Google recently was asked about something we have suspected: Android and Chrome OS may converge. From our perspective, Android and Chrome OS both offer compelling opportunities for building great web apps, but having two distinct operating systems from Google, each with different approaches to development, just adds complexity and confusion to the overall development landscape. Of course, it still bothers us that iPhone apps and Dashboard widgets aren’t interoperable.
Android has the first mover advantage of being deployed today to many devices, but to really get the most out of it, you really should develop using Java, or employ a toolkit like PhoneGap. Chrome OS offers the promise of using web technologies that are popular today, but is not yet production-ready, or optimized for mobile devices like Palm’s webOS.
While there is a lot of short term interest in apps, you can still get significant results from mobile web apps, and the gap between a native app and a web-based app will quickly shrink, as evidenced by apps like Pie Guy. After all, web apps don’t require app store approval!