Google's new Chromecast device is apparently based on Google TV code but without Android features, could that be one step to distance itself from the Android platform?
Is the latest Chromecast product a sign that Google is more interested in investing in Chrome and Chrome OS than in Android?
I must say that Google has moved in some interesting directions lately.
Google gave the Chromecast device the "Chrome" branding instead of "Android", but maybe that could be explained with that it needs the Chrome web browser to "cast" WebRTC video streams to the device, and that it doesn't need an Android device to work, it works with any device. So it really doesn't need the Android ecosystem at all.
One reason to drop compatibility with Android apps on Chromecast could be to offer the device at a very low price using minimal hardware though.
The Chrome branding for Chromecast could also be because Android is now under the direction of Sundar Pichai, the former head of Chrome OS, instead of Andy (Android) Rubin. That could also be evidence that Google will not maintain two different operating environments.
Here is my vlog about that I think the Chromecast is the future:
Now Google has a mobile platform in Android that isn't making much money (in fact, costs a lot of money because of intellectual property issues), but they can't just throw it away because their future is dependent on having a mobile platform, mobile is the future, and most of Google's revenues are dependent on the shrinking desktop PC market at the moment.
So what should Google do about it?
Google is mowing away from Android only products, we will see more and more Google apps that works on all platforms, they are even building the Google Experience on iOS, making all their apps and services integrate with each other by opening links between apps and so on. It's a way making their own "OS" on iOS. Same thing with Android apps, they are changing Android at the moment by releasing more and more apps in Google Play Store, that earlier was built directly into Stock Android. That way they don't need to maintain Android anymore, just their own apps that they get revenue from. It means that they could stop maintaining Android and release it totally to the public to keep maintaining. Then they only need to update their apps for the different mobile OS'es.
The Chromecast also killed the Nexus Q that required an Android device to work, while the new Chromecast device works on any platform.
By doing this, Google is not dependent on Android for their revenue. They get it from other platforms too, but Chrome / Chrome OS is closer to everything Google does because its based on web standards, so it's easier to get revenue from it. So why not prioritize Chrome development over Android? Why not release more Chrome products in the future?
Here is my vlog where I talk about Google is changing Android:
Will we see a more closed Chrome based mobile OS from Google in the future? Who knows, but it sure looks like it.