Android This Week: Chrome Won't Kill the Mobile OS

[qi:gigaom_icon_google-android] The biggest Android news by far this week actually dealt with the release of another platform from Google. The search giant (s goog) announced Chrome OS, an operating system targeting netbooks and desktops. As part of the announcement, Google made it clear that Android will stay around and will be separate from the new OS, clearing up questions of whether Chrome would mean the end of the smartphone operating system. Android had been discussed as a platform for netbooks, but it seems that Chrome will get that role, at least next year.

And those who can’t wait to put a Google OS on the netbook can do so now, as the LiveAndroid project is alive and kicking. A new version was released this week that enables mouse control over the interface. Development is continuing on the project, which is a port of Android 1.5 onto the x86 platform for use on netbooks. A LiveCD distribution that can be burned onto a bootable CD lets it be used without impacting anything already installed on the netbook. Google is planning a USB stick version, allowing LiveAndroid to be booted from the stick, a concession to the fact that netbooks don’t usually have optical drives.

Also this week, T-Mobile opened up ordering for myTouch 3G, its next-generation Android phone. The myTouch 3G is $199.99 with a two-year contract, and deliveries are guaranteed for August 5. The myTouch is made by HTC and is sold under the Magic name outside the U.S. At its press event for the myTouch launch in New York, T-Mobile surprised folks by saying it “has no plans to bring the HTC Hero to market.” The HTC Hero is the upcoming Android phone with the innovative HTC Sense interface.