Android is one of the biggest mobile operating systems on the market today. The number of people making the switch from other mobile platforms to Android is happening often - and quickly. Two of the four “major” operating systems we have for our mobile phones have their own desktop variants, something that Android has yet to tackle. If Android was to develop a desktop software, do you think it would fare well or fail hard?
Android would definitely need a lot of improvement for functionality in order for a desktop version to even have a glimmer of hope to work. Android, in its current state, is really only suitable for tablets and phones. The interface is completely touch-based, and without a decent, traditional desktop interface there’s really not much of a point to try and make it into a desktop. While touch-based desktops might seem like they’re trying to make way towards the future, I have little faith that it will actually make headway into the hearts of the public; just look at how Windows 8 has sunk.
You might be sitting there thinking that Google technically already has a desktop interface – Chrome OS, which runs on Samsung or Acer’s Chromebook. So why would Google want to make two desktop operating systems? That’s a good question.
Right now, Chrome OS is primarily made for running anything and everything web-based. Instead of having regular PC programs like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Instant Messaging, etc., the user can download web-based apps from the internet. There is limited offline availability for somebody using Chrome OS, and that in itself can hinder the success that desktop operating systems like Windows and Mac OS see today.
Perhaps that’s where Android can come in and give a lending hand.
How I see it is this: Google should merge Chrome OS into Android. While Chrome OS is a good idea if a good portion of your computing revolves around the internet, you need a healthy balance between online and offline compatibility. Android is brand name enough to gain recognition for a desktop flavor of the OS. All it would need is a more traditional desktop method of operation.
Since Android runs on Linux, which is the most popular OS on servers, it wouldn’t take much to get this idea rolling into something more than just an idea. Certainly Google has already thought of doing this, but since there’s no information regarding it I can’t say whether it would actually happen or not. If Google did decide to actively work to create an Android desktop, you can bet that Microsoft (and even Apple) would see it as a viable threat. Many people are already switching out their Windows OS for something simpler to use, like Ubuntu. Younger and older generations find Ubuntu easy to use and navigate. The interest in a more complex desktop like Windows is already waning in favor of simpler desktop interfaces, which an Android desktop could also provide if they play their cards right.
Readers, what do you think? Are you happy with the way your desktop OS works? Would you even consider running Android on your laptop or desktop, or would you prefer to keep it running only on your phone or tablet? Let me know in the comments!