a true leader in both the laptop and tablet space, since it's bridging the Gap that many have been trying to fill. I think Microsoft has so far become the closest from a hardware perspective, but the lack of App is holding it back...but this isn't the case for Google.

If a Chromebook is able to run Android Apps, you have a winner!!

That means that extenders like Chromecast will have additional functionality that can be leveraged...not to mention wearables.

I'm already excited!!

2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Think Like a Chief Innovation Officer and Get Work Done
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  10/13/2020
10 Trends Accelerating Edge Computing
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/8/2020
Northwestern Mutual CIO: Riding Out the Pandemic
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  10/7/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
[Special Report] Edge Computing: An IT Platform for the New Enterprise
Edge computing is poised to make a major splash within the next generation of corporate IT architectures. Here's what you need to know!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll