Android apps joining the Chromebook platform

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A move that has been long in the making is finally official according to Google. Although it is not the unified merger of Chrome OS and Android that some may hope for, Google did announce at Google I/O 2016 that the Play Store and the ability to run Android apps on Chrome devices will be coming to the operating system later this year.

This will make things much easier for developers of Android apps who will be able to see their titles deployed on a new form factor. Based on IDC data for the first quarter of 2016, Chrome OS has overtaken Apple’s Mac computers in the U.S. making them the number two operating system, so this is a sizable base of devices being opened up to developers.

Along with specific benefits that Google will be adding to Chrome OS to support Android apps, developers will benefit from the ability of system administrators to manage and configure devices via policies. They will also be able to take advantage of the better hardware present in Chrome OS powered devices. Other benefits will include:

  • access to three different windows sizes to run Android apps in
  • the ability to multi-task multiple Android apps in moveable windows
  • keyboard, mouse and touch input will all work seamlessly
  • the ability to get Android notifications on their Chromebooks
  • access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity through a Chrome OS device
  • easy file-sharing between Chrome and Android apps through the Files app

Google has already pushed out some instructions for developers on how to start testing their apps to run on Chrome OS. Support will rollout initially to the Asus Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015) and Acer Chromebook R11 in early June for testing purposes. The list of supported devices will expand upon the initial launch.

Stay with TalkAndroid for more coverage of Google I/O 2016.

source: Android Developers


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.