Google Is Bringing Android Apps To Chromebooks Finally

Google Is Bringing Android Apps To Chromebooks Finally

Google Is Bringing Android Apps To Chromebooks Finally

Finally, Google is bringing the Google Play store, together with its more than 1.5 million Android apps, to Chrome OS. Google Play will first work out with Chrome OS version 53 on the dev channel in early June, starting with three Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook R11, the Asus Chromebook Flip, and of course Google’s Pixel 2. Over the coming months, the feature will come to more devices on the beta channel and finally the stable channel.

As per the description for a developer event later today, Google is set to add support for Android apps and the Google Play Store to Chrome OS. Here’s a brief explanation of the developer session, as spotted by 9to5Google:

Today we announced that we’re adding the best mobile app experiences in the world, Android apps and the Google Play store, to the best browser in the world, Chrome! Come to this session and test your Android apps for Chrome OS. You will get hands-on help from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks. Oh, and we will also be giving the first 50 developers to show up a free Chromebook so they can get a head start bringing their apps to Chrome!

Kan Liu, product management director of Chrome OS, told that the Google Play store should start hitting the established channel in September. By the end of this year, he promised: “most Chrome OS devices” (full list) would support Google Play. That contains both x86 and ARM architectures. Google has also been working with its Chromebook partners to introduce new devices that will ship with Google Play out of the box.

Android apps on Chrome OS have been a long time coming. In June 2014 at Google I/O, the company promised Chromebooks would run Android apps. In September 2014, the Android apps Evernote, Duolingo, Sight Words, and Vine showed up on Chrome OS. Then Google went silent. Rumors started up again this year, leaks certainly followed, and now it’s all being made official two years later at I/O 2016.

Liu says that even on low-end Chromebooks, Android apps will run well — because most of them are considered with the wide array of Android phones in mind. Some Android phones have the particularly limited processor and RAM resources, and even the cheapest Chromebooks still have more horsepower than many of the Android phones currently in use.

“We’re always experimenting and figuring out where is the right place to discover it and use it,” Liu started by saying. “But this so far has been a good place for a lot of people to find it easily and access it easily. So, for now, this is definitely where we’re putting it, but we’re going to test everything.”

And however, while the functionality really is coming now, there is the main distinction to emphasize: This is more than just Android apps on Chrome OS. This is all of Google Play on Chrome OS. 
“We’re going to try to bring together the breadth and versatility of the millions of apps in the Play store on top of the speed, simplicity, and security of the world’s most powerful and popular browser,” Liu told VentureBeat. “What that means is, as a user now, you’re going to be able to get onto your Chromebook and have all your favorite Android apps, games, and media content.”

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