Google Senior VP of Mobile Andy Rubin made a surprise appearance on stage with Intel CEO Paul Otellini here at Intel Developer Forum 2011 to announce that all current and future versions of Android will be optimized for the x86 chip architecture.
In simpler terms, it's a real solidifying of the relationship between Intel and Google. And as Gizmodo rightly points out, letting smartphone and tablet manufacturers choose between ARM and x86 chips is only going to widen the range of devices available and boost competition, which is good news for customers. Moreover, it means that there's no portable device out there that Android can't run on.
In concrete terms, Rubin says that the Google Android operating system will be optimized for Intel Atom chips, from the low-end (power management) to the high-end (graphics and multimedia), speeding time to market and broadening adoption rates for Intel-powered mobile devices.
The focus of the Intel Developer Forum may be on Ultrabooks and more efficient data centers, but Intel is giving plenty of thought to its mobile strategy, too.