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Google’s new version of Android for tablets had its coming out party this week at CES, and demos like this one make it clear that there’s absolutely no reason for Google to keep investing in its other operating system, Chrome OS.Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb) will show up on the Motorola Xoom and a bunch of other tablets in the next few months, and while Google isn’t showing all the details yet, the new browser looks exactly like Chrome, with a tabbed interface that fills the whole screen, bookmarks, and privacy mode.
Except with Android, you’re not forced to run everything in the browser. Google is also showing off a bunch of apps that run as widgets on the desktop, including Gmail, video chat, a books app, and the updated version of Google Maps. Plus, there are thousands of other Android apps already available, and an army of developers to build more.
There are differences between the two operating systems: Android is built for touch, while Chrome OS is meant to be used with a keyboard and pointer. That might have been a good idea two years ago, before the iPad came out and touch-screen tablets started to take off. Now it looks old and limited. And it hasn’t even launched yet.
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