For some time now, many believed that Google had abandoned all hope of optimizing the Android platform for tablets. In place of Android tablets, some speculate that the next iteration of Android tablets will, in fact, be Chromebooks.

Based on several recent changes to the Chromium Repository, it looks like Samsung is working on a detachable Chromebook. If true, it could be the first of many 2-in-1 devices that run the Chrome operating system and full-sized Android apps side by side…

At this moment, roughly 60 Chromebooks now have the capability of running Android applications. Many of these devices are also convertible, allowing them to fold back and be used in “tablet” mode. While this is convenient when you want the keyboard out of the way, it means to use the Chromebook as a tablet, you are stuck with a decent amount of weight and thickness.

The folks over at Chrome Unboxed, who are notorious for finding new devices and features hidden within the Chromium Repository, noticed changes to the code in early October that pointed to a new Chromebook being developed called “Nautilus.” What made this device different was several lines of text that can be read below:

This function is called whenever there is a change in the base detect * status. Actions taken include:

* 1. Change in power to base

* 2. Indicate mode change to host.

* 3. Indicate tablet mode to host. Current assumption is that if base is

* disconnected then the system is in tablet mode, else if the base is

* connected, then the system is not in tablet mode.

Nautilus board.c file

At the time, Chrome Unboxed was unable to identify which company was manufacturing the Chromebook other than a small BIOS firmware vendor called AMI (American Megatrends). That all changed yesterday when new commits were made to the repository by an individual named Jongpil Jung. As Chrome Unboxed points out, Jung, who happens to have his Samsung email address linked to the repository, was named as part of the Samsung Chromebook Pro/Plus development process.

At this point, there isn’t much known about this Samsung Nautilus Chromebook other than the fact that it’ll be a 2-in-1 device and run on a Kaby Lake Intel processor. We can guess that it might look like some of Samsung’s other 2-in-1 laptops that it manufacturers to run Microsoft Windows, but nothing is confirmed.

Based on the limited number of mentions in the Chromium Repository, it’s safe to say that the Nautilus is still in the early stages of development. Because of this, don’t be surprised if Samsung doesn’t unveil this Chromebook until 2018.

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About the Author

Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at Tips are always welcome.