Although Google Chrome OS is not the most popular OS of the likes of MAC and Windows, it is the first to narrow the gap between smartphone and computing environments. Among the host of announcements in the latest Google I/O show, a few developments related to Google’s web-based OS managed to create the ‘buzzword’ in the operating system vocabulary.
The Chrome OS has gotten closer to Android which will improve the transition between mobile and computing OS. The existing Android support on the Chrome OS has been refined for good. With the new Android integration, Chrome OS will be gaining additional support for app shortcuts, new animations and notifications styled as native Chrome notification, tweaks to multi-window modes. Google is also adding multi-channel USB, AAudio, and Audio MMAP to enhance it’s Pro audio capabilities. The new Android Development tool will benefit both developers and end users as it will make writing apps for multiple screen sizes easier than before. The new feature coming to the Chrome OS 69 will include Android Virtual Keyboard, Gboard, with expressive features like fully displayed emoji, GIFs and stickers.
One of the big announcements was the Linux support. Very soon the Chrome OS will have the ability to securely run Linux apps. The Linux support is still in early stages and it will take time to come on the present Chromebooks, though a test version of the software has been released on the Google Pixelbook on last Tuesday before rolling out later to other models.
The Google Chrome operating system is based on the Linux Kernel, so this was technically possible before. Now, official support of Linux apps is a good trade-off as it doesn’t compromise the security of Chrome OS. While the average user might not be very delighted about the Linux software, its a good news for developers and coders who rely on Linux tools to create new software and applications. Support for Linux apps means that developers can now use a Google device to build applications and software for Google’s platform rather than depending on other machines or OS like Mac, Windows or Linux.
Schools and businesses have witnessed the growing prominence of Chrome OS due to several reasons like – open source, speed and simplicity, cloud-centric and built-in security. But, perhaps there’s more to the OS than education and enterprise. The recent revealings in the Google’s annual developers conference reflect how the Chrome OS has the potential to create a major shift in the way software, apps and the web works.
This doesn’t signal the apocalypse for Microsoft and Apple, but the Chrome OS has definitely bounced back from its earlier shortcomings. Google is working to advance offline web technologies like Service Workers and PWAs. Google’s new tools have equipped the developers to make better Progressive Web Apps, which makes apps run more smoothly on any browser. PWAs provide increased potential reach with lower acquisition cost and improved conversion rate. They are fast loading and work offline. Offline support has been a major weakness for the Chrome OS.
The Chrome OS is looking forward to expanding beyond taking advantage of cloud computing and web applications. The near future Google’s OS will be multi-faceted with Chrome, Linux and Android altogether in one place. The new upgrades will allow Android, Linux and Web apps to run seamlessly on the Chrome OS. Google, apparently, doesn’t seem to destroy the market of Mac and Windows as it has sidestepped to a different path which departs from the ordinary OS, and more emphasized on speed, security and simplicity. The Chrome OS has carved out a significantly small slice of the Desktop OS market with just about 0.98% share, worldwide, as of April 2018.