Reports: Google’s “Andromeda” is the Android-Chrome OS Merger, Might Debut October 4, Already in Testing, and Coming 2017 on a New Pixel

Holy title. Apologies for that, but there is a lot to talk about when it comes to the potential future of Android and Chrome OS, thanks to numerous reports that surfaced over the weekend while the rest of us were on vacation, relaxing, consuming a half-dozen growlers of fresh hop IPA, and unplugging like all should do on weekends. Let’s catch up.

To start, we will need to take you back to October 2015 to a report from the Wall Street Journal that claimed Google was working on folding Chrome OS into Android to create a single operating system. The report suggested that Google had been working for at least two years on making this move happen, but they still wouldn’t be ready to bring it to stable until some time in 2017 after showing it off to the world in 2016.  (more…)

Stable Chrome OS Gets Google Play and Android Apps on Two Chromebooks

Google Play and Android apps moved a step closer to a broader release to more devices today, thanks to a graduation of the Google Play beta experience to Chrome OS stable. Wait, did that make sense? What I’m saying is that Chrome OS stable (v53.0.2785.129) now has access to Google Play and Android apps, though only on two devices at the moment. Still, we’re making progress!  (more…)

Hangouts Chrome Extension Getting ‘New Experience’ on August 31

An update for the Hangouts extension on Chrome is inbound, one that Google states is pretty much required to use. On August 31, the update will go live via the Chrome Store, and for new users, the updated version will be the default Hangouts “experience” they must use. However, for existing users, they can choose to not update to the new experience, at least until Google forces them to on October 16.

So, what is in this new experience that makes it required to use? According to Google’s rather short post, “the new experience brings together multiple chat windows into one and makes it easier to see more chat content.” For anyone using the current Hangouts extension, this is essentially what we have already been using. Instead of multiple little chat windows, all of Hangouts will remain in one window, with users still able to pop-out a chat if they wish.  (more…)

Google Job Listing Hints at Possible Chromebook Pixel 3

The original Chromebook Pixel launched with a bit of fanfare on Google’s part, but as we saw with the launch of the second Chromebook Pixel, the company didn’t do anything special – the device was made available on the Google Store with no real celebration or unveiling event, likely because normal consumers are not concerned about $1K+ Chrome OS laptops.

If you think about it, I would argue that Chromebook devices don’t deserve any type of unveiling event or fanfare, but now with Android app support hitting the developer channel, that pretty much changes the way we discuss Chromebook devices. It also makes us very excited about the possibility of a Chromebook Pixel 3, one designed by Google with Android app support specifically in mind.  (more…)

Chrome 51 Arrives on Android, Officially Kills Off “Merge Tabs and Apps”

I hope you weren’t a fan of Chrome’s “merge tabs and apps” option that was introduced back with the launch of Lollipop, because Google fully killed it off today with the update to v51 of Chrome stable. That’s right, once you update Chrome with today’s release, you will no longer be able to merge your tabs into your app switcher. RIP?  (more…)

RIP, Chrome’s “Merge Tabs,” Feature Removed in Chrome Beta 51

Chrome Beta 51 just showed up on Android and it killed off that never-quite-implemented-correctly “Merge Tabs” feature that was introduced back with the launch of Lollipop. The death of tab merging first showed up in Chrome Dev a few weeks back, but now that it has made its way through to Beta, I think it’s safe to say that it is probably on the way out for good.  (more…)