Mobile

Eric Schmidt: Android & Chrome OS staying separate; Google Now on iOS is up to Apple

You have to give Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt some credit — he’s not afraid to respond to tough questions directly.

Speaking at the Google Big Tent Summit in India, Schmidt confirmed that Google doesn’t have any plans (yet) to unify Android and Chrome OS, Reuters reports. He noted that the two operating systems could end up overlapping in some features down the line.

Last week Andy Rubin, the head of Android for the past decade, stepped down from his role and was replaced by Chrome OS head Sundar Pichai. That led to speculation that Chrome OS and Android would eventually be joined — it would be an easy way to bring apps to the barren Chrome OS, and it would also give Google a way to bring Android apps to the desktop.

When it comes to bringing the company’s Google Now virtual assistant to iOS, Schmidt said at the event, “You’ll need to discuss that with Apple.” [You can watch Schmidt's entire talk here.]

A video published last week by Engadget showed Google Now running on iOS, which led to plenty of speculation that it would hit Apple’s platform soon.

Schmidt’s comment seems to hint that Google has already submitted a Google Now application to Apple, where it’s stuck in approval limbo. Google has had a contentious history with its iOS applications — the Google Voice app notoriously took a long time to get approved — something that Schmidt also commented on during his talk.

Google already offers its fast voice search feature on its iPhone application, but the addition of Google Now would mean iPhone users would be able to take advantage of the assistant’s more advanced features, like automatically generating information about your commute and tracking packages.

Via TechCrunch; @ScepticGeek; Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat


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