Taking to Reddit to discuss the future of Google’s software, the team behind Android and Chrome OS has intentionally left some hints on what to expect on the follow-up to Marshmallow. Hold on a minute, the latest Android hasn’t even gone mainstream but they want to talk about the future?
Representing Google during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, the 6-man team chipped in on a slew of topics, including: the direction of Pixel C and the future of Android. If you’re asking why there’s such a bridging of the two; it’s mainly due to a merger that’s reported to take place come 2017.
The report suggests that heads at Google think combining the two makes the most sense, since Android has had an early start as an operating system for quite some time. And we’re already starting to see small changes that point towards a unification in latest Pixel product.
Google’s Pixel branding has been have over the place, of late; partly due to the Pixel C choosing Android over Chrome OS. This further points to a crossover of operating systems and that might mean more “desktop”-like capabilities to ease productivity in the following phase of Android.
So while mediating all these unanswered questions regarding the switch, the software team thought it would be a great idea to hold an AMA session. Allowing users to ask whatever they needed to. But it was surprising that the developers choose to share two facts about Android N, given that non-Nexus devices have yet to receive Marshmallow.
The first of the two is a proper split-screen/multi-window function that we’ve already seen on iOS (iPad Pro only) and some Android OEM skins as well. This pretty much only applies to tablets since it’ll be a tiresome experience navigating multiple windows on your smartphone screen.
Another feature that came about was DisplayPort via USB Type-C connector, that a competitor has put to good use – yes, we’re looking at Windows with their Continuum support. A trend that you could see a mile away, with more people dropping PCs for day to day task and opting convertibles that are slowly catching up in the processor department.
These replies below were from the team themselves:
Regarding Android N
“We’re working on lots of things right now for N that, of course, we wish we had, you know, yesterday. But we’d spoil the surprise of N if we shared all of them. Split screen is in the works!”
Regarding Multi-Window on Android tablets
“We’re working hard on a range of enhancements for Android in this form-factor – there are many things, like multiwindow, that we’ve been spending a lot of time on – hopefully we can share more about this soon.”
Regarding DisplayPort through USB Type-C
“Yes, the Pixel C will be supported on AOSP just like other Nexus devices. The bootloader can be unlocked to enable booting an alternate OS. Pixel C does not support Chromebook style recovery via USB. The firmware is open source. It is Coreboot. DisplayPort support over Type C is being worked on but we don’t have a release date yet.”
Faster processors in smaller packages are already here and they’ll only continue to get better. And you can expect us to start using smaller devices on bigger screens real soon. Oh and maybe a Pixel smartphone?
Let us know what you make of this announcement and share with us if your technological consumption habits have changed of late, in the comments below.