Parent company Alphabet Inc. has plans for Google to integrate the Chrome operating system used for personal computers into the Android mobile operating system, which is widely used on some of the biggest-selling smartphones in the world.
The Wall Street Journal cited sources at Alphabet confirming the tech giant’s plan to kill off its Chrome operating system by making it a constituent part of Android.
The idea would make sense for the company in a world where mobile and desktop operating systems are becoming increasingly merged in order to offer the same user experience over a range of devices and platforms.
According to the sources, Google engineers have been working on combining the two operating systems for a number of years and “have made progress recently.”
Although an early beta-style version of the new all-in-one operating system is likely to be seen next year, the company won’t be officially launching it until 2017.
The WSJ commented that “the different computing approaches embodied by Android and Chrome are no longer relevant to Google.”
The latest move from Google is the latest in its efforts to stay one step ahead of the competition and also reflects the increasingly blurred lines between the areas of operations of the major online and tech giants.
Google’s dedication to updating its mobile operating system has seen many revisions of Android to date, with the recent release of Marshmallow being its latest update, although it is generally geared towards improving user experience rather than being a major overhaul.
Apparently, the ever-growing usage of mobile operating systems across different devices has now convinced the company that Android should be its sole focus.
One of the biggest changes to Marshmallow is the control of app permissions, which will allow users to choose to grant permission for apps to run.
Marshmallow can also detect if a phone has been left on without being used, another battery-saving feature that will be welcomed by many.
Native fingerprint support means that NFC-enabled phones that make use of the Android Pay system will be able to use biometric confirmations for purchases.