How Chrome, HTML5, and multitasking may intersect to change the Android app experience

Companies behind the platforms that power our smartphones find themselves under constant pressure to innovate. If you’re not leading the effort to reinvent, redefine, and just downright improve the user experience, you had better believe that your competition is doing its darnedest to beat you to the punch. A new rumor suggest that Google has been preparing a relatively major overhaul to the way we interact with apps on our phones, and one that may threaten to turn how we use Android on its head: a project supposedly under development as “Hera.”

This is a little bit “out there,” at least so far as our existing understanding of Android goes, so bear with us: Hera is reportedly a Chromium-based system to unify tasks across devices and platforms. It runs on your phone like a browser, and can manage tasks independently of apps through a web interface. So instead of reading an email in the Gmail app, you might get a notification in Hera, which would then give you the ability to perform certain jobs without switching over to Gmail proper – for instance, you might be able to tap a button and confirm an order, without needing to read the confirmation email itself.

The Hera interface sounds like a bridge between traditional apps, HTML5 apps, and old web services, but we’ll admit that this description of Hera is positively confounding, and we’re having a lot of difficulty making sense of just where it would fit into the Android with which we’re so familiar.

We’re filled with concerns: what would this mean for existing apps and notifications? Is placing an increased emphasis on web-based systems doing a disservice to users who already struggle with unreliable data? And ultimately, what does Google really hope to get out of a change like this?

If Hera is indeed happening – and this report seems quite confident that it is – we would love to hear Google set the record straight. Google I/O cannot come soon enough.

Source: Android Police

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!