Google finally let the cat out of the bag and announced at I/O 2016 that Android apps were coming to Chromebooks, alongside support for Google Play. What this means is that all the apps (and content) on Google Play will soon be available on Chrome OS-powered machines. At I/O, Google had demoed to the developers how apps would seamlessly work on Chrome OS. And now, the company has uploaded the video on YouTube to provide clarity for everyone.
The Google Play icon rests on the taskbar below, alongside other options. Clicking on the icon will open up Google Play, and allow users to install apps of their preference. Director of Product Management Kan Liu demoed the integration by showing how the apps can be installed. He showed how photo editors, and games worked seamlessly on the Chromebook without any lag, and how touchscreen controls were used on a laptop. Music, movies, and photo editing apps work completely offline as well, just like on smartphones.
It is important to note that the demo was done under the best of conditions, and whether this seamless integration holds true for old devices, only time will tell. Watch the full video to know exactly how Google has integrated Android apps into the Chrome OS.
In any case, Google will begin supporting Android apps on Chrome OS v53 M53 developer channel for touch-enabled Chrome OS computers. Only Acer Chromebook R11, Asus Chromebook Flip, and Google’s 2015 Chromebook Pixel will be able to test this feature first. The company states that the support should hit the stable channel by September or October.
Google has listed out almost 50 Chromebooks that are slated to get Android support over the rest of the year. Several Chromebooks from Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Toshiba, and HP have been listed.