Thanks to a video recently posted from Google I/O, we now are able to see just how Android apps coexist in the Chrome OS environment. And from the looks of things, Google has a real game-changer on its hands. The demo lasts just under 25 minutes and provides a good overview of not only how you load apps onto your Chromebook from the Play Store, but just how well they run on Chromebook hardware.
A demo was shown of Adobe Photoshop Mix, which was downloaded from the Play Store, being used to manipulate an image to help create a birthday poster. Given that the Chromebook being used in the demo featured a touch screen, it was easy to rotate and resize the image — just as you would on an Android smartphone or tablet. App data is also effortlessly shared between Android and Chrome OS apps; that same image that we mentioned was then inserted into the Android version of Microsoft Office (specifically Word) to complete the poster.
Not only do you have full Android app compatibility on Chrome OS, but the notifications for those apps are passed through to Chrome OS as well. And we can’t forget the ability to run Android apps in offline mode, meaning that you don’t need an internet connection (for example, if you’re on an airplane and don’t want to spring for in-flight Wi-Fi).
Chromebooks have already made a big splash in the computing market, especially in the education sector. In fact, Chromebooks already outpaced Macs in sales during Q1 2016 — and that’s without access to the Play Store and Android apps. This expanded app compatibility is only going to further increase the appeal of the value-priced computing devices.
So which Chromeboooks will be the first to run Android apps? According to Google, the following devices will gain access in mid-June:
- Acer Chromebook R11 / C738T
- Asus Chromebook Flip
- Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
Then, later in 2016, the floodgates will be opened to a host of other Chromebooks from manufacturers like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba.