Google's already got a web-based desktop OS but is the search giant considering taking Android to the desktop too? A patent filed by Google recently indicates that this could be the case.
First spotted by Patently Apple, the patent filing details that, though certain applications or OSes have been designed around a touchscreen UI, it may be beneficial to allow such applications and operating systems to be implemented on more traditional devices, including a desktop, netbook, or laptop computer.
"Certain applications and operating systems (e.g., the Android.RTM. operating system) have been designed around a touchscreen user interface, but it may be beneficial to allow such applications and operating systems to be implemented on more traditional devices (e.g., desktop/netbook/laptop devices) that include physical keyboards and/or pointing devices, such as trackpad devices," Google said in the patent description.
"Trackpad operations may be directly mapped to touchscreen events, which may be processed by applications that may be configured to process such events. In such fashion, a computing device may be capable of processing touchscreen-based events ... regardless of whether the computing device includes or is coupled to a touchscreen."
Though this patent seems to suggest Google is taking Android closer to the desktop/laptop area, judging by the patent, we'd say it's more likely Google's focus with this patent is on laptop-dock type devices that would see an Android phone dock to a companion notebook with the phone itself as a trackpad or input device.
It's thought that Android 5.0, also known as Jelly Bean, will be unveiled at Google I/O this summer, so perhaps we'll hear more about Google's plans for Android and the desktop/laptop then.