Would You Buy A Chromebook If It Ran Android Apps?

Would You Buy A Chromebook If It Ran Android Apps?

Last month, we got a very strong indication that Google is bringing its Android-based Google Play Store to Chromebooks. This could be a game changer. Would it affect your decision to buy one?

We’ve suspected this move was coming for a while. Google’s been working on getting Android apps to work in Chrome since 2014. As Ars Technica points out in a recent leak, Google could be planning to bring “over a million” Android apps to the platform very soon.

Bringing the Play Store to Chrome OS would be a massive infusion of apps for a platform that, despite steady improvements, still lacks in the app department.

Of course, we have yet to see how Google’s entire Play Store would work when brought over to Chrome OS. Still, supposing the apps work as well on a Chromebook as they do on Android devices, would that change your opinion? Do you think an infusion of local apps from a neighbouring ecosystem would make Chrome OS a compelling alternative to competing laptops? Or is it still no match for a laptop that’s been getting native apps since the start?

Google Play Store and “over a million apps” could be headed to Chrome OS [Ars Technica]


    • What Chromebooks run:
      1. Many apps are actually launchers to Web-based apps that run on a Cloud server. These are the main reason that Chromebooks require so little CPU and on-board device storage.
      2. Most other apps are browser extensions. These are popular but devour RAM when they all load.
      3. Packaged apps. These have to be downloaded and saved to device storage. But they’re written in the same code as Web-based apps, e.g. HTML5. They can usually run offline, w/o Internet.
      4. PC client mode. Using the Chrome Remote Desktop extension, the user can connect to a PC as a terminal and remotely run any of its applications, e.g. AutoCAD or Visio.
      5. Android Runtime for Chrome. This is a beta process for transforming an Android app into a packaged app. It’s developmental but often works. The article asserts that process will become highly automated and transparent to the user in future releases of Chrome browser and OS.

  • I already have an old Chromebook but I may consider to get a new one once:
    – I can actually see how well integrated Androids apps would be in ChromeOS.
    – See how this movement from Google would change the development of specific Android apps for ChromeOS laptops and Android tablets/phones. As it’s currently happening on iOS due the iPad Pro.

    I love Chromebooks because for the price are pretty well built, the battery last forever and you can start working within 10 seconds. On top of that, Android apps would be more than welcome.

    I think It’s quite interesting how Windows, Apple, Google and Ubuntu are thinking on different solutions for the convergence issue.

  • My wife has a Chromebook that comes highly recommended. It is VERY limited, and I far prefer an iPad. My choice would rather that they ported a full function browser to Andriod, so I could run the same extensions as desktop chrome. There are really nice Android tablets with keyboard that had the whole 2:1 form factor sorted long before Windows.

  • I’ve been using an Acer C720P Touchscreen for over 2 years with a !-TB USB drive. The platform is very worthwhile and viable. Our 20+ something daughter snubbed a Chromebook for a full Windoze laptop, shortly after whning for a Tablet (she settled on a Lenovo 10″ no keyboard). Shortly after that wrecked the hinged laptop screen and while the device still worked it lost it’s easy packup and go mobility.

    Mom gets a brand new Acer C720P — within 1 week daughter takes device away and hasn’t given back.

    Having Android Apps would be a huge plus.

  • I love my new tablet/chromebook – it is much better than the iPad I gave up. Guess what – 99% of what I do is BROWSING THE WEB. The chrome browser is the best by far. I don’t miss any iPad apps, because in every case, I can use the corresponding website. Plus — it has a keyboard, which I’m using now to type this review — something I would not attempt with an onscreen iPad keyboard.
    There are some android apps I would like on it — particularly one I use for my music hobby. I would be very happy if Google made android apps run on chromebooks.

  • Not sure why this is a question. Of course I would. The major limiting factor of Chromebooks is that there isn’t much in terms of software and this would instantly fix the problem.

  • The biggest issue I am facing with my Chromebook is that so many of my legacy files are in Word, Excel or Powerpoint and almost all files I receive or send to people are in one of these three formats. Despite what they say, Google’s versions of these three softwares are not 100% compatible with MS-Office and the process of converting, working and converting back is just too complex. I love the Chromebook hardware, but am seriously considering going back to a Windows laptop.

  • This is already possible, as far as I’m aware, with Android Runtime for Chrome. I’ve published one of my Android app on the Chrome store before.

    • They already have: It’s called Pixel C. But probably not at all a bright idea to scrap Chrome OS just because someone decides to make Android Desktops. You obviously haven’t used Chrome OS. I use both. Chrome OS is better when for getting things done quickly and efficiently and is inherently far more secure. Android is flashier because people like that sort of thing, is far less efficient with time and resources, but has way more useless apps and is more touch-friendly.

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