Could Google’s latest leadership shuffle further signal a coming Chrome/Android unification?
Google CEO Larry Page announced earlier today on the company’s official blog that Andy Rubin – the “father” of Android – was stepping down, to be replaced by Sundar Pichai, the same man who is also in charge of Chrome and Google Apps. What an interesting choice of successors!
Page made it clear that, while Android has come a long way and far exceeded Google’s initial expectations, there is still work to be done. The user experience can still be polished and refined, and Pichai is just the man for the job: in 2008, when many people questioned the need for yet another web browser, Pichai pushed Chrome’s development further along. Today “Chrome has hundreds of millions of happy users and is growing fast thanks to its speed, simplicity and security.” Regarding Android, there is still a lot of room to “push the ecosystem forward,” and Pichai again will be the one to do it.
Page’s carefully chosen words indicate, to me at least, that Google is ready to move forward in somehow unifying Chrome and Android even more. We might not be talking about a complete merger of the two OSes, but perhaps dual-booting Android/Chrome OS tablets are closer than we think. Perhaps the Chromebook Pixel will start running Android apps soon. Perhaps Chrome for Android will be able to run all the extensions that desktop versions of Chrome can.
And perhaps, as HTML5 continues to evolve into the new web standard, Chrome and Android will just naturally start to become almost indistinguishable.
Indeed, it’s significant that the same person will in fact be in charge of both ecosystems. As Page said, “It’s an exciting time to be at Google.”[Google]