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Android Apps Come to Chromebooks With Google Play Access

google play chromeos

Google just spent a special session here at I/O, telling the press that Chrome OS and Chromebooks are gaining access to Google Play. And yep, that means Android apps running on your Chromebook. That’s….a huge announcement!

We’re getting a preview of the news right now, so stick with this page as we continue to update it.


UPDATE:  Google made the news official here.

UPDATE 2:  Google announced that Chromebooks topped Macs in sales to become the #2 PC OS for Q1 of this year. To help celebrate that news, they are bringing Google Play and Android apps to all of those devices (eventually).

It shouldn’t be difficult for developers to get their apps ready for Chromebooks. In fact, they may not have to do much, as Google says this all just runs right over the top of Chrome OS.

Google Play will start hitting (mid-June) the developer channel with M53 on the ASUS Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R 11, and the newest Chromebook Pixel. They’ll add it to other Chromebooks too, but told us that they won’t have more details for another few months.

UPDATE 3:  You can view the full list of Chromebooks that will get Android apps here. It’s massive, in case you were wondering, and appears to include most of the modern models. The support site there only says that these will gain support “later” this year.

UPDATE 4:  For developers, Google is sharing details on how to get your apps ready here.

UPDATE 5: Photoshop on your Chromebook thanks to the Photoshop Android app? Yep.

google play chromeos-2

UPDATE 6: How does it work? Like this.

google play chromeos-6

google play chromeos-8

google play chromeos-7

UPDATE 7: So the first developer access, again, is dev channel M53. It will be available in the next few weeks.

google play chromeos-9

UPDATE 8: And, yeah, I just ordered the new Chromebook Pixel.

  • mommyj

    is M53 dev mode out yet?

  • master94

    RIP android tablets . Long live Chromebooks.

  • David Sridharan

    Can someone with the knowledge explain to me why the 2013 Pixel isn’t being supported? Is this a hardware or underlying incompatibility? Is this just an arbitrary temporal thing that Google is being suborn about? Thanks in advance – All 2013 Pixel owners

  • atc-tech

    Kellen, LOL! “UPDATE 8: And, yeah, I just ordered the new Chromebook Pixel.”

  • LionStone

    Aw, this is boo shiz! No love for the Acer 13!? It’s cool, I’m gonna donate it and get a Dell XPS 13 anyway 🙂

  • tfk232

    I wish the CR-48 was on that list.

  • MJ

    This seems backwards to me… Android N is getting multi-window and floating window support so why not just make Android laptops?

    Anyway, this will be much more interesting if/when someone can/does get this to run on Linux.

    • Matthew Merrick

      only if android got a full desktop version of chrome. which it should.

  • Jérôme Besnard

    Take that Microsoft. https://youtu.be/-y2mqoDjQXI

  • XvierX

    This is huge.

  • Ralph Basile

    This will have me taking a close look at a Chrome Book when I get ready to replace my Android tablet.

    • sinfoman

      #TRUESTORY

    • Jérôme Besnard

      I replace my Android tablet by a Chromebook 3 years ago and I got really intrigued (i.e. interested) in the Pixel C. Not anymore. Can’t wait to have Android app on our Acer with touchscreen!

    • atc-tech

      Replaced my tablet with an Asus Chromebook Flip (4GB RAM model) last June or July (whenever it came out) and I’ve been good with it… but I kept thinking, maybe I should get a tablet, because there were apps I missed. Mostly games… But with this news, I now know I made a great decision to get this over a new tablet. I was even considering picking up an Nvidia Shield Tab K1, until today.

  • Mordecaidrake

    This is pretty great, makes them a viable option for mobile computing over a tablet.

  • Oliver Chen

    http://lifehacker.com/you-can-now-dual-boot-windows-and-chromium-with-cloudre-1759919722
    Can I have it on dual boost machine. I just want to play some android games on my desktop!!!

  • BlynkOfAnEye

    Just got a my first Chromebook (Asus Flip) last week, and it’s on the First-to-be-Updated list! I’m almost as excited as Jessie Spano on caffeine pills!

  • Matthew Merrick

    boooo, my OG Samsung ARM Chromebook isn’t supported

  • Tyler

    This is great news for Android tablet users. The more people using a tablet like device the better the apps will get.

  • jowaldo

    I don’t see anywhere if it says all apps, or is it just selected apps? Do they have to be specifically blessed to be on the play store for chromebooks?

  • Joe O

    So for current Flip and R11 owners…will there be a developer or beta version of this we can get ahold of if we don’t mind a few bugs?

    • Alex

      Will be available in M53. If you’re on the Beta channel, you should get it in early June.

      • Joe O

        I have no idea what that means, but I’m interested.

        • Alex

          On your Flip/R11. Go into Settings -> About. You should see an option to change what channel you’re on.
          Stable, Beta, Dev.
          Stable is obviously stable.
          Beta is pretty much stable. They are changes that are pretty much staged for the next major release. Updates often.
          Dev is pretty unstable. You will get an update almost daily. You will have bugs. But you will see new stuff way before anyone else.

          • Joe O

            Thank you! If I switch to Dev to play around, and then back to Stable, everything should go back to normal, yes?

          • Alex

            Yep. You will have to reset on your way back up. You won’t have to on the way down though.
            Stable -> Dev = no need to power wash.
            Dev -> Stable = need to power wash.

            It will take care of that for you. Just keep in mind if you have anything saved locally.

  • Wonder if the default phone calling apps will work on the Chromebooks, at least the ones that have SIM card slots. That would enable phone calls over GSM without Wi-Fi and without using any data. I bet it wouldn’t work.

    • Chris Hannan

      The actual “phone” isn’t just an app, so you won’t be able to use your Chromebook as a real phone-laptop. But you can still use VoIP.

      • Aaaaat’s what I was afraid of. It’s like tied to specific hardware in a number of ways, huh (antenna, SIM card, supported bands/frequencies, etc.) No wonder you can’t make phone calls over GSM on Windows, Mac, or Chrome; only VoIP. I have a specific situation that necessitates making voice calls on a non-carrier tablet-sized device where no Wi-Fi or data connection is available. It’s hard to find non-carrier Android tablets with a SIM card slot in the US.

  • SewWhat

    Best news out of this I/O…

  • So I’ll potentially get to use Lightroom on my Chromebook? Awesome!

    • Joe O

      Not potentially, I’d say it’s going to happen.

  • rodney11ride

    shows what i know.. glad i hadn’t bought one yet… i thought they worked on Chromebooks already lol guess i need to buy now lol

    • Chris Hannan

      Yeah, so did I?

      • James Bray

        There was about 6 apps which worked as part of a pilot program, but it never went anywhere.

  • freshcrap

    Hearthstone on my Chromebook? Yes please!

    • Under the bridge downtown

      My 9 year old likes that game…

      • Ben

        So?

        • Under the bridge downtown

          So, I thought it was a game for 9 year old boys. I had no idea adults (I assume the Dude is an adult) played it. Good to know. Enjoy.

          • Chris Hannan

            My 13 year old cousin watches Game of Thrones. Must be a kid’s show.

          • Under the bridge downtown

            He/she like bewbs!

          • Meffaliss

            Who doesn’t.

          • freshcrap

            Your 9 year old has excellent taste.

          • Meffaliss

            I think you should show your 9 year old the competitive community of that game. Not filled with kids at all, haha.

          • Under the bridge downtown

            Sounds fun.

  • Scofabear

    Why didnt they announce this during the keynote. Its a big deal for Android and Chrome Ecosystems

    • Deeco

      Early stages, I persume

      • Joshua Rewerts

        Thinking along the same lines; Either not stable enough to risk demonstration on a live-stream for millions, or so recently stable that they haven’t had time to get permission from or partner with any apps to demo live to that broad an audience?

    • michael arazan

      This is the nail in the coffin to finally buy a chromebook for myself, hopefully one with a touch screen, I hope they make one like that for games.

  • jstew182

    No first generation Pixel…wah wah

  • Under the bridge downtown

    But….
    Will the performance be crappy?

    • Joe O

      One thing at a time…

      • Under the bridge downtown

        I remember Android apps on a Blackberry 10 device…

        • Jarred Sutherland

          I would imagine that required emulation.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          They were emulated. These are native.

    • Alex

      No. There’s practically no overheard at all. It’s not emulation.

      In fact, at I/O event right now, they just said most apps are actually running FASTER in CrOS than in Android because of the better SoCs and higher thermal limits.

    • Cory S

      No, it’ll be way, way faster on something like the Pixel.

  • Dre Fay

    so much good stuff coming out of this I/O

    • atc-tech

      This single announcement was all I even cared about. I mean, I already know Android N is going to be great, I know any new nexus device will be amazing… I’m not thrilled about 2 new messaging apps that I’ll never be able to convince my family and friends to use… SO, this ONE announcement was so great!

  • Blaine Fuselier

    Huuugggee news!

  • Scofabear

    Glad i bought a pixel instead of a pixel C

    • RyanT

      Seems to me that Google should have just waited on the C release and debuted it with ChromeOS running Android Apps. The tech world would have gone crazy over it.

    • Cory S

      it wouldnt surprise me to see someone make a ChromeOS ROM for the C, as apparently it would be easier to do than even android ROMs do to the ChromeOS bootloader it runs. Heck, Google may even do it.

      • atc-tech

        that would be cool