News out today that the adoption of Android is up over a staggering 886% from last year is leading me to wonder: what place will cloud devices that run Chrome OS have in a future world where a smartphone operating system is so prevalent? Can Chrome OS and Android work together, or are they rivals being pitted against each other by a single company?
Phones and tablets that run Android are remote devices, something that, in theory can be put into your pocket and taken anywhere.
We’ve seen in a demo how Android will work with Google TV – it can be used as a remote device that can control the set-top box controlling your television. Remember that while Google TV will run Android, it will also have the Chrome browser as the main application running video. Here is an example filmed by Phandroid on how this will work.
While this demo shows an iPhone, it’s clear that an Android phone will be able to do much more based on the open standards between devices such as the Chrome to Phone cloud platform.
Cloud versus Phone
People are still going to need devices that are bigger than what Android can provide, plus being able to offer a cloud interface where the web is a platform that everyone can develop on. Witness some of the games like Asteroid and collaborative drawing tools that are being made for the browser totally free for people to use in Chrome Experiments, a website that I admit I promote often here because of the potential it holds.
I’m fully convinced that Android can offer a cloud experience like Chrome OS can; there has to be a division between screens that are small and those that are larger. Perhaps Android running Chrome browser could bridge the gap, but that really goes against the convention of cloud computing at this point.
So where will these two operating systems fit in with each other? Perhaps it is best to think of Chrome OS as an experimental platform whereby the browser is all there is: a starting point, if you wish, on the future of computing.
Sergey Brin has already come out and said that webapps will replace native ones, but technological progress in speedy broadband technology is going to be required. Companies such as Clear, which is spending billions on a 4G rollout that Sprint is utilizing, will probably have a major role in this space as 2010 continues onward towards the holiday season.