Google to bring Chromebooks, Android closer together

Google's Chromebook platform is gaining steam. In its I/O keynote, Google touted partnerships with eight OEMs, a total of 15 Chromebook models, and availability in 28 countries. The company also claimed that all 10 of the highest-rated laptops on Amazon are Chromebooks (more on that later). In keeping with the theme of I/O, Chromebook owners were promised more crossover between their laptops and Android devices. 

Samsung's original Chromebook. 

Chromebooks can already get Google Now notifications, and soon, call and SMS notifications from Android phones will appear on Chromebooks, as well. Google didn't clarify whether users will be able to respond to these notifications, though, as they can with Apple's Continuity.

Perhaps the biggest news is that some apps for Android smartphones and tablets will soon work on Chromebooks, too. Google's Sundar Pichai demonstrated several popular Android applications that had been ported to Chrome OS, including Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard. Changes made in these apps will sync across devices, so no matter where an Evernote notebook is modified, for example, it'll always be up to date.

Pichai didn't detail the porting process, but he pointed out that the apps in the demo were the "exact same" as the Android versions. He added that "Google is excited about bringing users' favorite important apps to Chromebooks."

Oh, and that claim that all 10 of the highest-rated laptops on Amazon are Chromebooks? It's only partially true. Amazon lists otherwise identical Chromebooks from different sellers as individual items, so there are plenty of duplicates of the Acer C720 and HP Chromebook 14 in the top 10. Depending on how aggressively these duplicate listings are condensed, Chromebooks might have claim to the top two or three highest rated laptops, at most. Apple's MacBook line would then rise into the top 10, followed by a few Windows laptops.

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