- The latest Canary version of Chrome OS for the Google Pixelbook features an upgraded Android version.
- The previous version of Android 7.1 Nougat is now surprisingly Android 9 Pie, skipping over Oreo entirely.
- The changes are mostly aesthetic, at this point but Canary builds are just the beginning.
Chrome OS for a long time now has languished on Android 7.1 Nougat for running Android apps within the Chrome environment. The people over at Chrome Unboxed performed some tests with the latest Canary build of Chrome OS for the Google Pixelbook, and found something really interesting.
The Canary build of Chrome OS is definitely no longer on Nougat and also not on Android 8 Oreo. It looks like Chrome OS will jump from Nougat straight to Android 9 Pie instead, as that is what the Canary build is running.
Pie so far appears only on the latest Canary build for the original Google Pixelbook unfortunately. So anyone who did not spring for that $1,000 system will certainly have to wait. That said, if Google is bringing Pie to the Pixelbook, it is really a safe bet that it will also bring Pie to other higher-end Chromebooks, like its brand new Google Pixel Slate.
The changes so far within Chrome OS with Android 9 Pie are primarily aesthetic in nature. The Android Settings page has the same beautiful and colorful Pie look. The Google Assistant pop-up is much more prominent and receives a material design refresh.
People at Chrome Unboxed are still playing around with the build. So it is likely that new things could be found soon.
Since Canary builds do represent some of the earliest work on a new system update, it is quite unlikely that this year a stable rollout of Android 9 Pie will come to any Chromebooks. There is a very slight possibility the update could arrive in December with Chrome 71, but it is best to not bet on it.
We might get some more information on when Pie is coming to Chromebooks as we get closer to the end of the year. Stay tuned!