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Android apps on Chromebook: Chrome OS gets more intimate with Android

Chromebooks on Google I/O
That’s a long journey in a relatively short time.

Google’s ambitious project Chromebook started off with one device — known as CR-48, and a lot of laughter. Today, there are eight OEMs making a total of 15 Chromebooks that are available across 28 countries in the world. On top of that, Top 10 highest-rated laptops on Amazon are all Chromebooks. That is how far Google’s Chromebook project has come so far.

And Google wants to take it a couple of steps farther.

For a long time now, Google has been rumored to be unifying Chrome OS — the operating system that runs on Chromebooks — with Android. It made little sense why Google would continue developing two types of operating systems simultaneously, although Chrome OS is merely¬†a browser made to look like actual operating system. Today at Google I/O, the search giant finally introduces new features that make much more sense on why both Chrome OS and Android should exist and how they will interact with each other.

To begin with, starting with the next ‘L’ version of Android, you will be able to unlock and sign in to your Chromebook using your Android phone. You will also receive all notifications as well as phone call and texts right on your Chromebook. You will also receive warning messages like low battery warning right on your Chromebook.

Also added is the ability to run¬†Android apps on Chromebook. That’s right; Android apps on Chromebook. Google’s Sundar Pichai says it’s a difficult process and it’s not yet there, but as we have seen on stage at I/O today, it’ll eventually get there. Sundar Pichai showed off Evernote, Flipboard, and Vine Android apps running on Chromebook screen. When it’s done, these Android apps will natively run on Chrome OS, which will then be a major selling point of Chromebooks.

Android app on Chromebook
Flipboard’s Android app running on Chromebook.

It’s still not clear exactly how long this will take for Google to make more important and favorite apps to run natively on Chrome OS, because it’s a challenging task. More so because Android apps are developed to run on touchscreen whereas most Chromebooks don’t have a touchscreen. We are seeing some Chromebooks lately popping up with touchscreens, but it’s not mainstream yet. However, it’s a safe assumption that soon Chromebooks will come with touchscreen even if just for the sake of running Android apps.

Basically the update Google announced today at I/O regarding Chromebook is similar to the iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite integration that Apple announced at its World Wide Developer Conference. These features were a long time coming and we’re finally happy to see them.

What’s your take on this? Do you think the ability to run Android apps on Chrome OS will skyrocket the sales of Chromebooks?

One comment

  1. Well, I’m glad I finally found a website that explains some of the inconsistencies of chromebooks. Now I understand….why extensions…why not android apps, why chromebook actually isn’t the computer of choice if you do work offline like word processing. I think Google misrepresents the machine but what’s new. Everything is marketing misrepresented anymore.

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