Android and Chrome OS

With Sundar Pichai heading up both Android and Chrome, it was only a matter of time before integration between the two platforms was expanded and today at Google I/O we've started to see just that. With new APIs available in Android L, your phone and your Chromebook can communicate together seamlessly. When your phone is with you and you open your Chromebook, you'll now automatically be logged in and your favorite apps will be opened on the laptop — and that's just the beginning.

Notifications from your Android phone will be mirrored across to the Chromebook's notification center, including Google Now, incoming calls, phone battery state and text messages. Unfortunately details aren't clear on what exactly you can do with these notifications or if they sync across to the device, but you can see where this is headed.

In an even bigger shocker, Google is bringing the ability to run Android apps on Chrome OS. With as few changes as possible to make apps compatible with a mouse and keyboard, Android developers can now bring their apps to run in a window in Chrome OS without any issues. "Everything just works," so they say, including API calls for the camera — they showed Vine working perfectly — and touchscreen. Apps will work natively and intuitively between your phone and your Chrome OS device.

Again details on this aren't yet known, such as how Android developers will make their apps available for Chrome OS, but we can assume it'd be an expansion of either Google Play or the Chrome Web Store.

For some quick Chromebook statistics as a whole, Pichai noted that the top 10 rated laptops on Amazon are now Chromebooks, coming from eight OEMs in dozens of countries around the world. Google has also seen a six-fold increase in Chromebook usage in education.


Reader comments

Chrome OS and Android get cozy with multi-device integration, cross-platform apps


I have owned a Chromebook for nearly a year now. I can't stress how lackluster the experience is, and while the amount is relatively inexpensive, it has not been satisfying whatsoever. I never get a feeling of joy or delight like I do from other pieces of tech I own. Maybe it's that I have a Samsung Chromebook, maybe the other's are infinitely more satisfying. This news is vaporware, at least right now. Any time they announce changes to Chrome OS, and the changes come, it takes at least an extra 2 months, and even then the updates won't work that great. We've had Google Now, for about, something like 4 months maybe, and I still can't get timely email notifications from it.

I actually completely disagree with this. I've had a Chromebook for a little over a half a year and I tell every person that I see to buy one, obviously given they fit the need. I typically get updates not long after they announce them, most times it's me not seeing the update icon in the status bar that takes so long for my Chromebook to install it. Every person I've shown my Chromebook off to loves it and instantly wants to buy one. My experience has been fantastic and I probably will never go back to a normal PC. Haven't noticed a single lag when it comes to performance, battery life, or anything else. Lackluster is definitely not a word I would use to describe my experience.

As a long time user of windows laptops (in common with most people) I still get a thrill out of the fact that I can open my Chromebook and be working in seconds. And the unobtrusive and lightning fast update process is a joy. Personally, I love my HP 14 for the fact that it's lean but not mean - I haven't picked up my windows 8.1 laptop in months. As a writer, my Chromebook is the perfect portable work device. Each to their own I suppose!

Just like kcash935, I disagree with you. I bought my first Chromebook 3 years ago and I have loved it. For the first 2 years I used it along side my PC laptop but 10 months ago I bought the newer HP Chromebook 14 and it is my only laptop. I love it. They are fast and everything can be done from it. I've used it for school and everything. No lags, great battery life and the app experience has improved. I can use google docs and then save it as a MSword file for when I upload files for school online. Also, my updates are quick and google now has worked flawlessly after the first month it was introduced to my Chromebook. And now with spotify in the app store, I hardly touch my phone when I am on my laptop because I use moto connect with my moto X for messaging as well.

And if people prefer a PC laptop, then fine. Everyone is entitled to their own and I can understand why some people prefer their PCs. But for me, I will keep with my chromebook (as I post from my HP Chromebook 14).

This hasn't been talked about. I tried downloading via the Play Store, and that didn't work because I didn't have a chrome device - then I looked in the Chrome Web Store, again nada. I hope Android Central keeps up their great coverage.

Given that this was announced during the preview for Android L using Android L APIs and Android L isn't available yet, well. I think you can figure out why this feature isn't available immediately.

Just use Windows people geez. Without Microsoft, Google and Apple would be dead. No OS for search engine to start with and Apple would of went outta business if Microsoft didn't give them money.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, that's a high bar. Handoff, or whatever Apple is calling their system, looks pretty damn impressive.

But man, if developers really do take advantage of adapting their Android apps for use on the Chromebook... this is really exciting.

Posted via Android Central App

That's a long stretch. OS X is a "full" operating system and has a lot more to offer in terms of integration.

I doubt you'll be able to answer phone calls on your Chromebook. And that's just one feature...

Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SlimKat 4.4.2

It can answer a phone call and do even more. If I'm on my phone talking and somebody calls me, instead of putting the person I'm talking to on hold, I can answer the new call on my chromebook. This way I can talk to the current caller and new caller simultaneously without any disturbances either.

That will really extend the offline capabilities of chrome os.
I will definitely want a Chromebook soon!

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Dude, seriously? I know it's probably the first time you've ever gotten to say something like that about a Google announcement, but doesn't this seem a little silly?

With that kind of syncing/mirroring, maybe we will see mobile data on chromebooks without having to hotspot. Google is more and more working around the carrier blockade! :)

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The ability to run Android apps in Chrome OS is going to necessitate larger SSDs in Chromebooks, I think.

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Hopefully. I have a decent amount of data that just can't go into cloud storage, which is the main drawback on me getting a Chromebook. I don't have the room for one primarily cloud based laptop and another laptop with all my art, mmos, music and other stuff on it.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah I don't use the Cloud for my media, it just isn't possible so I use a thumb drive for my chromebook.

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I find it rather funny that both Apple and Google took 2 years to get to where Palm errrr HP was with webOS.

The problem with Chromebooks/Chrome OS is that if you lack an Internet connection, you are severely crippled in terms of functionality. This it is not truly portable or truly an Operating System. Android does not have this limitation. You lose cloud/Internet features, but the phone/tablet/whatever keeps chugging along and allows you to create documents, make notes, etc. and save them for uploading/emailing later. Contrary to what seems to be the perception these days, there are still many situations where one doesn't have Internet access. It's not ubiquitous just yet. Even if it becomes so, I don't want to rely on it for basic functionality.

Not sure which Chromebook you're using but I can create and save documents offline on my HP14 and upload later with no problem. The Google Doc programs will run offline. Also, if I'm somewhere that doesn't have wifi I probably don't have my Chromebook with me and would just use my phone anyways.

Actually, most of my production apps run offline and sync and upload once connected. Also, if I REALLYYY need to get online, my HP 14 has mobile 4G data. It came with 200MB a month free for life (not much I know) so I purchase an extra 1GB each month for like $12.

i am really happy now that i am spent the extra 80 bucks and got the acer 720p and not just the 720.

That touchscreen should become even more handy soon...

been wanting to get one for myself but will probably get one for my wife since she wants a laptop more than I do. Good time to get one too because there are lots of options.

Honestly, Chromebook and Chrome OS can be a great if they fix minor things. Scaling is the biggest minor thing as it's so easy to fix. The bigger the screens get the smaller the icons become and some pages render small fonts. I prefer not to ZOOM to read articles.
Use hardware that matters. Bigger and more powerful processors that are Next GEN. Sorry, BayTrail is just a fancy word for Celeron.
One other thing is quit trying to make your laptops look like Macbook Pros. Be different and step outside the box Google.