We’ve reported pretty extensively on the device/baseboard combo of ‘Gru’ and ‘Kevin’ and while there are plenty of knowns, there are still lots of unknowns.
Today, however, we can add in a new piece of the puzzle.
From the looks of this latest commit, ‘Gru’ (the baseboard commonly linked with ‘Kevin’) is being prepped for GPS support. One of the hurdles to Chrome OS devices running Android apps is the lack of GPS required by many of those apps. Lack of LTE is the other, but we’ve seen nothing recently about that.
Given that older Chromebooks like the 2013 Pixel included LTE, this doesn’t seem to be much of a hurdle to overcome, though. Consumer interest seems to drive the LTE piece.
Anyway, why is this a big deal?
As Chromebooks move into the convertible, detachable, and tablet space, things like GPS are expected. Users don’t want to be limited on the apps they can install and use, regardless of the OS. LTE and GPS give Chromebooks (or Chromepads?) a legitimate way to be devices that don’t have to be tethered to a Wifi connection. Apps like Pokemon Go become completely usable when LTE and GPS are available in Chrome devices. Until now, we’d only seen LTE-equipped devices, so the arrival of GPS into the Chromebook device family is certainly a welcome one.
We are still unsure exactly what ‘Kevin’ is going to be at this point, but from the looks of it, the ‘Gru’ baseboard is looking more and more capable by the day.