After telling everyone that Chrome would still be fine and Android wouldn’t be taking over, Google has now shown how the two will integrate in the future with an important new announcement: Android apps will now work with Chromebooks. We suggest you take a look at some of the best Chromebooks of 2018, then read on to see what this change means for models like these.
First, this means that you can access Google Play from a Chromebook and download Android apps – any Android apps, it seems. Google specifically called out Skype, Office apps, Minecraft, and a few other popular examples. Apparently nothing is off limits, but there may be some inconsistency or compatibility issues – Google has made sure that speed and security work just fine on Chromebooks, but there’s a lot of Android apps out there and we doubt they can all make a smooth transition.
Second, while this is a huge announcement, it’s very important to note that Google has created a rollout plan for this big change. It will not affect all Chromebooks, and updated Chromebooks won’t all see the change at the same time. That’s a can of worms, isn’t it? We know, however, that Google will start offering Android compatibility with the Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11, and the Chromebook Pixel. After those big three, the update will come to other Chromebooks too, although Google hasn’t said how many or what brands.
Third, this seems to be only the start of Google plans for Chromebook. The company also teased plans for new devices that are specifically designed for Play, which seems to indicate new Chromebook models that more fully embrace Android apps, perhaps with dedicated buttons and so on.
All in all, it’s an important testament to the success of Chromebooks, which have started to outsell Macs and become one of the most popular PC laptops around. Much of this is due to their affordability and portability, which makes them great for school programs or a cheap extra work computer. However, we’ll also give a nod to you the consumer, since people are becoming much more comfortable using cloud storage options or external hard drives rather than depending on (heavy and expensive) built-in storage.