I realize this post has been confusing for a lot of people, and I can understand why. Being a little more familiar with the source material, I still have a hard time articulating just what Hera is without discussing other upcoming [alleged] changes to Android that we will talk about at a later date.

In retrospect, showing Hera before some of the other changes we're digging through may not have been the best idea. Hera is more of a concept than anything - it's not a design language, it's not a replacement for Holo or a new set of design guidelines, (though it may be based on some new design guidelines) and it's not a new application.

Hera appears to be a new layer in the Android OS that will manage, at least to start, many of your Google-related tasks and content. The point of Hera is to provide a way to quickly and easily access the things that matter to you across a range of devices. When we said it would bridge Chrome and Android, the point there is that Hera will be the universal interface whose purpose is to simplify and streamline the bridge from desktop, to Chromebook, to tablet, to phone.

Imagine you were just having a Hangouts conversation on your Chromebook. You leave the house and realize "Oh, I forgot to tell Steve I'm going to be late tonight." Instead of opening up the Hangouts app, you pop open the Hera multitasking interface, and right there in front of you as a card (probably one of the few most recent, depending on what last Hera-associated task you did) would be that conversation so you could quickly reply.

Or, imagine you're looking up directions to a new restaurant on your tablet. You're getting ready for dinner, and you head out the door, get to your car, and realize you've forgotten the name (or address, whatever). You pop open the Hera multitasking interface and one of the last items you'll see will be maps, with the directions you had open last on your tablet.

Hera is about streamlining, simplifying, and unifying the way you use your devices - not the way they look - and making using them a "just works" experience. To put it as Eric Schmidt did, roughly, it's about answering a question before you even realized you had it. It's about unifying the information that matters to you, or could matter, in the quickest, most intuitive way possible.

Instead of opening an app and looking for the right conversation or address in your history bar, Hera will just know (hopefully) what you're looking for. And because it's just an HTML5 layer acting as an Chromium instance, there won't be the traditional mess of intents and compatibility with local, native apps - Hera is not meant to provide a fully featured experience in these activities, but to be a simple and [hopefully] hard to break tool that eases the pain of doing those activities across devices and platforms.

I hope that clears it up a bit, though do realize I am extrapolating based on my understanding of Hera, and some of the information we have. This is all still a rumor, but maybe knowing the what I speculate to be the philosophy behind Hera can resolve some of the confusion people have had about it.
Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely reva... by Liam Spradlin in Android OS, Exclusives, Google, News, Rumors
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Don Shane
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I just want my hangouts to sync at the same time across all my devices. Anything else is gravy 
 
It seems to me like it's a successor to Google Now that's just as native to Chrome as it is to Android - is that a good way to put it +David Ruddock? 
 
+David Ruddock What I get from Hera is that it is basically a timeline of app events that either occurred on the web or in an app and with will serve as reminders of what you were doing across platforms. Also all of this will show up in a new multitask view of cards.
 
... so a cross-platform 'recent apps list' for those apps that are either HTML5 based, or expose a HTML5 interface?
 
Just look at what it's named after....brilliant, whoever chose that.  The name says it all.
 
Are these replacements for the Native Google Apps? I would hope not.
 
That makes more sense. Thanks. 
 
+Eddie Roseberry Not at all. It looks like it's just a window into some of the functions of some of those apps.
 
I don't think a hangout real sync is a good thing.If my phone is on mobile network and I chat on Chrombook over wifi, i do not want to consume mobile traffic. +David Ruddock
 
So this is kind of similar to the HUB on Blackberry 10 OS?
 
Man the level of speculation is unbelievable with this story. Speculation built on speculation of rumors.

Nothing in your expanded description makes any more sense than anything else that's been said. Somehow this this will be faster than homescreen widgets and Google Now? Every point you make above is already built into Android. Your example of "faster multitasking" is the most ridiculous to me. Hera, as you guys describe it, adds zero functionality to Android.

"You pop open the Hera multitasking"
Sounds just like opening an app to me. Actually, it sounds like it adds an extra, unnecessary, step.

"The point is to provide a way to quickly and easily access the things that matter to you across a range of devices."
Sounds like Android, and also Google Now.

"Instead of opening up the Hangouts app, you pop open the Hera multitasking interface"
Why?! If you just were using Hangouts, its easily resumed from the multitasking button. Hera adds nothing here.

"You've forgotten the name [of the restaurant]"
Again, simply reopen maps from your multitasking bar, or pull down your notification shade. Google Now already takes care of this.

I don't doubt that a Chrome app launcher is coming to Android, but I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with what you AP guys are saying. 
 
Wow sounds much like Cortana from Microsoft. 
 
+Paul Burke If you open Hangouts on your Laptop/Desktop and finish a conversation there and are on the move and then suddenly remember to add to the same conversation, then you can see this latest hangout conversation only as a card in the Hera multitasking) or whatever in your Phone and you can reply from there instead of opening the Hangover app and searching for that conversation and replying/adding to that. Pls give some credit to Google/Android engineers. Why would they do something similar to what you have quoted? You think all the thousands of hours they took to code this, they did not realize what you stated? Use it or lose it..
 
Well as a developer I really hope Google doesn't change their design language again.... sigh...
 
+Paul Burke AP is usually on point but I think they bit off a bit more than they can chew. Even the explanation on the origin of the mock ups makes little sense to me. I can't help but think that at google someone is cringing that this story is published. They're going to have to unexplain this when they do make whatever changes they intend to make. 
Sean G
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That's way to complicated... Not Googles style. Plus. iOS / New TouchWiz ugly. holo. look?

I can see HTML5 being native apps. etc. (Steve Jobs talked about that saying...before Eric. About knowing what the end user wants... before they know they want it. Same thing. PC age. inventions. etc.)

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
-Albert Einstein
 
+David Ruddock when are you (AP) gonna talk about the other upcoming [alleged] changes to Android???
+Paul Burke Hey man, I think you had got all wrong. 

""You pop open the Hera multitasking" 
Sounds just like opening an app to me. Actually, it sounds like it adds an extra, unnecessary, step."

How can that add an extra step when is REPLACING the multitasking view. Instead of opening the hangouts app or any other app, or go to the app through the multitasking view if you had it already opened, you will have a card in this new multitasking view which with you can interact directly. It saves you steps.

"The point is to provide a way to quickly and easily access the things that matter to you across a range of devices." 
Sounds like Android, and also Google Now.

Hera will be part of Android so...obviously sounds like Android.  Again, instead of provide that access go into an specific app, it's gonna trough the multitasking view, which you can access anywhere in the UI.

"Instead of opening up the Hangouts app, you pop open the Hera multitasking interface"
Why?! If you just were using Hangouts, its easily resumed from the multitasking button. Hera adds nothing here. 

Dude what are you saying requires that you had already open the Hangouts app and still have it open in the multitasking view. Supposedly with Hera you won't need any of that. As the example explain, if you use Hangouts on the PC, you will can continue your chat through the multitasking view without had opened never before the hangouts app on your smartphone.

 "You've forgotten the name [of the restaurant]"
Again, simply reopen maps from your multitasking bar, or pull down your notification shade. Google Now already takes care of this. 

This is the same that with the Hangouts example. If you searched that restaurant on your PC, why would you have opened the Maps app on you smartphone? OH WAIT, this is EXACTLY what Hera is, except that you DON'T REOPEN any app (for what you need to already had opened it before) And gives you more option and interaction than a notification.

I think that all your complaint proves that you really don't understand the thing about Hera and all your response are beaten by the own Hera functionality.  Or supposedly functionality anyway.
 
+Rodrigo Gonzalez There is no way that this Chrome launcher is going to entirely replace the multitasking system in Android. As a developer, I can speculate on this with very high confidence.

If you use Hangouts, it's an icon on your main home screen and likely already in your recent apps list.

If you search for an address on Google (from any device), it automatically shows up in Google Now, and as a "recent place" in Maps. It even shows up as a notification in the status bar, without you asking for it.

I think that all your complaint proves that you really don't understand the thing about Hera

Your "understanding" of Hera is based on speculation of a rumor.  I'm simply responding to said speculation with logic, rather than more speculation.
Sean G
 
To me... it's HTML5 cloud based app updating. Instead of running native. Keep. Dropbox do this fast already... (Dropbox is so fast. I cant delete pic native fast enough) Google photos kinda the same.

(reminds me of deeper Google sync "app data" ... but real time? idk)

Like the idea. Not sure about the New UI look? like KitKat style... but I live near Hershey, PA. 
 
+Paul Burke the problem is that your logic falls apart with the speculated function of Hera. All this rumor talks about a simpler and direct way of interact with services across devices at the same time that avoids the actual way, which you insists.

I mean, all this rumor about Hers is about interact with apps without have to open the them or have to had opened them before, and your respond to this is always "why you need that, just open the app"

As you said, some things already are done by Google Now or notifications. Think in this way: instead of make the card in Google Now with por options and buttons, recharging the Google Now interface and mixed that card with all the others, they will move that card and the other similarly to a specific view for that specific cards. And instead of making bigger notifications with more buttons, they will made this new cards.

That is a logical move, even if is based on speculations :D
 
+Rodrigo Gonzalez I only responded to the claims in this posts. I'd like you to show me exactly where my  logic falls apart.

My point is that none of the examples, or mockups, provided by AP actually show anything that is compelling enough to warrant such a huge change to Android. No real functionality is added, that isn't already solved, or solvable by simple apps.
 
+Paul Burke 
Why is no real functionality the thing about don't need to open an app for certain actions?
When I mean with "logic falls apart" is that your entirely defend, based on "logic" according to you, is resume it in "why do that when you can open apps or can be solvable by simple apps" when all the thing about Hera is to avoid open the complete app for just use a simple function, using instead something integrated in the system, that will work without problems across your multiple devices with an unified UI.
Your logic is like if I give you a remote control to change the channel on your TV and you answer me "why will I use a remote control if a can stand up, walk to the TV and change the channel there"
As I already said, you could see this Hera thing as an evolution of certain cards of Google Now  and notifications, the possibly of do more (not all, this would not replace the entire app) that you already do with Google Now and the notifications, and without open the app, because remember, when you use the card on Google Now or the notification their action buttons take you to the app, with this you avoid that step. You are saving steps, man.
And at last, this doesn't has to be a huge change to Android, we are talking just about speculations. The design of Hera doesn't imply that the whole Android UI will change. Neither that the multitasking view as we know will disappear entirely, I don't expect that all the apps will use this.
We are talking about a speculated rumor, It's to soon to talk of something so far like that.
 
+Rodrigo Gonzalez I'm not saying that you can just open the app, so this stuff is not needed. Your TV remote analogy is way off. I'm saying that much of it is already presented to you without opening apps (Google Now, rich notifications, widgets, etc), and that current Android apps can easily take it one step further to include the functionality that AP is talking about. Chrome and Hera are simply not needed to make this type of persistent multitasking possible.

If Hera doesn't replace the Android multi-tasking system, it's just another app to open. I just don't understand how you think this saves a step over opening the app directly, or Google Now.
 
+Paul Burke I think it's far more likely the next iteration of Google Now with UI changes in line with the previously reported ones that will happen across all Google Apps. Other than you're absolutely right it makes no sense. Connectivity with Chrome through Google Now would be pretty awesome actually. 
Sean G
 
They're already starting to do this... man.

again. ..if you can't explain it simply. blah. blah. blah.
 
This makes it a whole lot more clear.. 
 
Still doesn't make any sense. Looks like Google has a 'solution' looking for a problem here. They should be adding more features to android such that heavy programs like Photoshop, lightroom, Office apps and desktop class Chrome, multi windows work seamlessly and full featured on android. Seems like Google is running out of ideas. Rearranging tiles is not improvement. Stop working on piss poor features. Except for design overhaul 2 years ago, there's been no significant improvement to android.
 
+Pramod Biradar I would like to think of it like they are preempting any problems.. Like Google Now. A solution to a problem you never knew you had, but you can't live without it once you do
 
+Paul Burke from my understanding, if you don't need to open the app to interact via Hera, it stands to reason that perhaps you don't need the app installed at all. If the idea is to unify information and actions across all platforms that can run Chrome, you wouldn't necessarily have the application installed on every platform.
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