Android vs. Chrome OS, ASUS Contemplating


This past year was definitely a HUGE year for android. While I’m sure Google wants that success to continue, they’ll be launching Chrome Netbooks this upcoming holiday season which I assume they’re equally excited about. We’ve seen Android Netbooks, Smartbooks, Tablets, MIDs… heck even Microwaves and Washers/Dryers – where will Chrome fit in?


With mobile convergence there are a LOT of grey lines and Android and Chrome overlap in many areas. They are very different approaches to mobile computing and are intended to serve different purposes, but unless Google faciliates or manufacturers pursue integration of the two, a decision will have to be made on which is more suitable in each case.

ASUS has already created Android prototypes of different form factors but never released a device to the public. Now they’re also tinkering with Chrome OS. I’m sure they’re not the ONLY ones exploring both, weighing they’re options, seeing where they might integrate or what is most marketable.

Check out what ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih had to say in a ZD NET article:

“I think there is some good opportunity [but] on one hand you have the smartphone and on the other the [netbook],” he said. “Do you really need something in between? It’s worth more thought.”

Shih said the key to launching a successful slate would be a wealth of content such as ebooks, music, video on demand, social networking and touch-based gaming.

“I don’t think that [the slate will replace the notebook],” Shih said. “The mainstream may still need to type. We already have that [the slate] in our lab too, but it’s the same situation that I mentioned before — what’s the right timing? If you do not provide all the content, you can’t say you are ready.”

He doesn’t make any distinctions between Android and Chrome OS and really, that’s where our interest lays. But who needs to hear the thoughts of a huge manufacturer’s chairman when we’ve got the most brilliant tech minds dropping their opinions via Phandroid comments?

So tell us: Android and Chrome OS – how will the tech landscape play out between the platforms and form factors?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. In my opinion ASUS should forget Android Netbooks, and stick with Chrome OS.

  2. How about a Chrome browser on Android?

  3. wrong slate ftw netbook’s days are numbered esspcilly with the islate

  4. Android will get further than Chrome, at least initially. Android is an OS that works much like any other OS but with its own organization. On the other hand Chrome OS is cloud based and only really works if you are a cloud nut…such as getting movies, TV, music, news, office software, file storage, and the like online. In other words, Chrome OS doesn’t allow you to download files to your device, be it netbook, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet. Everything you do you do online and access online. It is pure cloud computing. It might be fine for some but I’m not quite ready to be assimilated into the cloud just yet. I would rather see Android continue to expand and grow in the smaller devices. Heck I would even say why not make Android a full on OS for full size desktops? Kind of up size and upscale Android into a full fledged competitor to Windows, Mac, and Linux(well another version of Linux anyway). I think Android is way more marketable as an OS than Chrome…I think Chrome should just be their browser like IE is to Windows and Safari is to Mac.

  5. Owen, your only contribution to society is the invention of the word “esspcilly”.

  6. +3 Kwaping

  7. no chrome for me. I want more options, not more restrictions

  8. The problem with Android is that it’s built around devices with touchscreens and navigation pads. Just try using Android on your PC and you’ll see why it’s such a bad idea. It’s very well suited to mobile devices and integrated systems… not so much for PCs.

    Chrome OS, on the other hand, doesn’t even try to replace Android. Right now, it seems to be aimed at one thing only: netbooks. It’s designed to work perfectly with traditional computer navigation devices, and it’s optimized for small-screen computers. (The interface would not, for example, work on a phone.)

    Abrown, you certainly can download files on a Chrome OS device. The drive is split into two partitions (currently called C-STATE and C-ROOT). User files are stored in C-STATE, and the actual OS is installed in C-ROOT.

  9. i totally agree with Jeff

  10. I see a Chrome OS as the modern equivalent of dumb terminal. In place of the Green or Amber text screen, you now have a powerful web browser. Which is great for someone who only doesn’t use their computer for much more than to check Email, and read the news.

    My prediction: Asus will release Android on a Slate device and Chrome OS on a Netbook!

    After all, aren’t slate devices overgrown Nexus One’s? I guess if you put a touchscreen on a netbook, then Android would win again, because then it is an oversized Droid. ;)

  11. I agree with what Jonathan say. Android works on touchscreens, but on non-touchscreens it seems lacklustre, and not very intuitive.


    “Now they’re also tinkering with Chrome OS. I’m sure they’re not the ONLY ones exploring both, weighing they’re options, seeing where they might integrate or what is most marketable.”

    Their, not they’re.

  12. I haven’t seen chrome OS ever implemented and would like to so I will say go Chrome for now. Although I have seen android on a netbook with touch and its pretty clean but touch screen on a netbook/laptop is unnecessarily a inconvenient unless its a swivel touch screen or just the screen and all touch.

  13. If we believe the founders of Google, then eventually Android and ChromeOS will merge. At that point, I bet the only difference will be “Android has a mobile browser, and deploys on pocketable devices; ChromeOS has a desktop browser, and deploys on non-pocketable devices”.

    To me, that means the ChromeOS features of static-checking of the OS disk/rom partition against checksums, the non-user-accessible OS disk/rom partition, etc. will become part of Android. Further, Dalvik, and local optimized apps like Android’s Gmail, Calendar, Market, music player, etc., will be part of ChromeOS (some of those already are).

    Things like “which browser to run” and “what display resolution(s) to support” will be decisions made when porting the unified OS to a given device. Form factors and the like will merely be instances of the one unified OS. That’s how I see the tech landscape playing out between Android and ChromeOS, in the long run.

    In the short run… it’ll depend on how much the device maker wants to fuss with custom ROMs that ChromeOS needs, or the lack of an application eco-system that is inherent to ChromeOS. They can make small changes to a windows/linux netbook and sell it with Android, or they can make more significant changes to it, and sell ChromeOS on it. I suspect that that will be the decision point for netbooks and tablets — how much they want to put into that customization, and whether or not they think they’ll recover their investment for it.

    For pocketables, I think that it wont be a choice at all — they’ll have Android. ChromeOS doesn’t seem like it would be suited for that environment.

  14. @Jeff

    I’m of the opposite opinion. Until ChromeOS has Dalvik (ability to run Android apps, or some form of local apps, such as a JVM), I have zero interest in ChromeOS. But I have a lot of interest in Android based netbooks and netbook-sized-tablets.

  15. Z-liberator, I’ve got the same question and I think many others do as well. I consider Chrome the best browser available and yet…still no mobile release. Disappointing, but baby steps I suppose.

  16. i hope android team devlop
    focus to netbook
    and support windowing

  17. A while back I have read, that the Chrome Browser runs “Native Client” x86 Code.

    If this is still the truth, I believe that you will be able to run Native Applications on Chrome OS. Not only will they run on Chrome OS, every Application written for Chrome, will run on any OS – using Google Chrome Browser.

    If this would happen, Googles Chrome could revolutionize development for Pc’s.

  18. Chrome as a OS is still vaporware, Android has proved to work, I´ll say both will eventually merge

  19. Dual boot baby! I am new to Android, I got a Droid the day they came out. Been very happy with it (since 2.0.1 came out). I would be thrilled to see a laptop with a touchscreen. I honestly think Android could work if Google added a mouse pointer and also the option to use Touch. And much like Splashtop, have it dual boot in seconds and snap on a Wifi network. It would also make sense to see both Android and Chrome OS offer Ethernet, Bluetooth DUN & some decent USB Mobile Broadband adaptor support. Also throw in a decent CoDec support (everything the iPod Touch/Phone can play and one or two SDHC card readers. Oh I am salavating.

    I think Asus could make a 8-10″ Snapdragon or low power Atom “thin” device, with a capacitive screen & everything I mentioned above for less than $400? I would buy that and get rid of all my other small devices. Done and done! Also, I love Asus, YEOO CAN DOO EEEET!

    – K

  20. ACER already released an android netbook and nobody cared. The platform just doesn’t work for netbooks.

  21. Wait till firefox releases their browser for Android and I should be all set with Android on my netbook. Better yet, if someone marries the Moblin/Ubuntu netbook remix code with Android to give it an under 5 second boot time, takes some UI hints from WebOS and implements windowing on Android, I wouldn’t even want to know what Chrome OS is !

  22. @ABrown

    I agree & also think Google should focus more on Android because its upcoming & has the mommentum pushing it forward seemingly alot faster than Chrome OS. There alot of things they can possible faze into Android from Chrome & if they can get it to work properly…watch out competitors.

  23. Chrome OS on netbooks.

  24. The Chrome OS is part of what I liked when I bought my Droid. Google appears to have a comprehensive strategy for getting their services onto different types of hardware with their operating systems. That gives me confidence that they’ll be around. AOL, netscape, yahoo, myspace, etc. didn’t take the right steps to expand their services, but Google is. For consumers, I think they’re doing it better than anyone else. I see Google as an information company and it’s very important for all of us to get info. easily. If I buy a laptop with Chrome, I know I’ll be able to easily use it to get info.

  25. I think Chrome OS would be okay for netbooks, as long as you use your netbook for its intended purpose, and not use it like a full-blown notebook. For notebooks though, Chrome OS just isn’t going to cut it. People cannot live 100% in the cloud yet. People want and need apps. I would love to see new high-powered notebooks start coming out with Android. Android might very well be the first OS outside of Windows that I would consider using regularly on a laptop, or any PC I own, for that matter.

  26. Chrome OS is…. Chrome the web browser. Thats it. Download and see… If you’re reading this in the chrome browser, then you’ve already seen chrome os. the only difference is, with the OS there is no “x” button to close the browser, because there is nothing behind it.

  27. Chrome OS is not just a browswer, it will be a multi capable OS, you be able to import pictures from an SD card, but edit photos, video, apps from Android will work on Chrome. it is a great well rounded OS for the soon to be announced tablet from Google. And it will all come together in a nice multi touch device that i think will blow away the iPad, given that the Google tablet will have usb, a cam, an SD card slot, and flash built in the browser. Hey Apple that didn’t last long Apple.

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