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Does Google's patent for a hybrid tablet show the future merging of Android and Chrome OS?

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Does Google's patent for a hybrid tablet show the future merging of Android and Chrome OS?
We’ve written before about Google’s prognostication that Android and Chrome OS would eventually merge, and how that may play out. Now a patent filed for in 2010 and recently granted to Google suggests one hardware concept they might be considering to pull it off. The patent covers numerous ways to design a hybrid tablet and notebook that would feature a touch-sensitive virtual keyboard and touchpad on a second screen.

Being a transformer, the device could shift between tablet and notebook mode easily. Sort of like a Microsoft Surface, but without the keyboard/cover piece being removable. But what does that have to do with merging Chrome OS with Android? The most relevant part is this tidbit:

The computing device could also be configured to operate based on one or more platforms (e.g., one or more similar or different platforms) that could include one or more types of hardware, software, firmware, operating systems and runtime libraries.


What other two operating systems do you think Google would want to put on a device? For over two years now Google has been working on hybrid hardware that can also run hybrid software, allowing the same machine to run different firmware operating systems. It’s hard not to see a new possibility for merging Google’s two OSes here: what if in tablet mode the system worked as an Android tablet for web surfing, media consumption, and gaming, but as you slid it open it instantly shifted to a Chrome OS device for productivity, complete with a virtual keyboard and trackpad on the second display? In that model you would have tablet and productivity device in one, with Google able to hook you up with whichever solution best meets your needs.

We have no direct information that this is what Google has planned, but it does mesh this patent neatly with Google’s past statements. We’re not sure how great the typing experience will be on a full-size touchscreen keyboard, but people often pound out emails even on their smartphones, so we suppose it doesn’t have to compete against physical keyboards as much as it needs to be faster than typing on a phone or a tablet.

What do you think? Would a convertible device like this appeal to you?

Does Google's patent for a hybrid tablet show the future merging of Android and Chrome OS?

source: Patentbolt via 9to5Google

14 Comments
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posted on 13 Jul 2012, 20:08

1. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


thats some weird patent I see there... will have to see it in the flesh.... quite odd

posted on 13 Jul 2012, 20:41

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5286; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Yeah, it is a bit odd. Not even the USPTO website returns a search result when I tried searching for chameleonic notebook. That doesn't mean much, as I haven't had much luck searching uspto.gov in the past (even patent attorneys have their own subscription service site that they go to instead of uspto.gov). Anyways... I too would like to see the actual awarded patent to understand what they are claiming. This could be a bit of a problem for MS and their Surface initiative, or it could be no big thaing. It is all in the details of the allowed claims.

posted on 13 Jul 2012, 20:33 1

2. kingpet13 (Posts: 139; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


It think this is a better version of what microsft seems to be going for with the surface pro tablet. What microsoft seems to be doin is to try to replace laptops with a fully functional tablet. Although I think that is where the future is headed, this patent shows a transitioning step. The average consumer might not trust the surface tablet, because microsoft has not established a brand name in the mobile world. I think that the average consumer sees android as a mobile brand name. However this may not be as successful because people would not see Chrome OS as a good OS. They might prefer to buy a normal brand name tablet (android) and a brand name laptop (windows).that is why windows has struggled to enter the mobile world, and Chrome OS struggled to compete with windows. If everyone saw the potential of this technology surface tablets and this patent would replace laptops. But as it is no one is going to trust something that is not established is the best. So I think tge only chance for this if google goes all out to show people the advantages of this tech. If they do not do that tablets will continue to grow at reasonable rates and laptop sales will very slowly shrink. I believe apple is in the best situation to make this a reality, as they have established succes in the mobitle and desktop world, but again they failed to innovate, and it will catch on slowly untill someone finds away to establish its full potential to the entire customer base.

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 16:17 1

6. debdeakins (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


android android android , i don't know what the fuss is about , its a very good mobile OS , One of the best , but desktop, please give me a break .
windows7 is still one of the best desktop OSes out there and win8 gives u win7 + a tables OS (Start screen) when u are in tablet mode. Eventually its way more productive than android. And u forget Windows is till the leader in desktop just like android in mobile.

And finally in windows i can fire up my IDE , server etc and write a app that u can run on android !!

posted on 15 Jul 2012, 05:13

8. saiki4116 (Posts: 302; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


you can do that on a Ubuntu powered system too.The only reason why windows is staying on top is because of our dependence on MS Office.

posted on 16 Jul 2012, 02:55

10. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


and OFFICE IS because ..... does ubunto dont have office? or similar software
and i had used ubunto for a week once office work and the whole week i was cursing the linux because of its nonproductivity and the way to do simple things in very complex way even copy is a issue :( i happy to got rid of linux in start and dont tell me its open and i can do devloping projects easier well cuz thats a lie too windows is still over the linux in all possible ways only developers yell its better dont know what they see in it

posted on 15 Jul 2012, 06:05

9. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


dude, dunno what you're up to. But kingpet13's point is really true. That's how consumers buy their products. They just depend on what they are getting as long as it gives them the functionality they are used to. Technology is getting smarter in a serious rate but people doesn't even know that. Unlike us, who reads news about tech, most people these days don't even bother what's the real use of the newest tech. They just go with the flow. They just go on what's new. And they just go on what is really established. They're like "oh s3 has quad-core processor, it will be super fast" without knowing what that really means.

And this patent is great. Seriously. But if it's used with Chrome OS, it will fail. Why? Because only few knows what Chrome OS is. And only few even know that it exists. Let's be real. Only people like us, who are up to date with these kind of news know these kind of things.

posted on 16 Jul 2012, 03:17

11. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


yes u are true at the peoples point of view guys only high as status symbol and dont have any idea how to use thoes things

posted on 13 Jul 2012, 22:34 1

4. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


looks like sony tablet p..

posted on 13 Jul 2012, 22:38 1

5. Birds (Posts: 927; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


All I have to say is this is cool. Even though I don't like it at all, I give props where I see props are due..

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 16:37

7. lyndon420 (Posts: 1642; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I'd buy one for sure. I use chrome on my One X and a hybrid like this would fit the bill nicely to completely eliminate my pc.

posted on 16 Jul 2012, 03:19

12. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


do u even know what chomeOS is ? if no i am already laughing to death point on your coment

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 18:39

14. lyndon420 (Posts: 1642; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Yes...I do. K...I'll put on the kid gloves and try to explain it in more detail for you because you come across as slightly challenged. I use chrome (the browser) on my phone. To have a tablet running chrome (the operating system) would be awesome. Do you know what chromeOS is and how it works? Do you understand how I would find it awesome? If my earlier comment amused you, I bet you could keep yourself entertained for hours with a ball of string.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 18:36

13. lyndon420 (Posts: 1642; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Yes...I do. K...I'll put on the kid gloves and try to explain it in more detail for you because you come across as slightly challenged. I use chrome (the browser) on my phone. To have a tablet running chrome (the operating system) would be awesome. Do you know what chromeOS is and how it works? Do you understand how I would find it awesome? If my earlier comment amused you, I bet you could keep yourself entertained for hours with a ball of string.

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