What Rubin's replacement thinks about Chrome v Android

21st Mar 2013 | 13:33

What Rubin's replacement thinks about Chrome v Android

Sundar Pichai's Pixel peek into future

Back when Sundar Pichai was showing off the Chromebook Pixel, before he had taken over as head of Android from Andy Rubin, he was asked about how Chrome OS for touch fitted alongside Google's mobile OS.

Just a month on from that event, those answers seem even more relevant given Pichai's new role.

"So far we have been in a world that has been pretty straightforward... Chromebook has been for laptops and Android for tablets and phones. What we are showing here is that when you start building a touch device, those lines blur," he said at the event, with TechRadar in attendance.

"We've always been comfortable [with that] at Google - we believe that these are two competing choices.

"It's an incredible time and place for computing with a lot of innovation. We have two viewpoints here and we are doing both."

Consistency

"What's important to understand is that as a user you can pick up either of these two devices and know how to use email, YouTube, search, maps and these applications," he continued.

"Today I use a Nexus 4, I love it, I use my [Chromebook] Pixel, I go back and forth and I think both are great.

"Users don't care about the underlying technology [as much as how it is to use]. Netflix is a great example - you use Netflix in a browser or on a Android tablet and technologically they are very different.

"But my mom doesn't care about that because both look like Netflix. What's important is making applications look and feel consistent across all devices."

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So what can be gleaned from this answer? Well Pichai has always been a passionate advocate for Chrome OS, but his point about apps being consistent and lined blurring because of touch are perhaps more important.

Although we don't expect Android and Chrome OS to align immediately, the differences between the two are already eroding rapidly - and even though Google chairman Eric Schmidt today said they would merely 'overlap', it seems inevitable that the two will become one sooner rather than later.

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