Chrome OS Arrives on the iPad--No Seriously!

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 05, 2010

Unless you've been under a rock for the past several months, you're aware that Apple's iPad is yet another huge hit for the company. Indeed, it has succeeded where countless tablet computers--including many Windows tablets--have failed in the past. Leave it to hackers, though, to find their own ways to improve on what Apple refers to as "magic" on the iPad. As noted on the PadGadget blog, a user named Hexxeh has posted a video online of the iPad running Google's upcoming Chrome OS. You can watch it here. Will Chrome OS, or other operating systems, have a future on iPads?

Hexxeh was able to put Chrome OS on an iPad because the open source code for the operating system is available in its Chromium state, but it's not necessarily true that Apple will allow iPads to run other operating systems going forward. That's typically not a level of openness found in the Apple playbook.

Nevertheless, it's worth considering what it might mean to have a robust OS like Apple's on the same tablet as one that runs a cutting-edge operating system like Chrome OS. Why wouldn't users love that? After all, a big part of the iPad's success is its facility with the large ecosystem of apps available in Apple's App Store. But Chrome OS is optimized for using cloud apps of all stripes, and is also said to be a speed demon in early incarnations. Why wouldn't Chrome OS, running alongside another operating system, make for an ideal tablet?

Unfortunately, that's not how big tech companies think. Apple will probably do everything it can to keep alternative operating systems off of the iPad, and it's unlikely that Google and Apple will sit down at the table of brotherhood to work on a dual-OS tablet. It is interesting to see hackers taking to the idea, though, and given the number of open source operating systems out there, maybe an entirely different spin on a dual-OS tablet has a future.