Google’s October 4th Event Likely to Talk about Android-Chrome OS Hybrid “Andromeda”
We had every reason to be pumped up about the upcoming October 4th event from Google. After all, it’s not everyday that Google releases new hardware that has had heavy influence from the Search Giant — keeping in mind that Google is still primarily a software company. But recent news might give us even more reason to be excited about the event.
First up, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome OS and Google Play, Hiroshi Lockheimer tweeted a cryptic message about October 4th being a significant point in recent times, much alike the time when Android was first released.
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
By itself, the tweet tells us nothing new. We know Google will be releasing its “made by Google”-marketed Pixel devices on this day, so the tweet could be complete in that sense. That’s a significant first for Google and for Android, so it is not far-fetched to think of it as being something very important for Android as a whole, especially if Google decides that Pixel is the route that they are going to stick with for the future instead of Nexus.
But once the tweet went out, multiple sources started pointing that Pixel might just be a part of the complete picture. Android Police went on record to say that Google might tease the long rumored Android-Chrome OS hybrid, codenamed “Andromeda”, during the October 4th event. This hybrid OS was first talked about when The Wall Street journal published a report a year ago claiming information from multiple sources of the existence of this OS. They mentioned that while the OS will be unveiled in 2017, Google might show off an early version of it in 2016. With 2016 entering its last quarter, and with Google having an event planned already, the stage is set for the world to know more about Andromeda.
Then, 9to5Google came forward with a report claiming that the unreleased Andromeda is being tested on the HTC-made Nexus 9. They found multiple references to Andromeda in the Android source code. One such set of references is in SurfaceCompositionTest, which is said to be a set of low-level tests to measure graphics performance.
According to the tool, the minimum score (all we know is that these scores generally refer to a device’s graphics performance) needed for Andromeda is an 8.0. By comparison, Android seemingly requires at least a 4.0. One of the more notable aspects of this specific test is that it was performed on the Nexus 9 which scores “around 8.8,” a score just barely surpassing Google’s minimum requirements.
Another reference to Andromeda is here, and coincidentally, the Nexus 9 is once again referenced as well.
Andromeda gets yet another mention here, where an upcoming free-form window management feature (which is already present on Android 7.0 Nougat but is not easily user-accessible) is being talked about. There’s no mention of the Nexus 9 here, but talking about something like free-form windows makes sense if your OS targets tablets, PCs and laptops more than just smartphones.
So from what we know so far, Andromeda is real and it is coming in the distant future. There’s a good chance that Google just barely teases the new OS in the October 4th keynote, but there are slim possibilities that an early alpha release might just be announced as well, which would be in-line with The Wall Street Journal’s report. Even if the Pixel and Andromeda do not excite you, October 4th is the event to look forward to for the future of Nexus, Android and Chrome OS to see what Google’s plans are.
What are your thoughts on Andromeda, Google’s upcoming Android-Chrome OS hybrid? Should Google release yet another operating system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!