You read that right! In our searching for Android Nougat 7.1.1 across different devices, Chrome OS versions and channels, we finally have some definitive info on the imminent arrival of Nougat on an equally-anticipated device.
Like our last article that was sourced from Dieter Bohn’s time with Kan Liu, Senior Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, this bit of info comes directly from The Verge’s latest report from Google I/O 2017.
We reported Samsung’s firm release date of the Chromebook Pro on May 28th, and now we want to delve into some of the other details revealed in the article.
Launching With Nougat
First is the confirmation that Android 7.1.1 will be shipping with the Samsung Chromebook Pro. We had our thoughts that this would be the case, but we now have confirmation that Nougat will be onboard when the Pro ships later this month.
As this entire Android process has been, this will likely be exclusive to the Chromebook Pro for at least a little while. While the Pro may head out in a week and a half with 7.1.1 in tow, your Chromebook may not see this version for a little bit.
However, having a device with not only Android apps out of the box, but all the features that Nougat brings is a welcome sight.
The biggest addition, here? Resizable apps. We’ve talked at length about the benefit Nougat will bring to the entire Android experience on Chromebooks, so you can read about that if you need a refresher.
What is most exciting is the ability for app windows to resize and be moved about the desktop like other windows in Chrome OS. Though the implementation will have hiccups at first, getting this lined out will greatly smooth the Android adoption process for developers and consumers alike.
Andoroid O Features Before The Pixel
Another pretty amazing detail is the fact that Chromebooks are to start getting feature updates before their phone counterparts. To hear Liu say it:
Dessert releases tend to have a yearly release cycle. We actually want to decouple ourselves from that. Because Chromebooks have a six-week release cycle. For things that makes sense on this form-factor — APIs and features that we think are important for our users — we’re going to be pulling stuff in whenever it’s ready.
What this means is features coming soon for Android can be freely added to Chrome OS.
Decoupling from the yearly Android update means that features like keyboard and mouse input (coming to Android O) don’t need to wait around for those Android releases before they can be implemented on Chromebooks.
Upcoming features may not be nearly as important, but an updated keyboard and mouse back-end support? That one is pretty important for Chromebooks!
And it looks like we won’t be waiting too long to see it come to Chrome OS officially.
This isn’t the end of Beta for the Play Store on Chromebooks, but it is a big step towards the end of it. Again, Liu states:
When we do get it right, our intention is to go big.
Clearly, in Google’s view, they don’t have it right just yet. In the article, Liu states that they feel they are 80% there, but that the last 20% will be the real challenge.
Google is late. There’s no denying that. But, they are pressing forward on something that seems likely harder than they first imagined.
But, remembering they are doing something no one has ever done before helps relieve some of the anticipation. This is new territory, merging two OS’s together in an unprecedented way. If it all comes together and works in a few months, the time we spent pining over it will be only a memory.
We’re getting closer and this latest bit of info serves only to keep us extremely excited for the arrival of the Chromebook Pro and a full deployment of Android on Chrome OS.