• Google has developed a method to run Chrome OS on its Pixel devices.
  • The method involves running a special build of Chrome OS in a virtual machine through the Android Virtualization Framework.
  • The company recently showed this off to its partner companies but did not reveal if it plans to ship this on future Pixel devices.

Although Google originally designed the Android OS around smartphones, it has since updated it to work on other form factors like tablets, watches, TVs, and car dashboards. To compete in the PC market, though, Google created Chrome OS instead of just using Android. Over the years, Google made the two operating systems more synergistic. For example, Chrome OS outright ships with a copy of the Android runtime so that Chromebooks can run Android apps. The reverse — Android devices running Chrome OS software — isn’t possible right now, but that could change in the future as Google is testing a method to run Chrome OS on Android devices.

It’s no secret that many modern Android devices are packed with enough storage, memory, and raw processing power to handle whatever computing tasks the average person would throw at them. Since it already has Chrome OS, Google never felt compelled to make Android more like Windows or macOS. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t tried, though. In fact, there was a time when Google was actively working on creating a hybrid of Android and Chrome OS — code-named Andromeda — that it ultimately scrapped. The reason Google abandoned its plans to merge Android and Chrome OS was that both platforms were already successful, so it’d be more productive for the company to focus on improving each platform.