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Android apps on your Chromebook: Here's the video you've been waiting for

One of the most popular sessions from Google I/O 2016 was also one of the most limited when it came to seats. We're talking about the announcement of Android apps on Chrome OS. It also wasn't available online — until today.

The video does a great job at describing how Android apps will run on your Chromebook, and most everything the layman would want to know about compatibility, security and how the two systems will work together is covered. The presentation was more of a press event than a developer session, which means even we could understand most of it. We're pretty sure Google has more for developers interested in targeting Chromebooks with their Android apps, but this is a good introduction to the idea.

It's one you'll want to see, so give it a look.

More: These are the Chromebooks that can run Android apps from Google Play

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

31 Comments
  • Love it! Just got the Acer 14
  • I hope my next pc will run Android. I'm not going back to Windows 10. Please let this happen.
  • Windows isn't going anywhere. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • He did not say windows is going away. He just mentioned that HE is not going back to it.
  • It's awesome only thing I gave a damn about from IO. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Will Bluetooth game controllers work with Android games running in Chrome OS?
  • I'm hoping so. I have had some success using a controller on games from the Chrome Web Store. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Excellent question! In JiDe's RemixOS, which I guess can be thought of as something of a prototype for this, the biggest problem of all was with game apps that didn't work well, or didn't work at all with keyboard and mouse. A controller should help - assuming the app will support one. Also, games that only use one touch action, such as "One More Line" may get pretty boring if all you do is just sit there and press, say, "X" all the time. But several games would benefit immensely, such as "Downwell".
  • All we need now is a Pixel Flip with a touch screen. No, not a 2016 Pixel and not a Pixel C. A convertible version of the Pixel that flips like the Asus Flip...with that gorgeous Pixel screen (and a lot of storage for Play downloads). It would just about replace all but my phone.
  • Sounds good. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So what should I buy just now, or should I try to wait, I'm in the UK. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wait. It will be a bit before this comes out of beta, and by then there may be more options. If you're like me and just have to buy now, get a 4GB Flip
  • nice! i got the flip too. absolutely love this thing. its the perfect size for a hybrid device like this and the keyboard is awesome. have no trouble typing on this thing whatsoever. great travel. screen is good, but if you're like me and constantly play with samsung tablets it may leave something to be desired. this device is plenty snappy.
  • Thanks Jerry, I ordered one last night, looks like a great little device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jerry, why would you pick the flip over the R11? I may not wait and curious for your professional opinion. Thanks Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think the flip has more memory. I have the R11 and it's great. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's also 0.76 pounds, or 38%, heavier. Not insignificant in my opinion for a portable device. I'd say the R11 is more laptop and less hybrid.
  • Costco sells R11 with 4GB memory. I bought one couple of weeks back with $30 off.
    http://www.costco.com/Acer-Chromebook-R11-Touchscreen-2-in-1-Convertible...
  • This ^. The 4GB model is only at Costco, and nobody advertises that it even exists. If you want a bigger screen or less weight, go for the R11 in 4GB. But I like the way the flip is built, and for something I might use in a tablet mode I like the smaller screen.
  • Jerry, I meant to say the R11 is heavier, so I'd agree the Flip is better as a tablet than the R11.
  • Hi there
    I have the 3 years old Acer C720P and the Asus Chromebook flip,both 4GB.
    As much as I like the flip ... the Acer is still the better PC,smoother and faster,only the screen has better colors on the Asus.
  • This is all very exciting stuff! There's a good reason why my next intended tech purchase is a Chromebook! Here are my three concerns, though: 1) I don't see much in the way of real solutions for your true "power users",, hardcore gamers, hardcore enterprise, hardcore creative, and hardcore productive, and I have a harder time seeing a ready remedy for this using Chrome and/or Android. We're building a computer out of two casual-focused platforms. This works excellently for most people, but certainly not for everybody, and I still don't see a solution for those. Worse for Google is that both Apple and Microsoft do.....heck, even things like Ububtu do. So I don't really Google making any kind of inroads in those corners of the market. 2) The question of how well these apps will work with Keyboard and Mouse - particularly games. The video says this is a first, Android apps on a PC. But they were actually beat to market by a small 3rd party outfit called JiDe, with a product called RemixOS, which is a windowed, desktop version of Android. It's not exactly the same thing, for sure. But it is the same on the front of running windowed Android apps using a keyboard and mouse. So in this way, it can serve as a sort of "prototype" for what Google is doing now. In that respect, RemixOS was a disappointment. While many apps worked perfectly, and many more worked decently, there were way too many - particularly (but not exclusively) games - that either worked very poorly or not at all. Also, apps usually looked good in their default sized window, which was usually smallish - an approximation of a phone screen. But if you needed to stretch them, they got smeary - or worse, went buggy! Now, there's a key difference here: great big Google is driving this, providing developers with the incentive they need to make the tweaks to their apps that will prevent this, whereas JiDe and Remix were very small, not driving a ton of impetus. So that gives me a pretty decent amount of optimism that this will be better than the Remix experience, which was too buggy, too limiting, and too frustrating to have much chance of mainstream adoption. Same point put another way: if "Chromedroid" is just another "RemixOS", it's not going to go anywhere. However, if Google can avoid JiDe's mistakes, drum up developer support, and "do it right this time", then the experience could be wonderful! And as app compatibility with this medium improves, apps will work better in all "windowed Android" environments, and thus, even RemixOS will reap the benefits. ....except.... 3) Will the idea of doing most of our computing in Android phone apps have lasting appeal, or will it be a novelty that dies out quickly for its limitations? Chrome has a better chance of avoiding this fate than Remix did, since it has the full desktop Chrome browser, and perhaps the potential for more things like it where Remix, being Android was -ABSOLUTELY NOTHING- but Android apps. Perhaps the whole experience will be much, much better and long-term satisfying on Chrome. Still, having nothing but my own personal experience with Remix to go by, I can say that while I found Remix absolutely amazing initially, the charm wore off very quickly (maybe 3 months), and I began to find the idea of only being able to use unmodified, un-optimized Android phone apps as the sole basis of my desktop computing to be entirely too limiting. At least with Windows 10's UWP apps, they transform and optimize to desktop use, making them quite useful on a PC. So my fear for this is that'll happen with a lot of users. This Android apps on Chrome business will be really exciting at first, then wear out. Of course, as I said before, there'll still be more to Chrome than just Android apps, so maybe they'll have more staying power as a secondary use boost. We shall see....and Lord willing, with a new Chromebook in hand - I shall see too! :-) Cheers!
  • Ain't nobody got time for that ^
  • ......soooo......you don't have time to read my post.....but you have time to take the time to tell myself and the world that you don't have time to read my post?....... .........really?!
  • Great information folks-thanks to all Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is wonderful however, what about storage? All these apps will take up storage space, so will newer Chromebooks come with an increased storage? Some models have 16-32gb and some also do not have SD card readers also with offline the data has to be stored somewhere if ya download a movie or two your storage is going to be gone pretty quick.
  • I'm wondering if the Remote Desktop app from Microsoft that's on the Play Store will work. This would let me connect to my work pc and not have to use TeamViewer. Now to find a good VPN client for chromeOS.
  • This all sounds great. About a month ago, we bought a Chromebase for my daughter. The parental controls are great, and we all love it. Will Chromebases ever get the Android love as well - or is this JUST for Chromebooks?
  • I see Chromebases in the list... https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/6401474?hl=en
  • I absolutely hate that my HP 14-ako13dx isn't on the list. It's always my luck that I get screwed outta **** like this. So I guess I gotta go drop more money on another laptop. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Like the sound of this, but I still need something that will run turbo tax deluxe.
    When Chromebooks can do that I will no longer need a PC. Posted via the Android Central App