Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt almost always makes an interesting comment or two when speaking in public, like when he teased the launch of Android 4.0 in 2011 or said that Android is "pretty clearly" winning its battle against iOS in 2012. Today that trend continues, as the former CEO dropped a couple of juicy tidbits of information while taking part in an interview at the Google Big Tent Summit in India.
The first topic touched on by Schmidt was the possibility of a merger of Chrome and Android. Speculation has been flying that Google may be planning to combine the two OSes into one ever since Android head Andy Rubin left his post for another spot at Google and was replaced by Chrome and Apps SVP Sundar Pichai. Schmidt shot down that possibility, though, saying that Chrome and Android will "certainly going to remain separate for a very long time" since they address different issues that people may have. However, the executive did add that the two platforms could gain more in common as time goes on.
Schmidt also discussed the possibility of Google Now arriving on iOS. A new version of Google Now for Apple's mobile devices was recently teased in a leaked promotional video, but there's been no word yet on when or if such a product could actually launch. In response to a question about when Google Now might make its way to the iPhone, Schmidt said that the interviewer would need to "discuss that with Apple." Schmidt went on to explain that "Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of the apps we make they approve and some of them they don't."
As I noted when the Google Now for iOS promo originally leaked, the clip appears to be legit and is fairly similar to Google's official promo for Now on Android, right down to what sounds like the same female narrator. When you combine that with the fact that Google has successfully launched several other apps on iOS, it wouldn't be the least bit shocking to see Google Now eventually arrive on Apple's mobile platform as well. What will be interesting is seeing exactly how Google Now on iOS would work, as iOS owners wouldn't be able to simply hold down their Home button to access Now like their Android counterparts can. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. In the mean time, you can find the full Schmidt interview at the NDTV link below.
UPDATE: Some have interpreted Schmidt's comments about Google Now as a hint that Google has already submitted a Now app to Apple that's waiting for approval. However, Apple has told The Verge that no Google apps are currently in the App Store review process, which includes both new apps and updates for apps that are already in the App Store.