The perceived lack of applications has been the biggest knock against Google's Chrome OS platform since the very beginning. Last May, Google announced plans to bring most of its Android's software library to at least some Chromebooks. A few models, including the Asus Chromebook Flip we sampled in June, have since then gained the ability to run Android apps, as Google Play Store compatibility moved from Chrome OS's development channel to the stable branch. The search giant now announced that all future Chromebooks will have access to Android apps, by just adding just a few words to the Chrome OS Systems Supporting Android Apps page. Approximately sixty existing models are on the compatibility list already.
At CES, Google and Samsung called the Korean manufacturer's new Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro the first Chrome OS devices built from the ground up for Android app compatibility. An updated Asus Chromebook Flip was also shown at CES with access to the Google Play store.
Owners of current-generation Chromebooks that aren't on the list can take some solace in Google's guarantee that Chrome OS will be supported for at least five years since the launch of each device. Beyond that, it's possible for users to install operating systems like Linux and even Windows, depending on the device in question.