Google needs to change 2 major things in its radical reimagining of Android
Steve Kovach/ Business Insider
That's a smart move from Google because it would allow Chromebooks (the laptops that run Chrome OS) to run Android apps. And app selection is something that Chromebooks are seriously lacking.
It's still unclear what form this new operating system would take. Would it look like Chrome OS with access to the Google Play Store? Or will it look more like Android does now, but redesigned to look and work like a desktop operating system?
Either way, if we're going to start seeing Android, or a variant thereof, on laptops, Google needs to address a couple elephants in a very small room.
Android isn't exactly the most secure operating system. According to BI Intelligence, Android devices obtained an "abysmal security score" of 2.87 out of 10 in a study performed by the University of Cambridge.
The BI Intelligence report also says that the reason behind the low security score is because third-party Android smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, are slow to roll out security updates to their phones.
We saw evidence of this over the summer when the Stagefright bug came to light. Stagefright allowed hackers to access an Android device with a simple text message. Google pushed out a security update to Android, but many devices couldn't receive it right away.
Hopefully, this next generation of Android will force manufacturers to uniformly accept new security updates to keep users safe.
Getting app developers on board
The main difference between a productive laptop and a casual tablet can essentially be boiled down to the operating system, mouse compatibility, and apps.
If a device running an Android/Chrome OS hybrid were to have a mouse, which it should if it wants to be called anything but a tablet, then Android app developers would most likely need to redesign their apps to be usable with a mouse. The problem is that, historically, developers haven't exactly shown an eagerness to make new versions of their apps for unproven devices.
Take the first Microsoft Surface RT tablet that was released in 2012. It was a tablet that ran Windows RT, which was a light version of Windows 8 that you could navigate with a mouse and keyboard, and it had huge potential for productivity. But barely any apps were made for it. Not even Facebook. And it failed as a result because people want apps.
There are still so many unknown details about the Android/Chrome OS combination, but security and apps are universal requirements for any device, and the success of whatever Google is conjuring up rests upon them.
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