Android is the most popular mobile OS on the planet, and Google has brought the OS to cars, watches, and televisions. And, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google will soon be bringing Android to yet another form factor: desktop and laptop computers. Re-architecting Android for a mouse and keyboard is going to require major changes to the smartphone operating system, but Android is actually much farther along that path today than most people realize.
It really is – but there’s a definitive oddness about it, though. In any event, Google has already confirmed it’s working on bringing multiwindow to Android, and if the company is really serious about putting Android on actual laptops and desktops, it’s going to have to be more than just the kind of My First Multitasking Windows 8’s Metro had (implemented 1:1 in iOS 9). It’s going to have to be the real deal, with windows that can be moved around, resized, stacked, etc. – all the kinds of things you’d expect from any other desktop operating system.
I think the biggest problem they’re going to run into is the black bar at the bottom of the screen, housing the back/home/windows button. Unless they can come up with a way to logically let the back button handle multiple activity stacks, I would suggest getting rid of the bar entirely, or just converting it into an all-out taskbar. They obviously can’t have that black bar on 23″ desktop displays or whatever.
Android 7 is going to be very interesting!