‘ChromeOS is here to stay’ →

Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, writing on the Google Chrome blog:

Over the last few days, there’s been some confusion about the future of Chrome OS and Chromebooks based on speculation that Chrome OS will be folded into Android. While we’ve been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there’s no plan to phase out Chrome OS.

Notice the dancing around in that paragraph. Either the WSJ got it wrong, over-stating the work to “bring together” the two OSes, or this is happening, and somehow “Chrome OS” will stick around.

Report: Google working to merge ChromeOS and Android →

Google currently ships two OSes. Android, which powers everything from watches to smartphones to tablets and ChromeOS, which is designed to run on small, (mostly) affordable notebooks.

According to Alistair Barr at The Wall Street Journal, that may be about to change:

Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress recently, two of the people said. The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year, one of the people said.

This new version of Android would run on PCs. Instead of the it’s-mostly-just-a-browser experience ChromeOS users have now, they could enjoy the ever-growing ecosystem of Android apps and services.

I’m interested to see how this plays out.

Google to be part of larger company named Alphabet →

Larry Page:

What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related.

This is crazy. In short, Google will become a sibling to a bunch of other companies, and Alphabet will replace it as the parent organization, including on the stock market. Sundar Pichai will become Google’s next CEO, which is an obvious choice, and I think a good one.

Google launches ‘Photos’ →

Anil Sabharwal, Head of Google Photos:

Google Photos gives you a single, private place to keep a lifetime of memories, and access them from any device. They’re automatically backed up and synced, so you can have peace of mind that your photos are safe, available across all your devices.

And when we say a lifetime of memories, we really mean it. With Google Photos, you can now backup and store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free. We maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos, and store compressed versions of the photos and videos in beautiful, print-quality resolution.

There are some caveats to the “unlimited” storage bit, but all-in-all, it looks like this may give iCloud Photo Library a run for its money.[1]

Google FI →

New from Google: a pay-for-what-you-use, invite-only, Nexus 6-only cellular plan that stiches together service from Sprint, T-Mobile and a Wi-Fi networks.

I can’t think of anything more Google-like.