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Why Google Isn't Pushing Android For Tablets

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-I-want-to-buy-a-nopad dept.

Businesses 224

Brad Linder of Liliputing posted an interesting analysis today about Google's reluctance to endorse Android for tablets. Linder argues that while there may be legitimate concern that Android just isn't polished enough for devices without phone access (because some apps need it), it would be smart for Google to segregate the apps themselves, so users can simply know which apps will work on Wi-Fi-only tablets. But from Google's perspective, he observes, "pushing a version of Android that isn't exclusively for phones could be all it takes for Chrome OS to be dead on arrival."

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224 comments

Makes sense. (0)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33540950)

Android was designed from the beginning to fight with guys like RIM and Microsoft, and to a lesser extent, Palm.

iOS on the other hand, was inteded for a tablet style device.

Re:Makes sense. (5, Informative)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541202)

Android was designed from the beginning to fight with guys like RIM and Microsoft, and to a lesser extent, Palm.

I don't know which "beginning" you are referring to, but Android was released on the market to compete against what was at the time iPhone OS.

iOS on the other hand, was inteded for a tablet style device.

No, it was iPhone OS [wikipedia.org] before it was iOS.

Also, with the advanced operating systems today, such as iOS and Android, it doesn't matter what their original release device or the intended device was. They are both equally flexible enough to be adjusted to and support multiple different resolutions, architectures, and other hardware.

What makes more sense is that Android started gaining traction at a much higher rate than Google initially anticipated. So, Android may be stepping into Chrome OS territory with tablets. However, Google still wants to give Chrome OS a legitimate shot. Maybe they think they can repeat what they did with Android. I think it's going to be hard.

iPad was created before iPhone (3, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541368)

Read this in an interview with Jobs. They basically made an iPad prototype and Jobs said, "let's make a phone out of this". So they did.

Re:iPad was created before iPhone (3, Informative)

polaris20 (893532) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541792)

Read this in an interview with Jobs. They basically made an iPad prototype and Jobs said, "let's make a phone out of this". So they did.

That is 100% correct. It was an All Things D interview with Mossberg and Swisher; I think it might have even been D8 this year. iOS (even before it was called that) was always designed to go on both a tablet and phone. Android, on the other hand, wasn't, at least until v3.0. Seeing as how rudimentary features like the virtual keyboard and copy/paste suck on Android, I hope they fix that before going headstrong into tablets. Sure, HTC has fixed the C&P issue in Sense, and Swype is really cool, but those sorts of things need to be good right out of the box, and not necessitate a 3rd party to come in and fix them.

Re:Makes sense. (5, Informative)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541376)

No, internally from the ground up it started as an unreleased Tablet OS
http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/01/steve-jobs-at-d-iphone-os-started-on-a-tablet/ [engadget.com]

Jobs was just never happy with battery performance and other tablet problems... Then they figured out that they could start out even smaller with a phone and do a good job...

Re:Makes sense. (4, Informative)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541404)

iOS on the other hand, was inteded for a tablet style device.

No, it was iPhone OS [wikipedia.org] before it was iOS.

If you dig a little further [allthingsd.com] , you will learn that the iPad came first in Apple's R&D pipeline. They had to wait for some reason, and so they made the iPhone in the interim. If you've used the iOS SDK, it becomes pretty clear that it is not something that Apple just shoved out the door in 12 or 18 months or whatever it was. It's obvious that it had already had years of effort put into it. Perhaps the SDK was indeed intended only for iPad, and they rushed it out for iPhone due to popular demand, or perhaps it was a parallel effort. But it's not something Apple just cobbled together and shoved out the door and later updated to work with iPad. iOS was built for a tablet device from the beginning, IMO.

Also, with the advanced operating systems today, such as iOS and Android, it doesn't matter what their original release device or the intended device was. They are both equally flexible enough to be adjusted to and support multiple different resolutions, architectures, and other hardware.

The wildcard here is device and OS compatibility, which Apple obviously had thought through pretty well. While Android seems to just march forward ignoring it, creating a challenge for app developers. I don't have an Android device, but it is my understanding that it needs to be a phone to use their app marketplace, e.g. I'm not an Android dev, either, but from the sidelines, it looks like they just keep making things tougher for devs as time goes on. Not as bad as Rim or others, but not nearly as nice as iOS. My money is on the fact that the next revision of iPad will work with 99.999% of the apps out there. I'm not sure you could say the same for an Android tablet. Correct me if I'm wrong...

Re:Makes sense. (2, Interesting)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541520)

The official android market is dependent on a sim card. Even a phone wont work unless it has a sim card in it. The trick that Archos did with their tablets is they have their own market for apps that work with tablets. Android market could detect apps that assume its a phone (in fact it does now, see the permissions system) and just not display those apps for tablets. The problem has more to do with the Android team is not confident because they have not set up the CTS stuff for tablets. That's ChromeOS's realm. The CTS stuff however is set up for Google TV already. It probably would not be too much work for them to be confident in Android's ability on tablets, they just haven't invested the time/money in it.

Re:Makes sense. SIM's for CDMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541760)

None of my Verizon phones needed SIM cards, including the Android Eris and Ally that I tried (and returned - smudgy interfaces, and immaturity WRT to tethering vs my old WinMobile 6.1 smartphones that respond nicely to stylus/fingernail just did not cut it for me). Same for Sprint.

You better look for another showstopper.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542136)

I own an HTC hero and uses it without a sim card. Market works just as good...

Re:Makes sense. (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542148)

If you dig a little further [allthingsd.com], you will learn that the iPad came first in Apple's R&D pipeline.

You're splitting hairs here though. The iPad is just another computing device like the iPhone except with larger packaging and upgraded components -- the differences are not revolutionary. The entire ecosystem that resulted from and developed around the iPhone clearly came first and may not have occurred if the device was not a mobile device.

Re:Makes sense. (0)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541748)

I don't know which "beginning" you are referring to, but Android was released on the market to compete against what was at the time iPhone OS.

This is what the first Android prototype looked like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Android_mobile_phone_platform_early_device.jpg [wikipedia.org]

No, it was iPhone OS before it was iOS.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541890)

personalty chrome os is doa. it was doa they day it was thought up. there competing agenst ubuntu the number 1 netbook os in terms of linux powered. they are just trying gos all over again and we know how well that turned out for them. they got it right with andoride and if its not broken don't fix it. i love andoride and would whant it on my netbook if they ever officially made a x86 version. its uses little space is fast and with newer version supports abought everything. chrome os is large as ubuntu and isn't even close to the feature set. and i hate the ui and browser all mashed together.

Re:Makes sense. (2, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541212)

pardon? This from the guys that literally double the dimensions of the iPhone's apps just to run on the tablet? This from the guys that didn't and still don't multi-task on these devices? Designed for Tablet computing? What are you smoking?

Android isn't designed for Tablet either to be fair. Both platforms had a very small profile and screen requirement. IOS's GUI core was enhanced to include another GUI profile target. There's nothing specifically brilliant about IOS that makes it a tablet user's wet dream besides the fact that it already had touch as its primary interface (admittedly this is one of the primary reasons that previous tablet computing initiatives died out quickly).

Re:Makes sense. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541936)

pardon? This from the guys that literally double the dimensions of the iPhone's apps just to run on the tablet?

Apple's own apps don't use pixel doubling. That feature is included only for third-party apps that were designed around a fixed resolution, and Apple recommends against that in its developer guidelines.

In fact, they've recommended against it since before they released the iPad, since they knew it was coming.

This from the guys that didn't and still don't multi-task on these devices?

Multitasking is not an inherent feature of tablets. More than any other PC form factor, tablets seem to be designed for single tasks.

If you look at the history of tablets prior to the iPad, you'll find that they were mostly used for obscure nice applications like factory-inventory-tracking that were essentially single-tasking.

Re:Makes sense. (0, Flamebait)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541942)

This from the guys that literally double the dimensions of the iPhone's apps just to run on the tablet?

Android isn't designed for Tablet either to be fair.

I don't get what you're saying, something designed for multiple screen sizes in your mind should use exclusively scalable graphics?

How can anyone stand by the claim that an entirely touch screen based UI was conceived for a freaking phone without consideration of larger general purpose devices. A _phone_ without buttons. Before a general purpose tablet sized computer with a touch screen. You know, like the ones from 2000. NO, Apple couldn't have possibly heard of those! Really dude, touch screen tablet computers are over a decade old now, and you're seriously going to claim that Apple designed an all touch screen phonputer with an application store, and this idea for a tablet, and I'm not even going to qualify that with 'touch screen' because TOUCHSCREEN AND TABLET ARE REDUNDANT, this idea for a general purpose tablet sized computing device with an application store came after the success of the PHONE?

Maybe they did take the idea of the tablet PC from ~2000 and said "these wont work, but what if we shrunk it and made it into a phone with no buttons?" Then later, with a successful, established software marketplace for cellular phones, in a eureka sort of moment, Jobs wipes the coke off his face and screams "OI! What if we made the phone bigger... but get this... we get rid of the PHONE part, and extend our software marketplace to it because it's basically a computer!!!!11"

There's nothing specifically brilliant about IOS that makes it a tablet user's wet dream besides the fact that it already had touch as its primary interface (admittedly this is one of the primary reasons that previous tablet computing initiatives died out quickly).

So they fixed the tablet concept by making a touch centric UI for a touch centric device, turn it into a little phone with no buttons, then it dawns on them that uhh.. gorsh, we fixed the tablet concept and have an exclusive software store, why not sell those too?

What gets you out of bed each day? D... do you get out of bed?? If you didn't realize this was all planned out the MOMENT you heard "App Store" you should get off Slashdot. I'm sorry, it should be so obvious to any self respecting geek that the App Store was/is headed other places. Please, act real surprised for me when when they announce whatever OS X marketplace is being cooked up so we can have this retarded discussion again in the future.

they all suck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33540954)

Now that we have an MS fuckwit running Nokia, I don't really care what runs on phones or tablets. The available choices all require giving up my right to make choices, period. The whole smartphone tablet space really really fucking sucks.

Re:they all suck (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541238)

Now that we have an MS fuckwit running Nokia, I don't really care what runs on phones or tablets. The available choices all require giving up my right to make choices, period. The whole smartphone tablet space really really fucking sucks.

Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's - but I think it's pretty obvious most people couldn't care less about, as you call it, "giving up my right to make choices". Thing is, most people don't seem to see anything problematic about Apple's walled garden or with any limitations Google might put on their marketplace. They just care that it's easy to grab the Facebook app.

Re:they all suck (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541518)

Most people simply aren't bothering yet.

iPad numbers are still like Commodore 64 numbers at this point.

Making any grand pronouncements from them is a bit absurd and premature.

Re:they all suck (2, Funny)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541808)

iPad numbers are still like Commodore 64 numbers at this point.

I don't think you realize how well the Commodore 64 actually sold....

Re:they all suck (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541970)

http://www.commodoreusa.net/home.html

and now that they have Amiga, the old days are coming back again !

Re:they all suck (0)

guisar (69737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542082)

17,000,000 Commodore 64s sold. That's 17M. IPad has already sold +50M

Well... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 3 years ago | (#33540958)

He has something of a point. What is ChromeOS going to do that Android theoretically can't? Maybe having two competing OSs isn't such a great idea anyway.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541040)

Someone remind me, what is the point of ChromeOS after all? Because I can't see any.

An actual OS can run a browser, and, in addition, any other program. Having an OS that's an one-trick pony seems to be useless to me here. For flight controllers, that can be good. For non-embedded computers, big or small, not so.

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541056)

With Chrome, you can focus all your attention on ads without being distracted with other software.

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541174)

Exactly.. the idea is to trap you in the browser where *everything* you do can be used to further analyze/profile/target ads to you..

That said, Chrome the OS much like Android is rapidly going down the path of windowsCE/windows Mobile in terms of virtually unsupportable from a developer perspective (meaning you have to target devices rather than the OS) and just frustrating as a user.. (why can't I use that app on MY Android, it works on his!)

Google knows theres a lot of disent in the ranks over the already fragmented and inconsistent android platform from consumers and developers, if they where to start officially supporting tablets they would just be adding fuel to the fire.. something they do not need right now.

Re:Well... (3, Funny)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541536)

I see you got the talking point memo Jobs put out this week.

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541636)

I've yet to discover an android app that's incompatible with my phone.
Maybe that's because the Galaxy S has a superset of currently available features - but as far as my experience with a user goes, I don't care. All I know is I haven't seen personal evidence of the much talked about fragmentation and incompatibility.

Unlike my previous experiences with J2ME, where pretty much no applications ever worked with my phone, no matter which manufacturer it was from, or if they did work, they were very clunky (like not taking advantage of a touch screen)

Re:Well... The issue is Android on TABLETS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541832)

I am finding lots of bootlegged apps from the Android Marketplace that won't run on my Pandigital Novel, which is running Android 2.0, because it does not have GPS, camera, or phone functions, and, I suspect, due to its 800x600 screen dimensions.

However, it runs enough to be useful to me, especially the ereaders for which it was originally marketed (I "unlocked its inner Android" in the 1st couple days with tips from the active user forum at http://www.slatedroid.com/pandigital-novel-android-tablet-discussion ). The Webkit browser, email client, stock music player, plus Pandora, and some other Android odds and ends are good enough to keep me interested - Google Maps on that 7-inch screen is wonderful (as long as I am near wifi access points), although I am still looking for a weather widget work on it ...

For $150, it beats heck out of a Kindle 3 since I do not read in full sunlight anyway (aside from the weight).

RO

Re:Well... The issue is Android on TABLETS (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541910)

Google Maps on that 7-inch screen is wonderful (as long as I am near wifi access points)

One of my coworkers has that K-Mart Android tablet thingy, and tethers it to his N1 so he can use the bigger screen for browsing.

Re:Well... (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542014)

I've yet to discover an android app that's incompatible with my phone.
Maybe that's because the Galaxy S has a superset of currently available features

Har Har Hardy Har Har, "maybe"

So as long as some jerk doesn't along with the el cheapo E-Machine of smart phones, everything will be just peachy? Well, you'll be alright anyway because you'll just buy the good ones, just like everyone else. It's not like people have ever bought cheap computers in masses and then blamed the software for performance problems, right?

glhf

Re:Well... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33542038)

sorry you bought a crappy phone.

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541838)

why can't I use that app on MY Android, it works on his!

Hi, Mr. Jobs. How are you today?

Google knows theres a lot of disent in the ranks over the already fragmented and inconsistent android platform from consumers and developers.

Huh? It's a lot less fragmented and inconsistent than Windows or the desktop Linux market, and those seem to be doing quite well.

Seriously, I've been using Android since the G1 came out, and I know tons of people with everything from Samsung Galaxies to Nexus Ones, and I've yet to hear that complaint. Not once. Not saying that it isn't a possibility if cellular providers fragment the OS too badly, but right now I think that's just Apple marketing blowing smoke. Besides, when you get right down to it, in spite of Apple's much-vaunted 75,000 applications, and however many are in the Android Market, the fact is that 99% of everything is crud. The top few percent of applications that are worth anything will be maintained and supported on as many devices as possible.

Furthermore, any cell phone carrier that prevents me from reverting my phone to the stock firmware (or flash a third-party ROM like Cyanogenmod) isn't going to get any of my business, ever. For all you people that are considering an Android-based device, that's one question that you need to ask before you buy a phone or sign up for a contract. Does this phone have the standard boot loader that lets me flash the stock firmware (or a third-party ROM) and a recovery partition. If not ... keep looking. If you have the ability to load the regular Android release from Google, odds are you won't have many compatibility problems. In fact, that's a good reason not to buy a subsidized phone: pay the extra for a non-carrier-locked unit running standard Android and you'll be in good shape.

It exists for web apps (not a good reason) (4, Insightful)

dlenmn (145080) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541148)

As TFA explains:

Google Chrome OS, which is basically an OS built around a web browser. Instead of downloaded apps, it will run web apps, although we expect there to be some offline caching capabilities which should let you do things like read eBooks or watch videos even when an internet connection isn’t handy.

I agree with the author that this is a bad idea:

Don’t forget, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, it didn’t have native apps either. He insisted that the development platform for the iPhone was the web, and the phone was designed primarily to run web apps. Today, there are over 250,000 native apps available in the App Store because, let’s face it, web apps just aren’t always going to do the job.

I don't know how much info is in the wild about Chrome OS, so maybe it'll have some wiz bang features that will rule, but I doubt it. Having two operating systems where one will certainly do just doesn't sound like a good idea -- especially when one is out, the other isn't, and the unreleased one is built around a questionable concept.

Re:It exists for web apps (not a good reason) (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541634)

I'm definitely waiting to see what happens. it sounds very interesting, and that much, I like a whole lot.

But, it's a pretty wild idea. It will work if there's some serious finessing, and Google is likely capable of that, but....

It's also possible it will useless. I can't play games on it?

Interest waning.

Re:It exists for web apps (not a good reason) (2, Interesting)

MozzleyOne (1431919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542078)

web apps just aren’t always going to do the job.

What's stopping them?

The only thing I can think of is cross-site scripting restrictions, but there are workarounds for that

Re:It exists for web apps (not a good reason) (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542102)

I really think it'll be a flop over all. Google wants web apps because Google loves the web. So far it is the only area they've really been able to make any money on. Their other apps are kinda neat but they don't seem to have monetized them very effectively. What they make money is mostly ads. Their search engine makes money because their ads are effective. Gmail makes money because of the ads. Google wants everything to be online, or more particularly on google.com, because that's how they know how to make money, not because it really is the best way of doing everything.

Google is smart, don't get me wrong, but as we've seen demonstrated time and time again, smart people and companies can get locked in to one line of thinking. I am convinced Chrome OS is a solution looking for a problem, not something that is actually needed. Google badly wants to see everything go online and I don't think they've considered how feasible it really is at this point or, more importantly, if it is what consumers want.

Re:Well... (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541226)

To be fair to Google, I thought WebOS sounded like a retarded idea as well, and they seemed to make it look and work brilliantly (Never used it personally, but tons of people seem to like it). If Palm had a half credible marketing department, they may have had a chance before getting bought out.

Re:Well... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541922)

To be fair to Google, I thought WebOS sounded like a retarded idea as well, and they seemed to make it look and work brilliantly (Never used it personally, but tons of people seem to like it). If Palm had a half credible marketing department, they may have had a chance before getting bought out.

Yeah, Palm's marketing department seemed to have a lot in common with Commodore, when it was trying to push the Amiga. Never could figure out exactly what it was they were trying to sell.

Re:Well... (1)

humphrm (18130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541600)

The point of ChromeOS was to compete with Microsoft in the AaaS front.

The point of Android was to compete with Apple on the smartphone front.

Now, they're fighting a two-front war, and can't decide which general to sacrifice in order to save the other one.

Re:Well... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542172)

Chrome OS is designed to force people to use Google's web apps. Well, actually, it's to force people to look at Google's ads, but same difference.

Android has this pesky ability to run native apps. Bad.

Re:Well... (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541546)

Never understood this myself. Android works, and works well. Sure Chrome will be great, but can't they get the Chrome browser in Android? Then get the best of both worlds. More online apps running in a browser, and Android apps to cover everything else.
To turn away people wanting to use your products, making them harder to use, seems an odd path to go down.
I'm still after a decent Android tablet, Samsung Tab looks perfect if it ever gets released, and I'd be happy with just a wifi version if I had to.

Re:Well... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541670)

"I'd be happy with just a wifi version if I had to."

And this is the problem, and why the Galaxy Tab won't come in a wifi only version, because Google demands that Android devices that want access to the Marketplace must have cell access.

Supposedly this is gonna be fixed up in Gingerbread -- I hope.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33542070)

Never understood this myself. Android works, and works well. Sure Chrome will be great, but can't they get the Chrome browser in Android? Then get the best of both worlds. More online apps running in a browser, and Android apps to cover everything else. To turn away people wanting to use your products, making them harder to use, seems an odd path to go down..

Chrome is targeted at devices with one to two orders of magnitude more RAM, flash storage, and network bandwidth than a typical Android device. Chrome assumes you have a mouse and keyboard, Android does not. Naturally the designs will differ. A few examples:

* Chrome renders web pages in separate processes, and sandboxes the renderers to make malware harder to write. A desktop PC is fast enough that the slight performance penalty and increase in RAM used is worth the extra security. On a cell phone with a slower processor and much less RAM, users will complain about the browser being too slow.

* Chrome's Javascript engine does some impressive work to go fast including JIT compilation and caching class layouts in memory. Nice if you have a fast CPU and lots of memory. Not so nice on a low memory device.

I once read a an article complaining about Microsoft's decision to release three different versions of Windows: NT, Windows 98, and Windows CE. Somehow the author did not grasp that the right way to implement an OS for a PDA might not be the right way for a server. Were you the author of that article?

I expect that Google will release Chrome for Android. They do tend to give users what they ask for. However, if you take Chrome and remove the RAM hungry multi-process architecture, the power hungry Javascript engine, and all the other parts that make no sense on a slow, low memory, power-constrained device, you will be left with something that is not substantially different that the Android browser they have now. So they will change the icon. And when they do, I expect 100+ comments on the slashdot article saying how lame it was that they did this.

Google went out of their way to communicate the great technical work that went in to Chrome to laymen. A normal company would have submitted an article to IEEE Spectrum or ACM Queue. They had a comic book made that a 15 year old could understand: http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/ . But even the people on slashdot don't see why you can't write one platform that makes the right tradeoffs on every piece of hardware out there. Sad.

Too early to tell (3, Insightful)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541014)

I don't think this is the case considering Motorola is expected to launch a tablet-ready android tablet this year. (And so is Acer too, according to rumors)

ChromeOS will probably ship on tablets AND on netbooks, while Android will probably only ship on tablets. (at least officially, since there are already some netbooks running android)

I don't think Google will want to let everyone down releasing non-optimized android versions for tablets, which would only genererate fragmentation (that magical word again) as far as tablet-specific implementation is concerned.

Also, why wait even more when their competition (Apple) is already singing the infamous "Its printing money!" song?

I expect them to release a tablet-friendly Android version this year so everyone can start working on top of that new "standard". (i.e. they want to set the standard so Android doesn't end up having 100 tablet implementations)
Who knows if that will be Gingerbread or Honeycomb...

Re:Too early to tell (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541296)

Actually, Android is already shipping on netbooks. [engadget.com] Granted they're referred to as smartbooks when they run a smartphone OS, but the device is basically a netbook that runs Android.

I've never been terribly interested in netbooks and have generally viewed them as rubbish, but I'm genuinely interested in the AC100. I'd need to use one before deciding to buy it, but I view it as a better proposition than any netbook I've seen to date. The newest versions of Android have added a lot of polish and can really run well on hardware that's not overly powerful. I can see smartbooks being incredibly popular, especially if they stick with keeping the profile small.

Android-based solutions are already here. ChromeOS isn't. Google should just axe the project and focus on making Android better for these types of devices rather than trying to have two different operating systems. Any other response just makes it appear as though they're well on the road to becoming more like Microsoft where projects are made in different small fiefdoms within the company and dick-waving contests between the kings result in crap products. Set a company goal and get the whole company behind it.

Google TV (4, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541410)

not just that, but Google TV is based on... Android. I guess all TVs will have to come with cameras and GPS too :)

Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] has a article about it, they say that Google gives out varying answers depending who you talk to.

One one hand, we have a radically new set-top form factor that will supposedly run Android applications, and on the other hand, we have a Google product director saying that Android isn't a good fit for non-smartphone devices and that those devices may pose insurmountable application compatibility challenges in some cases.

I reckon this will quickly be a non-story in the end. Someone from Google will provide the necessary foot to the bum of the marketing department and all will be well.

Re:Too early to tell (2, Informative)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541788)

I notice they are calling the AC100 the "Dynabook"... hope they are going to give credit to Alan Kay and Xerox Parc for that one.

Re:Too early to tell (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541386)

Samsung is realeasing an android tablet within the next month. and its quite smooth. uses a built in cellular card to cover data and apps that require it.

It's not dead already? (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541026)

I mean, why do they really need to have TWO locked down Linux-based operating systems?

Re:It's not dead already? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541236)

Well ChromeOS is not really an OS so much as an Idea..

From Google's perspective, the underlying linux is not really relevant, what they are pushing is the idea that you can live entirely within the walls of Chrome (the browser) and the underlying OS does not matter.. this in contrast to Android which is far more tightly coupled with the underlying Linux based mini-distro (you couldn't just port the user facing front end to say .. windows mobile or iOS or blackberry and call it a day)

Re:It's not dead already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541650)

you could port it yeah, the windows kernel, the Mach kernel and the QNX kernel offer pretty similar api.

Re:It's not dead already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541842)

that's fucking hilarious, considering you can, in fact, run android dalvik packages in Windows.

Android and Chrome OS will become one (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541036)

I think it should be pretty obvious....Android is taking off, but the idea of an app ecosystem based on the browser is clearly the future as well.

I'd wager anything that google will merge the two....if that wasn't their plan from the beginning, it will come to pass regardless. .

I don't see this too difficult really.... but it's smart that they didn't attempt it too early though for various reasons.

Re:Android and Chrome OS will become one (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541066)

No, I don't think that's the right approach, mostly because ChromeOS has a little bit more to offer as a desktop OS for thin clients or netbooks.

They need to make ChromeOS run Android apps.

Re:Android and Chrome OS will become one (2, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541152)

I would consider a Chrome OS that runs Android apps to be basically a merger of the two. At least it is a merger from the point of view of being a platform.

Re:Android and Chrome OS will become one (1)

newDzerzhinsky (1806046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541694)

No, I don't think that's the right approach, mostly because ChromeOS has a little bit more to offer as a desktop OS for thin clients or netbooks.

They need to make ChromeOS run Android apps.

OK...I guess I am missing something....can you explain how your suggestion of making "ChromeOS run Android apps" fits with you saying that you disagree with the OP suggesting that Google will merge the two? Have you not just perfectly defined a merging of the two?

Re:Android and Chrome OS will become one (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541256)

Sounds sensible. I wouldn't be surprised if Google starts supporting web-standards that involve even further web-to-PC bleeding in the near future. I think that at minimum, google wants the equivalent of "Android Market", "Google Desktop", The Google installer, and Google Gadgets to all be integrated into the underlying web platform in a way that most computing needs regarding applications can be fully met through web 'application' running on the host platform / browser. Or maybe more, effectively equating the the browser as a Java / .NET run-time replacement.

Horseshit (5, Informative)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541052)

I use my Android constantly with airplane mode turned on and wifi turned back on since the cdma radio is such a hog. I never run into any app that doesn't work as expected based on this setup.

Re:Horseshit (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541218)

This. The only apps that don't work with the cellular connection off are those that rely on A-GPS, and they can always use the device's GPS chipset instead.

Re:Horseshit (1)

Cougar Town (1669754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541242)

Agreed. I only have one app that doesn't work on wifi, and that's an app specific to my carrier that shows me my current data and voice usage for the month. It requires EDGE/3G so it knows who I am. I suppose they could make it work over wifi using a login, but it wouldn't even make sense to run an app like that on a non-phone anyway.

Other than that, every app I've ever used doesn't care what my connection is. It just uses whatever is available, whether that's wifi or EDGE/3G. I once needed to move the SIM card to another phone for a while, and used it with no SIM at all and everything worked exactly as expected (other than phone calls and SMS of course). GPS even works, even if it might take a little extra time to determine my position.

Not really sure what they're talking about with all this.

Re:Horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541310)

I find it interesting that you use a smartPHONE as everything *but* a phone.
I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541606)

That's because most people use it like a PDA.

Re:Horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541624)

AFAIK nobody's really selling non-phone handhelds these days, at least in the states -- the last was the Nokia N810, with Zaurus, Jornada, and Axim having gone a long time ago. It's not particularly "interesting" that people will grit their teeth and pay the extra for a phone even though they don't need or want it, once it's the only thing left on the market...

Oh, almost forgot the iPod Touch... (no, that's not rhetorical, I really forgot it) Let's just say Apple devices are rather polarizing, and not for everyone; for those who don't even think of it when they're listing handhelds, the above paragraph holds.

Re:Horseshit (1)

newDzerzhinsky (1806046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541734)

I find it interesting that you use a smartPHONE as everything *but* a phone. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

At what point did you find yourself shocked that a /. poster didn't have anyone they needed to "speak" to on the phone?

The parents are just upstairs from the basement, and the girlfriend is just.....oh, yeah, nuff sed

smartphones are just for the interwebs, this "phone" thing you talk of is irrelevant here :p

Android Smartphone minus phone = "Android Touch" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541938)

Actually, I almost decided to keep my "free" LG Ally from Verizon for that very type of usage (and switch back to my trusty old WinMob smartphone for phone/PIM/tether source - as I have since done sans the Ally), but the 2-year contract extension just struck me as too constraining. I was starting to consider it the Android equivalent of the iPod Touch - lots of usefulness even without the phone bit activated.

RO

Google: Android isn’t designed for tablets y (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541182)

Guess what? It is in beta.

Jettison ChromeOS (5, Insightful)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541200)

Whether or not ChromeOS is better than Android at this point is largely academic. Android is here, now and (arguably) ready for mass consumption. ChomeOS isn't. It's a shame, and it would suck to jettison all of that work put into ChromeOS, but it's just too late to the party at this point. People are already packing up and heading out to the retail store with Android and diluting the development of Android to push ChromeOS out to market a day late and dollar short does a disservice to both platforms.

They need to retool their Chrome developers to start making Android more tablet friendly and rolling the most positive features of Chrome into Android.

The netbook market is largely static and is likely to self implode or at the very least be rolled into the ultralight laptop market. I mean, really the current generation of Netbooks are really just small laptops; calling them netbooks is paying lip service to the netbook form factor only - a 12" screen really isn't a netbook anymore and people have largely figured out that anything smaller really isn't useful for much in laptop form - but it is in tablet form. So the netbook market is all but gone as separate entity. Where does that leave ChromeOS? Pretty much nowhere. It has no real platform and it is too late to the party to do much of anything.

Meh... I'd really like to see it rolled into Android, that's really the smartest move at this point.

Re:It's the developement tools... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541548)

...that decide which, if not a new one, will win. The platform is just the starting point and developers care about it as much as we care about oxygen among other things in life. Otherwise, good development tools on par with Xcode and Visual Studio are almost a requirement.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541580)

It seems to me that what killed *nix on the netbook was that there was no development work done to make a *nix for the netbook. Someone just said we it would be cheap to mash up and we will sell it until we don't. MS did some work to put windows on a netbook, but since it had to discount product to make MS Windows work in the netbook market, there was no momentum there other than to kill the netbook market.

I think that chrome was kind of made to work in this space, and I have chrome installed in a virtual machine, but can't really see why I would need it. It is like iPhone OS 1.0. Seriously, when want to back to ought seven. Dumb terminals are not so cheap that we will compromise to use them instead of a smart terminal. Dumb terminal, BTW was what Apple was selling with iPhone 1.0.

There is a fair amount of things one can do an iPad. One assumes that with some work, google docs will work just as well on Android. What we see is that Android is stil for those want a keyboard, while the benefit of an iPad is the touch interface. If one were just to put Android on a tablet, it might end up like *nix on a netbook. Without thinking of the interface, it wil not compete.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541656)

How do you figure Android is for those that want a keyboard? Most Android phones don't have a keyboard, they are entirely touch based. Only a select few have a keyboard and most of those are either old/underpowered or just plain suck.

With Swype, even the touch keyboard is becoming faster or at worst the same speed as the chiclet sized keyboard on the phones that have them.

I fail to see how Android is designed for anything but touch. A keyboard is possibly a nice convenience, but is by no means required.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33542040)

In fact, too support your point in a negative way, that is why I tried, and returned 2 Android phones - I could not STAND that smudgy touchscreen interface vs my WinMobile smartphone that responds nicely to stylus/fingernail ala the Palm Graffiti platform I started from. Small keyboards, physical or virtual (onscreen) are pathetic vs handwriting recognition for me, but, on the other hand (so's to speak), too large a screen does not work for me with handwriting recognition since my writing hand (lefty) drags across the screen, and triggers all kinds of "interesting" responses - no thanks.

I much prefer my "netbook-ish" Fujitsu Lifebook P1610 with Linux and its trackpoint that gives more room for a bigger keyboard than can be had in the same space with keyboard/touchpad. I do find some occasional use for its resistive touchscreen in tablet mode when I feel like starting that up in Linux, or alternate booting to WinXP Tablet Edition for a few little-used programs, but that is quite secondary to me as an input device. YMMV

Just so you know not all of us have the same ergonomic criteria.
RO

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (2, Interesting)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541954)

don't blame microsoft. netbooks started out as linux power devices being microsoft wanted nothing to do with them when they started selling like crazy with linux microsoft relised they missed the boat. then jumped in. at that point i would have told microsoft to shove it but netbook makers did not.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541664)

Sure, if all you want to be able to do on a computer is fucking browse the internet. What about the billion other, significant and important things computers should be able to do, and how about trusting the cloud with everything? For those reasons alone ChromeOS sucks. In worst case scenario land, it is best to always have everything you own and need without worry about extra bills, information hidden on servers miles away, ect. ect. Sure, fine and dandy for you wusses, in ur nasly voices 'nothing will ever happen, I like the internet, companies can't be evil'. Yea yea, sure sure.

Please Shut The Fuck Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541674)

It's not that you're a fucking idiot(you are), it's that there seems to be an unending stream of idiots just like you. It's like having dumbfuck after dumbfuck walk up to you and trying to tell you the same stupid, unfunny joke all day long.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541708)

Whether or not ChromeOS is better than Android at this point is largely academic. Android is here, now and (arguably) ready for mass consumption. ChomeOS isn't. It's a shame, and it would suck to jettison all of that work put into ChromeOS, but it's just too late to the party at this point.

Sorry, Windows Phone 7.

Also I'm real skeptical of Chrome OS (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541742)

It is marketed as a web OS, as in the only thing the computer will have on it is a media player and web browser. Ok, well putting aside if it is a good idea to make everything web based, that only works for online all the time situations. You know, like not tablet PCs. Seems like what tablets demand are a classical embeded OS. Something that is light weight but can have all the features you need. Sounds just like Android to me.

I think Google gets a little blinded by their web focus sometimes. They think it would be just great if everything moved on to the web, and more specifically on to google.com. I don't think that is going to happen any time soon, if ever. There are plenty of reasons to want stuff that resides on your device. For mobile devices, wireless speed is a big one. Even on the fastest networks it still gets pokey when lots of people are using it, and let's be real about how many places have the fastest networks. There's also battery to be considered. A radio slurps up battery life in a hurry.

I'm not saying they should jettison Chrome OS necessarily but they need to take a long, hard, realistic look at the real demand for a web-only or even web-focused OS. Otherwise I think they risk pushing something that nobody likes and doesn't get them anywhere.

In the mythical future, when Internet connections never go down, wireless is faster than we need, and web browsers all run a version of HTML/CSS/etc that allows for powerful, fast, easy apps to be made then maybe a web only system is a winner. Maybe then people are interested in having a computer that is just a browser. However until that day comes, and I am skeptical it ever will, a normal computer is what's called for.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541930)

my 8 inch eeepc works just fine. i have no problem with reading anything or using it. its plenty useful it gets use all the time. i don't even do netbook remix os being the ui on them has always been horrid. standard desktop ubuntu. but you are correct the netbook market has changed for the worse. they are no longer the ultra cheap small laptops. now they are nearly as large and cost just as much as a new low end laptop. the only advantage is if you need 8 hrs of battery. otherwise go with the more powerful laptop that will cost the same and in some cases less. i hope the netbook market returns to the small cheap system that made them huge. but for now there gonna fall out of favor to low end laptops. heck catch a sale you could even score a mid range gamer for a netbook price these days.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (1)

guisar (69737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542044)

I would assume they will use Android to govern the "application" market for things which the user perceives as private, usable when there's no network at all, or rely on a lot of computer power and little network needs. ChromeOS, the technology if not the brand name, would be used to define a new level of compatibility and seamlessness with the internet. Chrome the name (rather than the OS) could be used to market this technology. Chrome capable devices could be given a physically distinquishing factor so if they had this feature you'd know they'd work together.

Re:Jettison ChromeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33542164)

That was another thing that bugged me about the 2 Android phones I tried with Verizon - they were way to "intertwined" with Google as it was. My WinMobile Xv6700/6800 are much more "standalone" in their PIM and "Pocket Office" (whatever...) functionality, and yet can exchange files with my Linux or Windows desktops without ever going out to the web. Works for me.

RO

Cisco's doing it anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541250)

At least with their Cius [cisco.com] tablet.

Not polished For phone apps either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541252)

My phone app crashes regularly, a pretty big epic fail for an OS designed for phones. Google doesn't know how to release a quality product, just a series of betas with a lot to be desired for.

Re:Not polished For phone apps either (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541628)

Which app? How do you know it's not a problem with the app?

ChromeOS competes with Android? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541326)

People who think that apparently haven't used both operating systems. Android is a mobile OS designed to run third party apps - the apps are the centerpiece of the OS. ChromeOS is for devices that want to run a web browser. And nothing else. ChromeOS is great for kiosks and a decent choice for a netbook. But tablets are a big in between. If your tablet is a big phone, get an Android model. If it's a slim netbook without a keyboard, ChromeOS should be your choice. If it's a laptop replacement, look to better specs and full Linux or (*gasp*) Windows 7.

Remember this:
Want apps? Choose Android.
Want web browsing? Choose ChromeOS.
Want flexibility? Choice Linux/Windows.

Re:ChromeOS competes with Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541568)

I'll just chose an iPhone, thanks.

Re:ChromeOS competes with Android? (1)

newDzerzhinsky (1806046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541770)

I'll just chose an iPhone, thanks.

Ahhh.....interesting choice.

Can I interest you in a lovely, black, roll-neck jersey? It will look good for a while, but.....

Re:ChromeOS competes with Android? (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541678)

People who think that apparently haven't used both operating systems. Android is a mobile OS designed to run third party apps - the apps are the centerpiece of the OS. ChromeOS is for devices that want to run a web browser. And nothing else. ChromeOS is great for kiosks and a decent choice for a netbook. But tablets are a big in between. If your tablet is a big phone, get an Android model. If it's a slim netbook without a keyboard, ChromeOS should be your choice. If it's a laptop replacement, look to better specs and full Linux or (*gasp*) Windows 7.

Remember this:
Want apps? Choose Android.
Want web browsing? Choose ChromeOS.
Want flexibility? Choice Linux/Windows.

That's the problem - why diversify your product line when there's no point in it. You'll confuse most consumers by having Chrome OS on this tablet (which is a small netbook) and Android on this tablet (which is a large phone) - Well they are both made by Company X and look almost the same - why don't my Android apps work on this tablet? BAH TABLETS SUCK!

No... that's just a horrible idea. They need to unify the OS. Android is here and now, ChromeOS is too far off to be viable. It needs to be rolled into Android and Google needs to make a unified push to make Android the dominant OS in the mobile space. Your apps and data are all available on your phone all the way to your tablet and possibly even laptop if they roll enough of ChromeOS into Android.

Re:ChromeOS competes with Android? (1)

guisar (69737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542066)

My idea is that Chrome as a brand name needs to be phased in later- once there is a larger market for Android devices. Chrome could be used to define internet interoperability- that two devices which feature "chrome" are compatible in the way you'd intuitively expect and behind the scenes they use whatever amazing technology they've discovered with ChromeOS development. Chrome apps would be available exclusively over the internet and you could purchase any app in the family and it would know how to interoperate with all the other chrome apps- in a visually oriented toolkit. It would control other, unrelated devices in an intuitive way. Nobody can define the real feature set, without spending the R&D Google has. Deliver the technology but market it as a feature without seeming to cause a conflict with Android.

Re:ChromeOS competes with Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33542120)

That's the problem - why diversify your product line when there's no point in it.

This should be a big hint that someone believes there is a point.

Why did Microsoft have WIndows CE and Windows NT in development at the same time? They are both OSes, right?

Look at the specs for a computer that runs Chrome OS. In terms of RAM, CPU speed, and amount of flash storage, no Android device comes close. It is appropriate to make different tradeoffs based on the hardware you will run on.

Even Apple is struggling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541438)

Only 25,000 out of 250,000 apps are iPad native at the moment, and the iOS 4 updates for iPad have been delayed multiple times.

PC OS struggle even more, having to support from 800x600 to 2560x1600 screens and the almost 30 years worth of x86 based code. Writing operating systems is hard, due to the fact that there is no single concept of a screen.

Re:Even Apple is struggling (2, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541586)

iOS 4 updates for iPad have been delayed multiple times.

They have? In July, Jobs said the iPad would get it iOS 4 "in the Fall," [osxdaily.com] and at the beginning of this month he said November.

Doesn't look like it's been delayed to me, looks like it's right on track.

~Philly

Re:Even Apple is struggling (1)

newDzerzhinsky (1806046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541852)

iOS 4 updates for iPad have been delayed multiple times.

They have? In July, Jobs said the iPad would get it iOS 4 "in the Fall," [osxdaily.com] and at the beginning of this month he said November.

Doesn't look like it's been delayed to me, looks like it's right on track.

~Philly

Steve is running late according to the classic Celtic calendar....November is very definitely Winter...Steve needs to learn his Irish Calendar before making promises that will be listened to Worldwide :p

Re:Even Apple is struggling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33541672)

As the Adobe fanboys will say, Flash apps work everywhere! Except that when the applets get resized from 800x600 to 2560x1600, the vector-rendered UI halts the CPU and drops to 0.001fps. Oh no! Actually, that happens right now, going from just 300x200 to 1024x768.

Just sayin' (1)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541610)

I will buy a tablet when it can run windows 7, with autodesk inventor, all my typical programs, and browse the web from anywhere.

Screw Chrome OS! (0, Troll)

Snaller (147050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541724)

Chrome OS is essentially a browser with enough support wheels to boot itself - its not a real OS - and NOTHING I would want. Forget it Google - I want a tablet (padd) which runs Android - not your Chrome crap. You might as well stop trying to sabotage that, the sooner the better (especially if you wish to try and hang to your "do no evil" motto)

Re:Screw Chrome OS! (1)

MozzleyOne (1431919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33542094)

and NOTHING I would want yet.

FTFY, given that web apps can perform any task that native apps can perform

Wait... (3, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541798)

Isn't Chrome OS already dead on arrival?

Re:Wait... (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33541988)

being forced to be online to even log in is a deal breaker for me. i use my net-book at work so i don't fall asleep. most of the time i don't have wifi and sometimes not even power so i take a couple charged battery's. load it up with videos etc and have something to watch. of course my job falling asleep is a issue for everyone so they do not care what you do to stay awake. you try sitting in a little guard tower for 8 hrs at night in the dark and not fall asleep without something to do lol. if i have a power source ill bring a gaming laptop.

televisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33542170)

Google is pushing Android on televisions, and televisions aren't cell phones either.

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