ChromeOS will lean more on the same tech that powers Android

Google says the under-the-hood shift will take some time, but will enable more AI features on Chromebooks.


Google is making some significant changes to ChromeOS, the operating system that powers Chromebooks, but they may not be easy for you to spot. Future versions of the OS will lean more heavily on the same tech on which Android is based. More specifically, Google says it will "be embracing portions of the Android stack, like the Android Linux kernel and Android frameworks, as part of the foundation of ChromeOS."

The ChromeOS and Android teams already have some experience of working together, having delivered features like the ability to run Android apps on Chromebooks. The ChromeOS crew has adopted Android's Bluetooth tech too.

There are several reasons for this shift, including engineering efficiencies and helping phones and accessories become more compatible with Chromebooks. Google says it will "continue to deliver the unmatched security, consistent look and feel, and extensive management capabilities that ChromeOS users, enterprises and schools love."

There's another major reason for baking more Android tech into ChromeOS: to enable more AI features. Google says this approach will help it to roll out new AI tools at a faster and larger scale across more devices. Given that Android devices are where many users will likely interact with the company's AI products most often outside of Search, G Suite and Gmail, it's not too surprising that Google would want to bring some of the same nous to ChromeOS.

Don't expect to see the fruits of this labor on your Chromebook anytime soon, though. Google notes that while the under-the-hood work is starting now, the upgrades "won’t be ready for consumers for quite some time." Once the overhauled ChromeOS is ready for primetime, the company promises a "seamless" transition to it.