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Google testing Andromeda, an Android-Chrome OS hybrid, on Nexus 9

by Jacob Kleinman | September 26, 2016September 26, 2016 7:00 am EST

Google is making steady progress in its plan to bring Android apps to Chrome OS, but the company could have something even bigger in the works. A new report reveals that a hybrid operating system called Andromeda may already be in testing on Google’s Nexus 9 tablet.

According to 9to5Mac and its anonymous sources, Andromeda is an Android-Chrome OS hybrid designed to bring Android software to laptops and 2-in-1 devices. It apparently includes the free-form window mode hidden in Android N, which lets you run several resizable apps at the same time. The site also found evidence of Andromeda in Android 7.0 Nougat code, including one directly mention of free-form windows.

Android Nougat offers a few more major clues concerning Andromeda. The code details Google’s graphics performance tests, noting that Andromeda requires a higher score of at least 8.0 compared to Android’s 4.0 score requirement. The Nexus 9 passed the test with a score of 8.8.

Finally, the Android Nougat code actually mentions the Nexus 9 directly using its original codename, Volantis, in reference to the new hybrid operating system. 9to5Mac adds that some testers are already running early versions of Andromeda on the tablet, but it’s unclear if Google will ever officially release the software for the Nexus 9.

It’s possible Google could offer up some information on its Andromeda efforts during next month’s event. The company is expected to unveil new Pixel phones and a other new hardware on October 4, but we this experimental new software might end up stealing the show.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...