Last week, Google confirmed that its next big launch event will be held on October 4, at which it's expected to unveil a range of new devices, including two new smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. But it looks like the company may be lining up another major announcement, in the form of a new OS project known as 'Andromeda', bringing together the best of its Android and Chrome operating systems.
According to Android Police, the launch device for Andromeda will be a new laptop that will be released next year.
The device is reportedly being developed under the codename 'Bison', and known informally as the 'Pixel 3', following the two Chromebook Pixel notebooks that have been released so far. However, the new laptop is not expected to carry Chromebook branding, given that it will be the showcase device for Google's new 'hybrid' OS.
The report notes that, while Google has already detailed its efforts to offer Android apps on Chrome OS devices, Andromeda is a more far-reaching effort to integrate Chrome OS features to Android. The impact of these changes will lead to substantial differences from Android as we know it today.
As things currently stand, Bison is said to be in development as an 'ultra-thin' device with a 12.3-inch display, as well as a 'tablet mode'. It's not yet clear if this means that the device will be a convertible, with a screen that folds all the way back; or a detachable, with a display that disconnects from its keyboard section, like Microsoft's Surface Book.
Specs are said to include an Intel Core m3 or Core i5 processor, with 32GB or 128GB of storage, and 8GB or 16GB of RAM, which suggests that two models will be made available. It's also said to feature a wide range of other appealing - and pretty realistic - specs, including a backlit keyboard, fingerprint scanner, dual USB Type-C ports, stereo speakers, quad microphones, and a keypad with pressure sensitivity and haptic feedback. It will also include stylus support, although the stylus will reportedly be sold separately.
Google is said to be aiming for a device that's just 10mm thick. However, the report emphasizes that all of these specs are far from final, given that it's still a long way from going on sale. Bison isn't expected to launch until Q3 2017 at the earliest, so it could be as long as a year away from availability. The company is believed to be aiming for a starting price of $799.
Its planned launch in the second half of next year is likely intended to ensure that Andromeda is ready to roll with 'a variety of enterprise, developer, and stylus-driven apps'. If Google is able to bring its vision together over the next twelve months into a cohesive platform, showcased on stylish and desirable hardware, its next-gen OS might well offer an intriguing alternative to its Microsoft and Apple rivals.
Source: Android Police