What you need to know

  • Google has allowed Chromebooks to access the entire Play Store since 2016.
  • The company says Android app usage on Chrome OS devices has jumped 4x in the last year.
  • The company also sold 44% more Chromebooks year-over-year.

While Chromebooks have always been limited in what they can do compared to a Mac or a Windows PC, they've come a long way since Google first unveiled its browser-based operating system. One of the most significant changes to the OS came in 2016, when Google allowed Chromebooks to access the entire Play Store library.

That not only opened up a world of possibilities for Chromebooks (1 billion+ of them, given the number of apps on Google's digital store), but the feature has also been a resounding success for the company. In fact, in the last year alone, Android app usage on Chromebooks has increased fourfold, the company proudly revealed at its Android Dev Summit this week.

Not only is it a notable achievement for the folks over at Google, it's also meant to be an encouragement for Android app developers to fix the lamentable state of Android apps on anything larger than a phone and to start catering to the burgeoning market for Android apps that are optimized for larger screens.

And to further entice developers to start optimizing their apps for Chromebooks, Google also announced it'll allow developers to install Android apps to Chromebooks without needing a tethered smartphone. You'll also not need to be in Developer mode for it to work. The change will go live in the developer channel for Chrome OS 80 this November.

Premium mid-ranger

Google Pixelbook Go

Google's take on a mid-range Chromebook has arrived.

The Pixelbook Go is the most affordable Chrome OS machine Google's ever released. While it's still not "cheap," it offers a compelling package for the price range. You get 12 hours of battery life, a unique textured bottom, and a 13.3-inch display that goes up to 4K.

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