It would appear the Google is testing a new hybrid OS, known as Andromeda and it’s a platform that somehow combines Android and Chrome OS. Tests are being done on the Nexus 9 slate and we expect the OS to debut on October 4th, when Google has scheduled an event. There we may also see the Pixel 7 slate we’ve detailed recently.
Anyway, Andromeda seems to have come out of the blue and references to it appeared in the Android 7.0 Nougat AOSP. First there was the file “SurfaceCompositionTest.java”, that was a “set of low level tests measuring graphics performance” and that one mentioned Andromeda by name a few times. It also mentioned high performance scores.
The code also mentions a “flushed Nexus 9 device using volantis and volantis-andromeda” images, which remain a mystery so far. Since Nexus is disappearing and the Pixel is in, we may also see the Chromebook products gone and a new type of hybrid appearing. Signs of Chrome – Android integration were present for a while now, with the Play Store recently reaching Chromeboks for example.
The above mentioned test with the reference in the Nougat AOSP shows that Andromeda needs a device with a score of 8.0 and above and Nexus 9 is able to score 8.8, so it’s pretty close to the limit. The Tegra K1 Kepler is a strong performer, but we appear to be needing more.