Google Play and Android Apps Are Coming to (Recent) Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases

There’s been talks about Android and Chrome OS merging for many years, and while it’s unclear whether it will ever happen, both operating systems’ features are converging, with the latest development officially bringing Android apps and the Google Play store to Chromebooks.

Chrome_OS_Android_AppsDevelopers will have very little to modified on their Android apps, except possibly setting touchscreen support, and a few other options in the manifest file. Google listed a few benefits of Android apps on Chromebooks:

  • Android Apps can be shown in 3 different window sizes
  • Users can multi-task with multiple Android apps in moveable windows along with a full desktop browser within Chrome OS interface.
  • Keyboard, mouse, and touch input will seamlessly work together
  • Users will get Android notifications on their Chromebooks
  • Android apps benefit from the Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity setup by the user or the administrator
  • File sharing is seamless between Chrome and Android apps through the Files app
  • Performance of demanding apps such as games or design apps is excellent

The company will launch the features in stages, starting with Asus Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015) and Acer Chromebook R11 in early June, mostly to let developer time to test their apps, before being enabled on other recent Chromebooks, Chromebases and Chromeboxes later this year.

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This is great news indeed. Now I’m thinking that maybe it will be pretty easy to run this on Linux, it probably needs a few modifications though but still should be doable I guess.
Also this means app developers should seriously think about including x86 binaries because now there should be quite a significant amount of x86 devices running Android apps, possibly more than there ever were given the market share Intel had on mobile.