Dear Google: Integrate Android and Chrome OS, or stop making $1,000 Chromebooks

Discussion in 'Chrome OS and Software' started by hmscott, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Dear Google: Integrate Android and Chrome OS, or stop making $1,000 Chromebooks
    By Luke Larsen — Posted on November 13, 2017 11:23 am
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.di...t-android-and-chrome-os-need-integration/amp/

    "We weren’t there in the meetings where Chromebooks were green-lit, but we can imagine they started as a bit of an experiment. The first ones were around $400, made of plastic, and ran nothing except the Chrome browser. With these limitations in place, Chromebooks began to find an audience. Owners realized they didn’t need to spend over a thousand dollars to write emails and watch Netflix – and they loved it.

    Google has stitched Android and Chrome OS together with scissors, glue, and tape.

    Now, six years later, Google has introduced the Pixelbook. It’s a beautiful 2-in-1 that seems confused about why it exists. On the outside, it’s a product that screams “MacBook competitor,” accompanied by a $1,000 price point and snazzy design pulled from the Pixel smartphones.

    The Pixelbook isn’t targeting the same audience other Chromebooks are. Like Apple and Microsoft, Google wants people to buy the Pixelbook not just because they need a computer, but because they want a Google product. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that same mindset led to the iPhone and theSurface Pro, devices that altered the future of computing.

    Unfortunately, the Pixelbook is not as revolutionary.

    The messy mash-up
    Before the Pixelbook’s announcement, we were sure the next laptop made by Google would integrate Android and Chrome OS. The company had already added access to the Google Play Store to many Chromebooks, so it seems a natural evolution. After the success of the Pixel smartphones, we thought Google’s next device would be a mainstream 2-in-1 laptop that everyone would want. Google was even rumored to be developing a new operating system to handle the form factor of the Pixelbook.

    However, it only takes a few minutes of using the Pixelbook to realize the problem inherent in its existence. With the Pixelbook, Google has stitched Android and Chrome OS together with scissors, glue, and tape, instead of weaving them together as a single fabric. Running Android apps on the Pixelbook feels akin to running an illegal NES ROM in an emulator. Some of the apps are full of glitches and sizing issues, some of which are leftovers from the Android tablet days. You need only look down at your taskbar and see duplicates of the same app — one from the Play Store, and one from the Chrome Web Store — to see the problem.

    Google Assistant and the Pixelbook Pen make the problem worse, not better. They highlight the messy melding of the two operating systems, and make the user experience downright confusing. It’s hard to predict what’ll happen when you touch the screen with the Pen, or summon Google Assistant. The response can depend on what you’re using, and doesn’t inspire the confidence. The Chrome browser doesn’t work well with the pen, but Android apps usually do. With Assistant, though, it’s Android apps that see the cold shoulder, while the Pen is often trouble-free. When a manufacturer makes both the hardware and the software, it’s fair to expect a certain amount of integration – and that’s what the Pixelbook lacks.

    Google, pick a direction – and stick with it
    Rumor have circulated about a new Google operating system, code-named Andromeda, that’s meant to combine Android and Chrome OS together. It was said to be scheduled for release in 2017. It’s not hard to imagine Google preparing Andromeda to be released with the Pixelbook, only to squash it altogether, as reports indicated earlier this summer.

    Now, the rumors have changed, and suggest Google’s working on a new operating system known internally as Fuchsia. Nothing is official yet, but we do know it ditches the Linux-microkernel that Chrome OS is based on in favor of a new, homebrewed microkernel called Magenta. According to Google documentation, Magenta is made for “modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM, with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation.”

    Whatever Fuchsia’s capabilities, Google must decide the type of company it wants to be. If it wants to continue as the open-source, affordable alternative to Apple and Microsoft, it should stop trying to sell $1,000 Chromebooks. If it wants to be a serious competitor in the laptop and 2-in-1 space, it’s time for the company to build a decisive, fully-baked solution to the awkward gap between Android and Chrome OS.

    Until then, the Pixelbook – and all other premium Chromebooks – will feel like prototypes shoved out the door too soon."

    If Fuchsia’s the direction for Google, ditching the vast library of work already done with Linux OS, and all the tools, applications, and services, ignoring all the work Google already does on Linux to run Google and Google services, someone needs to take the reign's away and give them to someone that can get that done, get Android and Chrome OS features on Linux, and into the next generation of Google Phones and Laptops.

    See my posts here about the same subject coming up out of the MS Office Android apps + Android Play Store on Chrome OS distribution on $1000 Pixelbooks!!:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/chromebooks-now-get-microsoft-office.811066/#post-10637352
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  2. kojack

    kojack Notebook Deity

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    How is the new version of chrome NOT what you are describing? You can run android apps on chrome OS now. Regardless of what device you use, you have this option now. Microsoft has also announced Office 365 works on all play store activated chromebooks. Sub fees are extra of course, but it's there. I love the new pixelbook. It's an awesome device....price out of the equation it rocks, price into the equation, it still rocks!!!!
     
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  3. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    If you don't want a $1000 Chromebook, don't get one. I don't have any desire to own a Pixelbook. Good thing it's not the only Chromebook on the market, and in fact, the entire Chromebook market except for this one sole aberration is still oriented at $150-$250 entry-level devices and $300-$500 midrange devices.

    The idea that Google can't decide "what sort of company it wants to be" just because you don't like one niche product they offer is silly. That's like condemning Apple as a whole because you're not into the AppleTV.
     
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  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    As it's currently glued together, as a whole it's not an integrated OS, it's not even very useful as it isn't universally able to port applications between them, it's only hosting "toy" Android applications, which aren't made for the OS - it's not 100% compatible or integrated into the form factor.

    I'm / we are talking about Linux as a unifying OS, with the Chrome Browser and it's app running available as under Windows / Linux now, with a full OS to port full applications across in a native environment the applications would be made for the OS, not hosted.

    You would have a full Microsoft Office application suite, not a token set of viewers and editors with extremely limited functionality as it has now with the Android hosted applications.

    There is a whole world of difference between Chrome OS + Android app hosting, vs. Linux OS + Full native Applications world that has been possible since the beginning of Chrome OS.

    Whether Google is interested in this or not, it needs to happen.
     
  5. kojack

    kojack Notebook Deity

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    The Office apps are only "token" viewers if you are not a 365 subscriber. They are fully functional if you ARE. I think give google another year, since the app useage on chrome is only just available, it will be more like DEX. where the apps scale to the screen etc.
     
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  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The Microsoft Android apps have been out for 2+ year's, and if you search Youtube you'll find coverage is from 3 years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=android+microsoft+word+365
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAI%3D&search_query=android+microsoft+word+365

    I don't think there is a lot to say positive for any productivity app work on Android / Chrome, but if it works for you that's all that matters. I'll stick to full OS support with a much wider application selection available on Windows / MacOS, and maybe Office is worth a try again on Linux too :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 9:19 PM
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  7. kojack

    kojack Notebook Deity

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    Can you get office on Linux? Oh...don't get me wrong...My windows based devices are going NOWHERE. I love them. MacOS...I would rather get hit with a bucket of my own crap than use a MacOS computer. The Chomebooks have a certain appeal...I think they are cool.
     
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  8. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    It may be their ineffectiveness that makes them "cool", easy to get your head around, limitations do that :)

    I haven't set up an Office hosted on Linux for a long time - but it was mostly successful the last time I did it. Follow the links from the search I put in my post "worth a try again on Linux".

    Those little blue thingee's are URL links, and I often add links to images I post too... :)
     
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  9. kojack

    kojack Notebook Deity

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    Oh yeah, I know about the "little blue thingies" ha ha. I will check it out. I have Linux on my MacBook since MacOS was such a terrible, backwards operating system. I decided to put something that is actually productive on the MacBook to make it useable and not frusturatingly terrible. Nothing beats windows 10. I love it, even more so with touchscreen. I use my older devices now and start poking at the sceen and nothing happens and i'm like what gives. Ha ha ha.
     
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