Chrome OS Could be Gaining Access to the Google Play Store and ‘Over a Million’ Android Apps

Back in October of last year, a report surfaced that hinted at a future where Google rolled Chrome OS into Android, bridging the two platforms.

Almost immediately after that report surfaced, though, they were denied by Googlers. It looks like that initial report might not have been completely off-the-mark, though. According to several different Redditors within the Chrome OS subreddit, a few interesting discoveries have been made.

According to one Redditor, “TheWiseYoda,” there’s a specific box that loads up when first setting up a Chromebook on the most recent version of Chrome OS’s developer build. One of those settings windows tells the user that they can “Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook.” It only appears for a short period of time, though, so actually hitting the confirmation box doesn’t appear to be possible.

However, Ars Technica reports that “TheWiseYoda” dug through the source code in the developer build, and was able to dig up a few strings that directly suggests Google has plans to bring the Google Play Store, along with over one million Android apps, to Chrome OS.

This appears to be an opt-in option for Chrome OS users, based on the images that were discovered in the process. Which means that while Chromebook users will have the ability to run Android apps, and have access to the Google Play Store, it won’t be automatically available when turning on the machine. Users will need to grant access for the system to run those apps.

It also would seem to suggest that Google is prepared to bring over the Google Play Store in favor of the Chrome Web Store, which has essentially fallen off the map. Considering the support that the Play Store has, both from Google’s side, and developers bringing apps into the fold, as well as support for gift card, credits, and more, it would make sense. It also keeps Chrome OS its own thing, and doesn’t necessarily drag it into Android, as Google had denied was happening all those months ago — but still offers access to a wide range of Android apps.

What do you think of the idea?

[via Ars Technica; Reddit]