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We Didn't Need Google's Schmidt To Tell Us Android and Chrome Wouldn't Merge 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-em-seperated dept.
First time accepted submitter Steve Patterson writes "Thankfully, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has announced that 'Android and Chrome will remain separate.' Rumors that the products would be combined emerged last week when leadership of Android and Chrome were consolidated under Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai. Schmidt stated the obvious, but if you are a developer and you took the bait and thought the rumors might be true, you already read enough of Google Chrome or Google Android documentation before Schmidt's clarification and confirmed that consolidating the two products would be, well, stupid."
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We Didn't Need Google's Schmidt To Tell Us Android and Chrome Wouldn't Merge

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  • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:33PM (#43241689) Journal
    Obviously they're crazy. Putting the same mobile touch-based user interface on every phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, watch, games console, server and small appliance is the wave of the future.
    • I don't want to touch my server and you can't make me.
    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      Which is why it's not unbelievable that people would believe it, joke or not. It simply is the unfortunate wave of the stupid tech corporate overlord future.
      • by symbolset (646467) *
        People are not as stupid as you need them to be to put this over.
      • Which is frankly bumming me the hell out, this is the first time since i got into tech in the late 70s that I have thought the future is actually gonna be shittier than what we have now. before things always got better, systems got faster, prices went lower, the generations were just better and better...now? Its fucking game consoles man, that is ALL it is, fucking locked down game consoles in phone or tablet or whatever form and the public eats that shit up because it means they don't have to think because there is no thought involved with a game console, mommy corp takes care of everything so don't you worry your pretty little head none. They'll tell you what to buy, when to buy a new one, it'll all be controlled and as user friendly as a TV remote and just as worthless for anything not approved by corporate.

        Its fucking depressing man, you got Google building DBs on everybody that would make the Stasi jealous, you got Apple seeing how locked down they can make a device and still get the public to buy, and you got MSFT being Apple's bitch and copying every bad feature of Apple without any good, the whole thing fucking stinks.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          Hairy, Sell mobile devices, skins and accessories. You'll be fine.
          • by hairyfeet (841228)
            FUCK THAT. Seriously fuck that bullshit. You ever try to get parts for any of that shit? Can't do it, doesn't matter if the fucking thing is $700 they expect you to throw it away. there is exactly one dude in town that will deal with that shit and when i asked him how he leads me out back and he has like a 4 car fucking garage filled with NOTHING but dead mobile devices for parts...fuck that, fuck that locked down fucking garbage, I'll go back to playing behind God damned chicken wire before I be a party to
            • by pnutjam (523990)
              Maybe there is a market for a business class of device that can be repaired. I think it's afew years off, but I just heard the other day a news report saying how all the hardware specs are boring and don't really mean anything. It's the software that matters on new phones. Commodization can't be too far off and then it gets down to durability and fix-ability.
              • by hairyfeet (841228)

                Now THAT I would jump on in a heartbeat, the reason I don't have to advertise anymore is my customers have spread the word that you get a system from me and the thing 1.-Lasts a good long time and 2.- Has plenty of upgrade paths, so that would be right up their alley.

                The problem is you have the king of commodity OSes trying their damnedest to kill off anything commodity because Steve "I work at Cupertino herpa derp" Ballmer thinks he can throw a paintjob on a Pinto and sell it for Porsche money and its NEVE

        • by Snospar (638389)

          I mostly agree with you and yes, it is depressing but I think there is another reason pushing people onto these locked down devices and it's simply that Microsoft still haven't worked out how to protect their systems from malware & viruses. Now before everyone jumps in and says this isn't just a MS problem, malware attacks 3rd party software too - I know that and I'll gladly put Java and Adobe in the same sin bin.

          Let's say that Average Joe buys a nice shiny Windows laptop for $2000 - it's his machine, h

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Bullshit its become a status thing. Hell my fricking dad asked about getting an iPhone, he can't even work the stuff he has on his Android phone and frankly hates smartphones so why would he want an iPhone? Because the other big wigs has one so he has the urge to keep up with the Joneses, that's all. I saw a girl struggling like hell to juggle her purse and a shopping cart because she was using a damned iPad for a fricking grocery list. The dirty look when I said "Trying to justify shelling out all that mon

          • Software isn't the only reason for slowdowns. The thermal paste on processors also gets old and brittle after a few years, causing the CPUs to overheat. The CPUs then self-throttle in order to keep the heat down, which slows the machine down. This is why even a machine that is well-maintained in software will get slower over the years than it was when it was new. This is especially true for laptops that have desktop-class processors in them. Re-applying thermal paste and cleaning out all the gunk from the c

            • by nobodie (1555367)

              Agreed, I took my wife's laptop, which had slowed considerably, noticeably, and took off the cpu fan, cleaned it, blew out the cruft from the sinks and the fan and the air conduits, re-applied paste and put it back together. She was so happy that she doesn't want a new one (and this one was a 2007 purchase) which makes me happy too!

        • by Gr8Apes (679165)
          Apple's devices are locked down? Compared to what? I can install anything I want on a macbook, for instance, so that entire line is out. As for iPhones / iPads you can install other stuff, most people just choose not too, as the real value in both of those devices is access to Apple's marketplace.
          • by bhcompy (1877290)
            To be fair, you can infer iProduct from "Apple devices" simply because of sales numbers. Macbooks are a tiny sliver of the Apple retail pie
            • by Gr8Apes (679165)
              "Tiny sliver"? 4M Macs vs 17M iPad vs 26M iPhones Q3 2012 [engadget.com] because it was the first result that showed numbers. It's in the same order of magnitude in numbers, and in dollars, you'll note that iPhone/iPad numbers include related services, while the Mac ones do not and it's still 20% of the pie. If that's your definition of a "tiny sliver", then I'm sure you don't mind sending me $5B a quarter. My wallet will appreciate it.
  • by xyzio (1470567) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:36PM (#43241715) Homepage
    Chrome and Android are very different OS. Chrome is designed to run off the web on lightweight hardware using a keyboard/mouse while Android has a touch interface and runs on essentially mini-computers and needs to be able run offline. Combining them is going to give you something like Win 8 - neither one nor the other but a giant mess.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      having fw for both on the same device wouldn't be too bad - and then a way to run android apps in chrome(the other way doesn't matter as much).
      why? well, for starters there would be a standard for devices that slide into another shell, like a phone into a laptop.

      it's all the same hw anyways.

      but I suppose google would rather have you move everything through google drive than let you keep everything on-device..

      • having fw for both on the same device wouldn't be too bad - and then a way to run android apps in chrome(the other way doesn't matter as much).

        Surely the other way round is trivial -- isn't the Android browser based on the main Chrome codebase?

        Personally I think Chrome OS is redundant, and that Google should have made a non-touch UI patch for Android. I would love to "converge" my desktop and mobile experience... as long as it was based on a sensible UI, and not effing Metro....

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:41AM (#43245771) Homepage Journal

      Chrome and Android are very different OS.

      Chrome is a browser, and Android is an operating system. Linux is a kernel, and it is the basis for both Android, and ChromeOS, a lightweight Linux distribution intended to present an interface to the user only through the Chrome browser.

      Chrome is designed to run off the web on lightweight hardware using a keyboard/mouse while Android has a touch interface and runs on essentially mini-computers and needs to be able run offline.

      You do not even know what a minicomputer is, so please don't use that word again until you consult a computing dictionary. Android does not run on minicomputers, and it barely runs on microcomputers. It's intended to run on handheld computing platforms, but one day it should be a dandy operating system for microcomputers as well. (Right now, the hardware support is lacking.) It has no problems supporting a mouse and keyboard interface, which has been true since Gingerbread at the latest — which was delivered with the Acer Aspire One AOD250 netbook, which is an example of a microcomputer.

      Combining them is going to give you something like Win 8 - neither one nor the other but a giant mess.

      Chrome for Android already exists, which permits you to combine Chrome with Android by installing an APK. It is crap compared to the version of Chrome for microcomputers, which is why ChromeOS even exists. Otherwise, it would make absolutely no sense for Google to maintain two Linux-based operating systems (Android and ChromeOS) due to duplication of effort. When and if Chrome for Android reaches feature-parity with Chrome for ChromeOS, then not only will there be no further reason for ChromeOS to exist, but we will also be able to say that Google has "merged" Android and ChromeOS, since the entire interface of ChromeOS is the Chrome browser.

      I admit that for there to be no reason for ChromeOS to exist any longer, that Android will have to be able to run on the equivalent of the highest-end Chromebook shipping at the time, but almost regardless of the details that will be a minor implementation hurdle compared to bringing Chrome for Android up to speed.

      • I hate to break it to you, but *no one* has called PC's microcomputers since 1991. People are calling very small computers minicomputers, even though that name used to mean a computer that was housed in one cabinet. Time changes, terminology gets reused. Adapt for the sake of your own sanity.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          People are calling very small computers minicomputers

          Ignorant people who wish to appear knowledgeable, yes.

          If they become educated, then they can appear knowledgeable to people who actually know something. Which is why I am providing correction. If I were in some other venue and the term came up, odds are I'd let it slide unless it were particularly useful to appear to be the nerdliest dork in the room. Around here, I don't worry so much about hurting someone's feelings when they misuse a term, because they really ought to know better. If you can figure out h

    • Tell that to... well, every major OS, since they still don't seem to grasp that Tablets and Desktops are different hardware.

      That's what made it so believable. "Stupid" is the order of the day.

    • Is Google targeting the PDP-11 now?
    • +1, Insightful
  • They pop up and disappear like toadstools. Google is everything but stagnant.

  • Tell it to Mozillla (Score:5, Informative)

    by colfer (619105) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:39PM (#43241729)

    Tell it to Mozilla. All resources seem to be going to the OS project. Thunderbird lost funding.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      Thunderbird is pretty stable though, and to their credit they don't suffer from a severe degree of featuritus.

      • by loufoque (1400831)

        Thunderbird still has major problems with performance, disk usage and connectivity...

        • maybe, but then again I switched to Thunderbird from Evolution, and performance and connectivity improved by orders of magnitude. Performance is always relative...
    • I used to use Thunderbird but then I got a job. I'd happily switch back to Thunderbird if they'd add in Exchange support like every other mail client on the planet. :(
      • by Tarlus (1000874)

        You can still make it work using IMAP, Lightning and the Lightning Exchange connector. It's not as fully-featured as Outlook as far as being an Exchange client, but it covers the basics. OWA can cover the rest (out of office reminders, etc) when needed. I used it for the better part of a year before deciding that Outlook 2010 isn't so bad.

  • by supersat (639745) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:41PM (#43241747)
    Parts of Chrome and Android have always shared code (namely WebKit and some glue), but now Android is shipping Chrome as the default browser. The weird overlap is between Chrome OS and Android. Chrome OS is just Linux and Chrome... both of which are part of Android.
    • by kllrnohj (2626947)

      Which is *exactly* why it's crazy/stupid to merge them. The entire point of ChromeOS is that it's just a browser. If you merge anything with it, all you've done is killed ChromeOS. And there's nothing to merge from ChromeOS into other OSes - it's just the Chrome browser, which Android already has.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The entire point of ChromeOS is that it's just a browser.

        Delete everything but the browser from your chromebook, and let me know how well it works.

        And there's nothing to merge from ChromeOS into other OSes - it's just the Chrome browser, which Android already has.

        ChromeOS is a lightweight linux which delivers the Chrome browser. Android is a lightweight linux which delivers the Chrome browser. See the problem here? Maintaining a product line which provides a subset of another product line but which isn't simply a compile/build system flag away is a wasteful duplication of effort. ChromeOS only exists because Chrome on Android isn't as good as Chrome on ChromeOS. When this is no

    • I was always confused why chrome wasn't the default preinstalled browser on android. Google developed the same thing twice?
      • by jaxxa (1580613)
        Google Chrome does not Run on older versions of Android.
      • by kllrnohj (2626947) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:07PM (#43242891)

        I was always confused why chrome wasn't the default preinstalled browser on android. Google developed the same thing twice?

        You seem to have forgotten your history here. Chrome and Android launched around the same time. Hell, Chrome on Linux didn't show up until 2010 - that's *AFTER* the Motorola Droid had launched. It's obvious *NOW* that Chrome should run on Android. But 3-4 years ago both Chrome *and* Android were far from proven, and both were focused on establishing themselves first.

        Also, how you build a browser on a desktop is very different from how you build one on mobile. And the vast majority of the work is bringing webkit up on a new platform. WebKit by itself doesn't do much - it's basically "just" HTML parsing + DOM management + JavaScript. Graphics, audio, video, etc... is all platform-specific, and when Android was starting out webkit didn't support touch either.

        • by steelfood (895457)

          Also, how you build a browser on a desktop is very different from how you build one on mobile.

          Not particularly. Android on something like the Asus Transformer series shows what kind of an OS it would be on a full desktop/laptop. Which is to say, it isn't perfect, because a developed-for-desktop OS would probably be more powerful and a bit less clunky, but it is certainly usable and not inconvenient at all.

          The paradigms are not all that different. For starters, the app listing on the iPhone and Android is merely a smaller version of the desktop. The home button is just a glorified start button. And t

        • by snadrus (930168)

          Each needs to support a browser that does graphics, audio, video, etc. So I'd push for similarity: Kernels & platform components. That reduces code duplication (thereby reducing bugs & freeing dev time).

          Then Chrome OS gets reliability benefits from Android's user base (public bug testing), and Android gets great native (non-Dalvik) components for better performance.

    • Every Android Activity can use a chromeClient object to listen for openFileChooser and onProgressChanged events from the webkit-based WebView. This is where a new API needs to allow scripting access.
  • by grouchomarxist (127479) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @07:52PM (#43241823)

    The only bit of substance this article has is the quote from Eric Schmidt which is a partial quote which leaves out a very important bit. The fuller quote is: "Chrome and Android operating systems will remain separate products but could have more overlap ". When the article discusses Chrome it seems to be focused on Chrome the browser, not Chrome OS, which the linked Reuter's article [reuters.com] properly does. The original article discusses the differences between Chrome and Android, but none of these differences preclude merging or otherwise combining the OSes. In particular, it is very possible that Google at some time will support running Android apps on Chrome OS or running Chrome OS apps on Android.

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:03PM (#43242423) Journal

      More overlap is fine. The back end could be virtually identical (probably is already very similar) and developers would benefit. As long as they don't try to force us to use the android touch interface on non-touch chromebooks, we're golden.

      Google appears to understand that presentation is a layer atop a collection of resources. Presentation is not the OS

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Even Android doesn't force you to use the Android touch interface. Have you ever installed Android-x86? I wouldn't suggest you depend on it for anything, but it should be an eye-opener. But beyond that, you can plug a mouse into a modern Android device with host mode and get a pointer...

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          > Have you ever installed Android-x86?

          I have not, but I might soon. Daughter has a touch screen laptop with Win8 Pro, and we're both very unhappy with it. We have it on the network and talking to the printers, and I've figured out the registry change to get the apps to display, but the aspect ratio is still wrong, ACPI still doesn't work correctly and neither of us like the interface. Once I learn enough to deal with inevitable customer Win8 issues, this thing will get reimaged with something. Androi

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            So no, I don't know what Android x86 is like. I assumed it was Android, but, you know, on x86. If it's truly different, I should learn more about it.

            It is Android, but, you know, on x86. And yet simply by dicking with the build.prop you get a system which behaves substantially differently from a phone. On the other hand, unless someone has gone the extra mile to get your particular hardware working, it typically won't work even a little bit.

    • by samkass (174571) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:25PM (#43242555) Homepage Journal

      Is the summary really implying Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, is stupid for suggesting that the two OS's will probably merge someday [cnet.com]?

  • Duh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by mordejai (702496) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:04PM (#43241921)
    Of course they won't MERGE. 3 years from now, tops, Chrome OS will be more dead than Google Reader.
  • Agree (Score:5, Funny)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:00PM (#43242395) Journal

    Of course Android and Chrome won't merge. No company would be suicidal enough to try to create a single GUI paradigm intended to run on both a laptop and a touch screen appliance.

    Wait...

  • Browser (Score:5, Informative)

    by markdavis (642305) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:01PM (#43242411)

    I think Chrome and Android have already merged. Chrome is the default browser in Android Linux, now.

    Oh, perhaps they meant "Chrome OS" Linux?

  • Since when did "stupid" stop anyone?
  • > Schmidt's clarification confirmed that consolidating the two products would be, well, stupid.
    That consolidation was exactly what Microsoft did with Windows and Explorer, and later with Vista and DirectX. Now look at Windows declining marketshare with fewer Windows applications. Too stupid to learn from their mistakes Microsoft are repeating the Vista disaster by withholding DirectX 11 from Windows 7, thinking if they keep DirectX 11 from it then everyone will upgrade to Windows 8. They haven't. OpenGL
  • by mattr (78516) <mattr&telebody,com> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:12PM (#43242919) Homepage Journal

    Is Slashdot berating Schmidt or thanking him?

    "We Didn't Need Google's Schmidt To Tell Us Android and Chrome Wouldn't Merge"
    "Thankfully, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has announced"

  • You know when I said you should market the fuck out of /. to get profits and keep the lights on? How you could put ads over the top, down the side and over the foot and I was good with that? I was sincere about that. The previous owners didn't make the most of what they had. You're entitled to make money and there's a lot of opportunity here. I pay to be a member and then let the ads show up anyway. When the ads are pertinent to my interests I click on them, and sometimes I spend money.

    But if you guy

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      Start running Ghostery. Yeah, it will block the ads (which I have also clicked on in the past, but no more), but it also prevents most popups as well as cross site tracking in general.

      Sometimes issues such as these must be addressed by the Individual, not the Organization (or Corporation). The Organization will do as it pleases, and so will the Individuals. So it goes...

      For the record, I've never seen a popover ad on Slashdot.

  • Schmidt stated the obvious, but if you are a developer and you took the bait and thought the rumors might be true, you already read enough of Google Chrome or Google Android documentation before Schmidt's clarification and confirmed that consolidating the two products would be, well, stupid.

    As a developer, obviously I've read both the Chrome and Android documentation, as well as the Windows, OS-X, Linux, i-OS, FireFox and Safari documentation. It's a wonder I get any development done at all.
    So to me it just seems incredibly obvious the utter and total stupidity of consolidating an OS, one of whose primary purposes it is to display websites with a webbrowser, whose primary purpose it is to display websites.
    It's almost as stupid as Windows trying to integrate Internet Explorer or OS-X integratin

  • Have you noticed Samsung Kies app installed on all models (except Google phones)? It has disable keylock permission and cannot be uninstalled. Apparently if you have Kies installed on your PC you can unlock any Samsung phone that has Kies over USB without having to know the screen lock or the Google password.
  • Schmidt stated the obvious, but if you are a developer and you took the bait and thought the rumors might be true, you already read enough of Google Chrome or Google Android documentation before Schmidt's clarification and confirmed that consolidating the two products would be, well, stupid."

    Yes. Developers who read documentaiton may have known it. Mangers however may get excited on the idea that they understand the world know that everything is open source and linux.

  • We didn't need Slashdot to tell us We Didn't Need Google's Schmidt To Tell Us Android and Chrome Wouldn't Merge

  • Android has taken it on the chin from a security perspective, even though most of that relates to poor user choices. Chrome OS has some interesting and significant security-related architecture and implementation in place. I'm very sure that one fertile area of cross-pollination will be to port the kernel and configuration changes in Chrome OS into the Android environment.

    Cross-pollination in the opposite direction? Harder to see, other than the ability to run Android apps on Chrome OS (which isn't real
  • Android and Chrome teams: "We think it would be good to merge our two codebases. It would make development easier, Android is almost a superset of Chrome already anyway, and would give us a larger base of apps and app developers."

    Schmidt: "No, you can't do that! I PROMISED people that the two wouldn't get merged."

    Yeah, right.

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