Recently at Google I/O 2016, Google announced that the app store is coming to ChromeOS. Google also revealed that Chromebooks were outselling MacBooks.I kind of chuckled at the notion of this.
I have been a Chromebook poweruser for a while now. I'm very excited for the future of chromebooks indeed, but part of me is still pretty sad that they combined the App Store and have decided to meld the tablet to the laptop.
Granted, for the most part I use Mosh for everything I do, which I will still be able to do after this change. Part of me wants to be able to keep the purity of having a pure browser based Operating System. The price of progress, and sales I suppose is the sacrifice of simplicity.
One of the main things I wonder about is now that there has been a decision to expand the operating system for more offline tasks, will they give us a stronger access to the linux kernel on which ChromeOS was built? As a developer, this is very important. With MacOS you have access to Xcode(which I view Crouton as the ChromeOS version of Xcode). What will be the developer's solution in the future of ChromeOS. The need for a coder is not going to go away anytime soon, so what does Google plan to combat this?
My Proposed Solution
I suppose the first proposed solution is that we identify and expand what has been working and will keep working. One thing ChromeOS has shown us is that programming in the cloud can be done, and should be done where possible. There really is no need to carry around power house computers for much outside of graphic design any more, and even that changes as we find ways to use our browser as a tool for graphic development.
Cloud9 IDE showed that we can still use pretty IDE's based of the ACE editor system to create and design with fancy tools. Electron based apps like Atom further extended this belief. We are now waiting for Atom apps to be portable to ChromeOS, but I'm sure this is not far off. And then for purists, there is still the option of simply using a linux box in the cloud to VPS in to, and use as our base computer.
The future of computing for the developer is fascinating, and there are so many different routes that we will be able to take. We don't know what the future holds, but we definitely have a lot of glimpses from what we have seen recently from major software developers what we need to steer towards.
Being able to use the internet without access to fast laptops, is going to be crucial. This is not a change that is just for userland, but also for developers as well. I look forward to these changes, and I think with time we will find new fads and trends in the development space that will be as always interesting to explore.