Earlier today, I was going through various blogs and reading tech news when I came across a very interesting piece on CNET. What caught my eye was the wording on the title, ‘Is Google headed toward an Android Nexus PC?’. Being a Google and especially Android fanatic, I found it rather fascinating and exhilarating at the same time – could Google be working on a new Android Nexus PC to take on Microsoft and Apple the way it has on the mobile device market or is it working on improving its web-based Chrome OS?
In the Ask Maggie blog, the writer had written to Google and pointed out that during this year’s Google I/O, he was rather bothered that many developers were using Macs. He wanted to know if Google has any plans to move its very successful mobile Android OS to the PC platform anytime in the future. In the reply, it appeared that Google wants to take on Microsoft and Apple on the PC market – but not with Android, with Chrome OS. Chrome OS is Google’s browser-based OS that can only run web applications. It seems every little change that Google is making to its services and products is geared towards this ultimate goal – with Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail, Picasa Web Albums and others being the perfect examples.
The biggest issue with a web-based operating system though would be that people are so much used to offline systems that they may find online OS systems unproductive. Users will miss playing offline games and using such applications as Photoshop and MS Office – applications that would never be the same run from a remote server. Google may address these shortcomings with new technologies including Chrome packaged apps, Data programming language and Native Client. Chrome packaged apps aim at providing almost similar experience to native Windows and Mac applications.
While Google is taking the longer route to achieve this, other partners are seemingly working on a more realistic system – Android PCs may become more realistic sooner than anticipated. Asus, for instance, a popular Android partner, introduced an Android tablet – but at an extra cost, you get a dock with a keyboard. This effectively transforms the tablet, which runs on Android, into a sort of Android laptop. Unfortunately, even this powerful tablet is not ready to take on a native PC’s capabilities and Android diehards will have to wait longer before they can equate such a device with a PC.
Manufacturers are focusing on Android tablets at the moment – that is what the fad is about. But sooner or later, maybe gradually, these systems may grow into PCs and we may have Android systems adapted for PC performance. What we hope though is that Google will be the first to push Chrome OS in that direction before Android Nexus PCs become a reality.