Google: Android OS is short term, Chrome is the futureMay 19, 2010: 7:31 PM ET
Sergey Brin and others drop the bomb that Android's dominance is fleeting
During today's media Q&A session, Google clarified its OS roadmap. Because of bandwidth limitations, current processor level, and HTML5's infancy, the company doesn't view ChromeOS, due out later this year, as a mainstream solution. The responsibility of powering phones, TVs, tablets, and well, everything else, will rest squarely on the shoulders of Android, at least for the immediate future.
That near-term future also includes Adobe's Flash, which Google's panel said was the currently the best way to view DRM-protected video. Flash on Android will be demonstrated at tomorrow's keynote.
But in a few years time, Google fully expects ChromeOS to become its workhorse OS. Processors will unequivocally be faster and more efficient, Internet connections will be quicker and more ubiquitous, and most importantly, HTML5 will have matured to the point and saturate enough of the market where it will be both easy and feasible to build desktop quality applications.
Google gave a sneak peak at HTML5's future today with some incredibly well done web applications that bent preconceived notions about what a web app could do.
Mugtug, a photo-editing HTML5 application, which demonstrated database caching, was demonstrated without an Internet connection. Basic photo editing functions were performed.
Clicker.tv is an amazing "TV Guide for the Web" built entirely with HTML5. The demo didn't go perfectly smoothly, but the application is certainly one to check out. Using only arrow keys, you can navigate to just about any page on the web; using a keyboard from any point, you can search out videos. It's as quick as a set top box, but runs natively in a browser.
The show stopper came via Time Inc. sibling, Sports Illustrated, whose HTML5-coded magazine app had just about all the functionality of other fantastic iPad magazine apps, but was entirely done in the new web code. So when you buy it once, it'll work on your desktop, laptop, iPad and even your smartphone, so long as your browsers support HTML5.
Google concluded with a 3-D Star Wars game that used several proprietary plug-ins.
By the end of the day, attendees were left with the distinct belief that just about anything we do today can be done via web app, and that really, it's just a matter of time.