Google is working on a new laptop that runs on a new “Andromeda” operating system, which will merge aspects of Chrome OS into Android, according to a new report from Android Police’s David Ruddock.
Another new report from 9to5Google corroborates that rumour, but adds that Andromeda is also set to arrive on a forthcoming “Huawei Nexus” tablet.
That would likely be the presumed Google Nexus 7 successor that was apparently leaked earlier this month. (Curiously, 9to5Google says that tablet would keep the “Nexus” branding Google is rumoured to be dropping with its new “Pixel” phones.)
About the laptop: The two reports say it’s codenamed “Bison,” and that it’s informally known as the “Pixel 3.” It’s said to pack a 12.3-inch touchscreen in a design that’s under 10 mm thick, which’d make it one of the thinnest notebooks in the world.
Android Police speculates the Pixel 3 might feature a “convertible” design similar to Lenovo’s Yoga laptops, and that it will have a MacBook-esque glass trackpad that relies on haptic vibration feedback. Google is reportedly aiming to start it at $799.
Google is no stranger to laptop hardware, having released two Chromebook Pixels in the past, but both reports say the Pixel 3 wouldn’t run the Chrome OS you’d usually find on a Chromebook. Instead, both it and the Huawei-made tablet would run “Andromeda,” a new platform that is said to incorporate aspects of Chrome OS into Android.
Exactly what Andromeda would do differently isn’t yet clear, but the idea of Google combining its laptop and mobile operating systems has been floated around since Chrome OS was first introduced.
Those rumours picked up steam after a Wall Street Journal report last October, and invited further speculation after Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer, the man in charge of both OSes, vaguely hinted that the company’s upcoming October 4 event would have historical significance for Android.
We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today. I have a feeling 8 years from now we’ll be talking about Oct 4, 2016.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 24, 2016
Whatever the case, a merger between Chrome OS and Android would seem to harmonize what’ve traditionally been two separate spheres for the tech giant. Select Chromebooks recently gained the ability to run Android apps on Chrome OS, but this would appear to be a much tighter integration across device types, potentially similar to what Microsoft does with Windows today.
The multitude of leaks suggests Andromeda is something that’s coming soon, but exactly when it will launch remains mystery. Android Police’s report says Google wants to launch presumed Pixel 3 in Q3 2017, but previous rumours suggested the Huawei-built tablet would be ready by the end of the year.
Google is already rumoured to showcase two new ‘Pixel’ phones, its Google Home smart speaker, a 4K- and HDR-capable Chromecast, and a new “Google WiFi” router at the aforementioned October 4 event — if the Andromeda rumours become official on top of that, we could be looking at one of the most newsworthy days in the company’s history.
Google declined our request for comment.