- The latest Canary version of Chrome OS for the Google Pixelbook features an upgraded version of Android.
- Surprisingly, the previous version of Android 7.1 Nougat is now Android 9 Pie, skipping over Oreo entirely.
- At this point, the changes are mostly aesthetic, but Canary builds are just the beginning.
For a long time now, Chrome OS has languished on Android 7.1 Nougat when it comes to running Android apps within the Chrome environment. The folks over at Chrome Unboxed did some tests with the latest Canary build of Chrome OS for the Google Pixelbook, and found something interesting.
The Canary build of Chrome OS is no longer on Nougat, but also not on Android 8 Oreo. Instead, it looks like Chrome OS will jump from Nougat straight to Android 9 Pie, as that’s what the Canary build is running.
Unfortunately, Pie only so far appears on the latest Canary build for the original Google Pixelbook, so anyone who didn’t spring for that $1,000 system will have to wait. However, if Google is bringing Pie to the Pixelbook, it’s a safe bet it will also bring Pie to other higher-end Chromebooks, such as its brand new Google Pixel Slate.
So far, the changes within Chrome OS with Android 9 Pie are mostly aesthetic in nature. The Android Settings page has the same colorful Pie look and the Google Assistant pop-up is more prominent and has a material design refresh. Check out some screenshots below:
The folks over at Chrome Unboxed are still playing around with the build, though, so new things could be found soon.
Since Canary builds represent some of the earliest work on a new system update, it is highly unlikely a stable rollout of Android 9 Pie will come to any Chromebooks this year. There’s a slight possibility the update could arrive in December with Chrome 71, but don’t bet on it.
As we get closer to the end of the year, we might get some more information on when Pie is coming to Chromebooks and which Chromebooks will get it. Stay tuned!