Video: First Look at Android Apps on Chromebooks

As we noted this morning, Chrome OS 53 is rolling out to Chromebooks, bringing with it Google Play and Android apps. Three devices are scheduled to receive that access this month and the ASUS Chromebook Flip just so happens to be the first to go live. Since we have one in house, it’s only fitting that we take it for a spin to show you just how this whole Android-on-a-Chromebook thing is going to work.

Keep in mind that this is Chrome OS 53 in the developer channel and it is running on the Chromebook Flip, which isn’t exactly the most powerful of computers (2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Rockchip 3288-C). What I’m trying to say is that there will be bugs and slowness – lots of both. Not only that, but things aren’t going to be the smoothest or quickest just yet, since this is the first release and all. Still, this is pretty cool stuff.

In the video below, you’ll see how to get setup with Google Play on your supported Chromebook and take a tour of the store, install an app or two, and then enter a quick walk-through of apps and games up and running on the device.

Enjoy!  (more…)

Chrome OS 53 Starts Rolling Out, Brings Google Play and Android Apps With It

Back at Google I/O, as Google was announcing to press that Android apps and Google Play were soon coming to Chromebooks, they told us to expect the first dev builds of Chrome OS with support for the new feature during the month of June. Here we are in June and 53 has arrived with Android app support. Well, so far, only on one of the three devices scheduled to receive early support.

Last night, just as Team USA was dispatching Ecuador and LeBron was pummeling the Dubs, our Chromebook Pixel (2015) and ASUS Chromebook Flip both saw the update to Chrome OS 53. Unfortunately for me, the Pixel (2015) does not yet get Google Play. However, the Flip has it!  (more…)

Google is Rolling Out a “Beta” Section and Beta Controls in Google Play (Updated)

In later afternoon breaking news, it appears as if Google has started rolling out a “Beta” column or section in Google Play under the “My apps & games” area. This section, as you can imagine, lists out all of the apps you are currently signed-up to beta test through Google Play. That’s awesome news and should help us all manage the apps we are helping test, something Google mentioned was in the works at Google I/O(more…)

#TBT: When the Android Market Became Google Play and We All Freaked Out a Little Bit

To say that Google’s name change of the Android Market to Google Play just over four years ago (!) wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms out of the gate, is probably not doing the dissatisfaction and confusion enough justice. People in our comments, moments after the change rolled through, were so unhappy and confused, that they all just assumed Google was smoking something and would eventually revert back. “Google Play! What does it even mean!?!?” they shouted. Again, here we are four years later and I think it’s worked out OK, even if it is awkward at times.

You can see all of the hilarious comments here, but these are some of my favorites.  (more…)

Verizon Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Get Updates That Fix Google Play Issues, Kill Bloatware

Verizon will begin pushing an update to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge this morning that should fix a couple of nagging bugs, while tweaking some behaviors on the side.

The updates are rolling out as version VRU4CPD2 for each and can be pulled for installation by heading into Home>Applications>Settings>About Device>Software updates. These aren’t massive updates, but you will want to grab them sooner than later. (more…)

Poll: Will You Buy a Chromebook Once They Get Android Apps?

Google’s big day 2 announcement at Google I/O centered around the Google Play store and Android apps making their way onto Chromebooks. I followed up that news by writing up a bunch (probably too many) of words on why I think this is a major game-changer and potentially puts the final nail in the Android tablet coffin.

In the early days, we talked about Chromebooks not being powerful enough and lacking the utilities many of us needed to get by on most days. With Android apps, that could (and should) all change, since Google Play includes an app for just about every single one of our favorite PC services.

Obviously, I think this is a huge deal and will take a great deal of time to test out the new functionality once it arrives, but I’m curious to know what the majority of you are thinking now. Are Android apps on Chromebooks enough to get you to buy one? If not, why?

Will You Buy a Chromebook Once They Get Android Apps?

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Chromebooks Just Killed the Tablet

If you are at all considering an Android tablet purchase at the moment, feel free to stop. I say that because in a couple of weeks, Android apps and the Google Play store will arrive on select Chromebooks. By the end of the year, those same apps will arrive on dozens and dozens of additional Chromebooks at varying prices and in a variety of forms, some of which can emulate a tablet experience. This major move of Android apps onto Chromebooks from Google has all but eliminated the need for Android tablets to even exist.

Let me explain.  (more…)

Winners of the First Google Play Awards Include Robinhood, Houzz, Alphabear

During an evening presentation at Google I/O last night, Google announced winners for their first ever Google Play Awards. After announcing a handful of apps for a handful of categories (like “Best use of Material Design” and “Best game”) a few weeks back, we now know who reigns supreme in the eyes of Google’s “panel of experts on the Google Play team.”  (more…)