Owners of a few Chromebooks suffering from app envy can now rejoice. The latest 53.0.2785.129 Chrome OS release opens the doors to the Google Play Store to owners of the Acer Chromebook R11, Asus Chromebook Flip, and Google Pixel (2015) using the stable channel of Google's Linux-based operating system.
Chrome OS devices have had limited access to Android apps going all the way back to late 2014. Speculation about a merger of Google's Chrome OS and the company's more popular Android smartphone OS has been present since before the first production Chrome devices shipped in 2011. A few devices have been able to access the online store and run Android apps using the operating system's beta channel since August of this year.
Google promises that Chromebook devices from a range of manufacturers will be added later in 2016 or in 2017. Today's new release also includes bug fixes and kernel updates related to the Trusted Platform Module in the three previously mentioned devices, but Play Store access is clearly the most interesting feature. Prospective Chromebook buyers on the fence because of concerns about limited app availability now have a good reason to take the plunge.