Speaking at Google’s Big Tent summit in India, Reuters reported executive chairman Eric Schmidt as saying that Chrome and Android will remain separate platforms. This news is in contrast to the widespread view that the two would merge.
Speculation had been driven by the announcement last week that Android founder Andy Rubin was moving to a new role within the company (as yet unspecified), while Chrome head Sundar Pichai would take on responsibility for Android. Speaking to the Guardian‘s Alan Rusbridger, Schmidt said:
Chrome and Android operating systems will remain separate products, although there could be more commonality between them.
Google may perhaps follow Apple’s approach of keeping OS X and iOS platforms separate but sharing certain user-interface elements, such as OS X’s Launchpad adopting a very iOS-like icon grid.
Android adopted the Chrome browser universally last year, while the ChromeOS got touch in its most recent incarnation on the Chromebook Pixel.
In the meantime, rumors that Google Now is coming to iOS appear to be true (if Apple approves the app). Schmidt answered a question about it, saying: “You’ll need to discuss that with Apple.”