Google tablet concept revealed
Google could be developing its own rival to the Apple iPad, after an engineer at the search company posted a video online showing a mock-up of the Chrome operating system running on a tablet computer.
The video – posted to the Chromium website, home of the open source project being Google's Chrome web browser and operating system – shows a mock-up of a possible tablet user interface.
It shows how both sides of a single, large screen could be used simultaneously to carry out computing tasks, such as writing emails and searching the web.
Although Chromium is not an official Google website, the concept video has been put together by Glen Murphy, one of Google's Chrome OS designers.
Google is also reportedly in discussions with Taiwanese consumer electronics giant HTC about making a touch-screen tablet computer.
HTC already makes many of the mobile phones that run Google's Android operating system, and designed and built Google's own-brand handset, the Nexus One.
Documents uploaded to the Chromium site suggest that tablet devices running Chrome OS will need a screen of between 5in and 10in, and will have an optimised touch user interface to enable users to easily manipulate programs and software on-screen.
It could also support multi-touch gestures, such as dragging motions to scan up and down pages and documents. The device could be used in portrait and landscape modes, with a "dock" of program icons that could be hidden to free up more space on the screen.
Apple last week unveiled the iPad, a touch-screen tablet-style computer similar in look and feel to a large iPod touch. The device earned mixed reviews from technology and industry experts, who criticised the iPad for its inability to multi-task and lack of Flash support, though many also said that the iPad would kick-start a trend for tablet-style devices.
Several other consumer electronics companies, including HP, are thought to be working on their own tablet-style computers.