Android apps coming to all future Chromebooks

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.

Comments closed
    • Zizy
    • 3 years ago

    Not sure it would help much. Android tablet apps are pretty shitty already and adding an even bigger screen and keyboard would only make them worse. Even iOS with tons of nice tablet apps would work worse as a laptop than the same Windows machine.

      • NTMBK
      • 3 years ago

      Actually I suspect that this would be a better experience than on a tablet, simply because you can run the app in a phone-sized window.

    • TheRazorsEdge
    • 3 years ago

    Chrome OS desperately needed some sort of app ecosystem to remain viable.

    Now I may end up getting one.

      • iBend
      • 3 years ago

      it’s perfectly fine if you only need to surf the web, checking email and editing a few document with a chromebook..
      but chromebook still can’t beat notebook’s versatility

        • tacitust
        • 3 years ago

        Chromebooks were never designed to beat a notebook’s versatility. They were intended as cheaper and lighter clients for cloud-based applications.

        Turns out that people liked the concept but they also liked higher quality (i.e. more expensive) hardware and a little more versatility — hence Google’s adjustment to market reality, and Android enters the scene.

        Their hope is that the lure of being able to run your favorite Android apps on a Chromebook will entice more fence-sitters to take the plunge.

          • blastdoor
          • 3 years ago

          How do you reconcile this post with the specs and price of the pixel? A core i5 with up to 16 GB of RAM is not a cheap thin client.

            • BabelHuber
            • 3 years ago

            This one was mainly released for developers – and for people with too much money to spend.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 3 years ago

            Arguably, its thin, and also a client.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 3 years ago

      Chromebooks are apparently the school platform of choice around here, the kids will be delighted to hear they can run Minecraft. Important stuff.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, they’ve been eating the iPads launch in the education market.

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