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Home / Technology / Why Google needs to put Chrome OS into developer hands

Why Google needs to put Chrome OS into developer hands



Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed that, during Google's press release of the Pixel 3 and Pixel Slate, the word "Android" was not mentioned a single time.

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Why does Google not use the 'Android' name?

There may be a number of reasons for this: As a brand name, Google appears to be phasing out Android, as it pertains to platforms (with Android Wear becoming Wear OS), and dropping the moniker from a number of its own apps, such as with Pay and Messages, preferring to just use the name Google as the main brand for many of its applications and services.

There are also a number of legal issues being worked out, and it is a possible major liability for the company in its litigation with Oracle.

Also: Google Pixel Slate Tablet: Cheat Sheet TechRepublic [1

9659007] We also know Google is working on a successor to Android, called Fuchsia. But it could be several years before we see functional beta versions of it.

But, for now, we have Android and its various APIs as the main programmatic target for apps running on its two main platforms: Android Pie and Chrome OS.

Required small developers to buy Chromebooks is a bad idea

Android has a fairly robust and very mature SDK, Android Studio, which provides a comprehensive IDE and a device emulator on Windows, Mac, and Linux so that apps can be tested and debugged before deploying to a target device.

No such SDK equivalent or installable runtime environment exists for Chrome OS – which runs Android applications. If you want to develop for Chrome OS, you need to build Chromium OS from source and try to install it on generic PC hardware or a VM.

Like AOSP, it does not include the Google Play Store or Android runtime pieces, as

Or, alternatively, you need to buy a Chrome OS hardware: Chromebook, Chromebox, or Chromebit (which was launched by ASUS in 2015 and has not seen any hardware updates). If you want the most up-to-date Chrome OS build first, as with Android, you'll ideally want to run it on Pixel hardware.

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That's Still A significant expense for an application ecosystem that is not entirely proven or optimized well for that platform. Selv om Android-applikasjoner alle ganske mye universelt er "run" på Chrome OS, er de fleste av dem ikke en tablet eller desktopoptimalisert, noe som gjør for en samlet dårlig brukeropplevelse.

Dette problem skal løses om Pixel Slate and lignende Chrome OS convertible systems have any chance of gaining significant market share against iPad and Windows tablet convertible systems like Surface.

While $ 300 (or even $ 80 for a Chromebit assuming it gets updated) does not seem like a lot of money, it's not inconsistent for programmers and students and one-man shops in developing countries, which have been able to leverage the Android SDK in the past to put their apps in the Google Play Store.

No virtual environment is a severe limitation

Also, not being able to run the software in a virtual environment on a Mac or a PC on Windows or Linux – and taking advantage of that isolation and ability to prototype on multiple instances – is a severe limitation.

Over the years, there have been a few third party solutions for installing Chrome OS on native hardware or VMs, such as Neverware CloudReady, which is a free download for non-commercial use and is a great way to reuse older PC equipment and provide a nice secure environment for students and other use cases where a full Windows, Mac or Linux desktop environment is not needed. The company also recently purchased Flint OS, another Chrome OS distribution, based in the UK.

Also: How to run Firefox Quantum on a Chromebook TechRepublic

I've used CloudReady to reuse old laptops and breathe new life into them. Prior to buying Chromebooks for older family members, it's how I got Chrome OS up and running. I highly recommend it, it's an extremely polished product.

But Neverware does not have the Google Play Store installed, and the company has no intention of licensing it. It also does not behave well in a VM, as the pseudo-device support for higher-resolution displays does not exist in it.

It would require Google to create an installable runtime environment for Chrome OS that runs without hassle on PCs and Macs. Det bør helst være installeret på det metal, og ideelt skal dets primære anvendelsesformål være i en VM eller en container, og at virtualisering / containeriseringstøtte skal komme med distributionen som en selvstændig lukket applikation.

The container / VM usage case would be beneficial, because having an isolated runtime environment provides that additional layer of protection to the end user. On native Chromebook hardware, Chrome OS uses a combination of specialized firmware and sandboxing to prevent malware hijacking.

On legacy PCs, it's not necessarily possible with BIOS to do that, and even EFI has its limitations, as well. But, in a VM or a container instance, that functionality can be replicated.

Also: Google's Pixel Slate issue: The Android apps are awful

Putting the Android API stack everywhere

There is no reason why, when this is implemented, an installable Chrome OS virtual desktop with an integrated Google Play Store can not replace the regular Chrome browser – because it simply adds Android support and additional security.

Once Chrome OS is in the hands of tens Millions of existing users in this way, it becomes viral. Fordi så alle som bruker det, er det nå en potensiell Chrome OS-utvikler, og det legger Android API-stasjonen overalt.

Er Google nødt til å gjøre Chrome OS viral and installable everywhere? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

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