Google today announced that it is officially adding Android apps support to Chrome OS making it possible for Chromebook owners to install and run any Android app on their laptop.
Android apps will be able to run in three different window sizes on Chromebooks and will be compatible with the keyboard, mousepad, and touch input.
As a part of the announcement, Google notes that Chromebooks will be getting direct access to the Google Play Store as well. This means that beside apps and games, Chromebooks will also be able to access Google Play Movies, Music and Books. In fact, other Chrome OS running devices like Chromeboxes and Chromebases will also be getting access to Google Play. To clarify though, Chrome OS will not be getting access to all the apps on the Google Play Store instantly. Developers will first have to ensure that their app is compatible with Chrome OS before their apps start showing up on Chromebooks.
Google will first be providing Google Play access to three Chromebooks in mid-June, with other devices to follow suit. These three Chromebooks include Acer Chromebook R11, Asus Chromebook Flip, and the Chromebook Pixel. A list of Chromebooks that will be getting access to Google Play can be found here.
Some key benefits highlighted by Google are as follows:
- Android Apps can be shown in 3 different window sizes to allow the best experience
- Users can multi-task with multiple Android apps in moveable windows along with a full desktop browser, all within the familiar 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
Google recommends developers to start optimising their app for the Chromebook ahead of the launch later in 2016.
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