Google Android: Desktop Edition on the way?
A new patent filing by Google may hint at plans to port its Android operating system for mobile devices to desktop and notebook computers, a patent enthusiast site said.
The patent appears to focus on similar capabilities now found in Apple’s Multi-Touch Trackpad and Magic Trackpad, PatentlyApple reported.
“In many ways that’s understandable considering that Google is working on the Android for x86 project along with a serious list of other Intel-Android related projects. Android is headed for the desktop and today’s report lays out Google’s specific work on trackpad operations corresponding to touchscreen events,” it said.
For now, Google is offering ChromeOS, a cloud-centric operating system based on its Chrome browser.
On the other hand, PatentlyApple said many operating systems such as Android had been designed around a touchscreen user interface.
Yet, it said it may be beneficial to allow such apps and OSes to run on traditional devices, such as a desktop, netbook or laptop with physical keyboards and pointing devices like trackpads.
It said Google pointed out trackpad operations may be directly mapped to touchscreen events, and processed by appropriate applications.
“For instance, a user may initially move a single finger on the trackpad device to cause a displayed pointer to move correspondingly on a display device of the computing device. The user may touch or tap a single finger on the trackpad device to deliver a simulated touchscreen finger tap at the current pointer location as displayed on the display device. The trackpad finger tap operation may thereby be mapped to a touchscreen finger tap event that may be generated for processing by an application that is designed to receive input via a touchscreen interface,” it said.
PatentlyApple said Google’s patent describes a device that may be configured to map trackpad operations to corresponding touchscreen events.
A user may use multi-touch actions including pinching and zooming on the trackpad.
Google targeting Haswell-based ultrabooks?
PatentlyApple speculated Google may be positioning Android to run on Ultrabooks running the Haswell chip, which promises to support multiple operating system functionality.
“Haswell will also power next generation desktops that will support multiple operating systems and voila, Android is a serious candidate for the desktop for Android fans. It’s also the processor that will push the Ultrabook to function as a Notebook-Tablet combination unit and there’s where Android will be able to shine,” it said.
On the other hand, it noted Apple is integrating more iOS features into OS X this summer with the introduction of Mountain Lion.
Apple’s iOS is for mobile devices while OS X is for desktop and laptop computers.
“Likewise, the popularity of Google’s Android almost demands that it now move to something like the 2013 Ultrabook. And by doing so, it must be able to offer both multi-touch and trackpad functionality. That’s what today’s patent reveals and confirms,” it said. — TJD, GMA News