Oh, hi there. Welcome back. How was your 4th?
While many of us were mentally checked out forward of a U.S. holiday weekend, an engaging tidbit sensitively crept onto a phones. It seemed around an out-of-sight dash in a new beta chronicle of a Google app—the practical mind that controls a Google feed (formerly famous as Google Now), a Google Assistant, and other critical Android functions.
As a observant sleuths during Android Police initial noticed, a fibre of formula in a updated app seemingly suggests Google is scheming for a Assistant to pierce over phones and Home and make a approach into a universe of Chrome OS. And let me tell you: That matters—more than we competence think.
We’ll get to a “why” in a second. First, a few impending details, starting with a user-facing content that accompanies a formula in question. As we can see, it doesn’t accurately kick around a bush:
When your Chromebook is set up, press a Assistant symbol or contend Ok Google to get assistance from your Assistant anytime.
Combine that with something unclosed in the open-source Chrome OS formula repository—thanks to a organisation during Chrome Unboxed—and we’ve got ourselves a luscious small gob of info. In a territory combined for an apparently under-development device codenamed “Eve,” a following outline appears:
Special keyboard mapping for Eve project. The keyboard has an additional “Assistant” key.
It doesn’t get many clearer than that, folks.
But lest we consider this story is simply about Google Assistant entrance to Chromebooks, concede me to splash in a bit to exhibit a broader context. You see, Assistant’s unavoidable attainment in a Chrome OS locus is some-more than only a small combined underline for Google’s “other” handling system. It’s nonetheless another pointer of Google’s grand devise for bringing a dual primary platforms together.
Oh, yes: that aged yarn. To be sure, a story of Google’s devise to “merge” Android and Chrome OS is one we’ve listened discussed to death. And notwithstanding a ever-present one-or-the-other-style duel people love to imagine, a existence of this “merger” always ends adult being much some-more nuanced.
As a certain common clerk put it approach behind in 2015:
The doubt everybody always asks is either Google will somehow “merge” Android and Chrome OS into a singular product during some indicate down a line—but that doubt might be blank a mark. While anything’s positively possible, it appears a stream plan is to make a dual platforms some-more unchanging and connected and to use Android’s strengths to accelerate Chrome OS’s capabilities. With a small assistance from a robot-themed friend, Chrome OS can develop from a particularly web-centric desktop OS into an all-purpose computing resolution that delivers a best of both worlds.
And what have we seen given then? Google has small by small been bringing elements of Android into a Chromebook world. It started with a really limited and initial try during creation some Android apps concordant with Chrome OS devices. Then came a light visible alignment, with Android-like fonts and pattern creation their approach into one Chrome OS complement app after another and eventually seeping into a platform’s core interface.
Factor in facilities such as a Android-Chrome joining Smart Lock, a Android-inspired PIN Unlock, and a accessibility of the full Play Store on Chromebook devices—not to discuss a Chrome-OS-inspired “seamless” refurbish model that came to Android with final year’s 7.0 release—and it’s easy to see how all these small pieces are adding adult to something big.
The enlargement of Assistant to Chromebooks is no different. Sure, on a surface, it’s only another Android-like underline moseying on over to Chrome-based computers. But take it in a context of a broader bid we’ve been examination reveal over a past few years, and it’s tough not to see it as a poignant step.
In fact, this pierce is arguably one of a many pivotal pieces of Google’s platform-alignment puzzle. With Chromebooks radically becoming a new “Android tablets” in further to progressing their purpose as common-use capability devices, a participation of a informed and cross-platform-synced partner complement is roughly a necessity. Particularly with Google’s core business being some-more about products than platforms—and a concentration changeable increasingly toward AI and a idea of providing a single, unchanging user knowledge opposite countless devices—Assistant’s jump onto laptops flattering many had to happen.
It might not pull a same volume of coverage or lend itself to a same arrange of marvellous headlines as a long-lived “internal height wars” narrative, though make no mistake about it: When Assistant fundamentally arrives on Chrome OS devices, it’ll be a suggestive magnitude in a actual and current Android-Chrome OS merger—the one that’s been function bit by bit, month by month, right in front of a eyes.