Every New Chromebook Will Run Android Apps
Apple iOS loyalists contemplating a switch to Google’s app ecosystem this year will have an easier time making a decision, thanks to Google’s announcement that every new Chromebook launched in 2017 will be able to run apps designed for Android smartphones and tablets.
That means you can try out Android and Chrome apps on a single machine, often (but not always) one that’s priced considerably lower than an entry-level Windows laptop. Google’s announcement, spotted on Monday by TechCrunch, marks the end of a beta period that Android fans have watched with eager anticipation.
Currently, only three Chromebooks can run Android apps: Asus’s Chromebook Flip and Acer’s Chromebook R11, and Google’s own Chromebook Pixel. In addition to expanding that list to all Chromebooks launching this year, Google will also make the feature available on more than 60 existing models from Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, Asus, Acer, and other manufacturers. You can check out the full list on the Chromium project website.
“While we won’t be able to bring Android apps to every Chromebook ever made, we’re continuing to evaluate more devices based on a range of factors, like processor type, GPU, and drivers,” the Chromium team wrote.
To install Android apps, you’ll need to sign into the Google Play store on one of the supported machines running Chrome OS 53 or later. Not all Android apps are optimized for Chrome, although Google is encouraging developers to do so.
Chromebooks have been a worthwhile alternative to Windows or Mac laptops for many education, government, and enterprise users, but their software offerings are comparatively limited. Adding support for the vast number of Android apps will likely broaden Chrome’s appeal among consumers shopping for a cheap notebook.