Google makes Android apps available to Chrome OS

21 Jun 2016 | By Ramya

Google has made the whole collection of Android apps available on Chrome OS; as of now, the apps are available only to Chromebook Flip owners.

Chromebooks struggled to get rid of the 'just a browser' tag, while Android has over two million apps in the Play Store and a billion users.

Making those apps available to Chromebooks would be an advantage for its users.

In context: Evolution of Chromebooks

Introduction What is a Chromebook?

Chromebook is a laptop that runs on Chrome OS, where apps and data reside in the 'cloud'; they were designed primarily to be used when connected to the Internet.

Acer and Samsung built the first Chromebooks, and began shipping them on 15 Jun'11; besides Chromebook, a desktop called Chromebox was introduced in 2012.

The concept of browser OS was a concern since its release.

Evolution Chromebooks take over Macs, says survey

Having come a long way since debut, Chromebook has transformed from what used to be a laptop-shaped browser machine to an actual laptop competitor.

Reportedly, Chromebooks managed to take over other laptops like MacBooks.

International Data Corporation's survey showed that more Chromebooks were shipped in the US than MacBooks in 2016's Q1.

Being less-expensive (one-third of cheapest MacBook's cost), Chromebooks' number has significantly increased.

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21 Jun 2016Google makes Android apps available to Chrome OS

App notifications on Chrome OS

Chrome's notification system would handle notifications; unlike Android, users get notified only about those apps that are open. This might lead to quirks if the user closes an app like a messenger for instance and expects a notification from it.
Merging Android apps with Chrome OS

Merging AndroidMerging Android apps with Chrome OS

Though Android apps look good on Chrome OS in the preview, developers claimed they don't have an idea about their final form.

Play Store reportedly works just as it does on Android; after signing in, apps would be downloadable.

Chrome OS lacks the system-wide back button; to make up for this, a permanent back button is featured on the left corner of each app.

Chromebooks likely to gain more ground in shipments

In 2016’s Q1, companies like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo have collectively shipped 1.6 million Chrome OS books. On the other hand, Apple reportedly shipped 1.5 million Macs. Chromebooks’ shipments are expected to rise as they get access to Play Store.
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Problems Some apps still designed for phones or tablets

According to Lifehacker.com, there are some problems with Android apps in Chromebooks.

Several apps in Play Store are still designed for tablets or phones, while other broken things are present; for instance, apps that require GPS or SMS or touch screen probably don't work.

The problem with using local files with apps or retrieving files that are saved using Android apps was also faced.

Need to fix problems

As they were looking at a preview, developers expected that problems would be fixed by the time the final feature is rolled out. As Android apps were not designed for Chrome OS, Google and app developers need to smooth out the edges.