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Coming Soon: Google Play on Chromebooks

Google has released a video demonstrating apps from Google Play on Chromebooks as the company moves to unify their user experience.

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Chrome OS and Android are Google’s flagship operating systems. But while they do share a lot in common, they are really two very different products. One of the most requested features that Google fans have been clamoring for is the ability to run Android apps from the Google Play Store on their Chromebooks. It’s an understandable request. For all their differences the experience between the two is often quite similar, so why not be able to run both on Chromebooks?

Last month at Google’s annual I/O developers conference, the company announced that it would add the Play Store to Chrome OS, thus allowing Chromebook owners the ability to download and run apps from the Play Store right on their Chromebooks. Of course, the biggest question was exactly how was Google going to do this and how would it look and work. Now, we have the answer.

In a video published on Friday on the Google Developers Channel gives us a closer look at how these apps load and run on Chromebooks.

The 23-minute video demonstrates an overview of how the Android apps from the Google Play Store will work on Chrome OS. Google took the time to stress how seamless the two different worlds coexist on the Chrome OS platform. For example, notifications from the Android apps will appear as Chrome notifications in the lower right corner of the screen just like a notification from an app native to Chrome OS does.

Have a look at the video below:

Coming to a Chromebook near you – Google I/O 2016

Of course, you may not want to run these apps on your Chrome Book. One thing you will need for the best user experience is a decent touchscreen. If you don’t have that, you may not enjoy running that Google Play app as everything on the store is optimized for either a smartphone or a tablet or both. It should also be noted that this preview was demonstrated on a high end Chromebook, meaning your experience may vary if you have one of the cheaper and slower versions of the product. Still, in a pinch if you need to load an Android app, you should be able to do it.

Support for Android apps on Chrome OS won’t be here for some time now, with Google planning on releasing the update sometime this fall. So there is still plenty of time for them to iron out any bugs and further improve the interface. Still, if you want to play with it now, you can try Google’s ARC Welder tool to give it a try. The experience isn’t as smooth as you will find in the video, but it is a good way to get an early preview as to what you can expect.

So what do you think about this new feature coming to Chromebooks everywhere? Is it a welcome one or is it something that think really isn’t worth it as those apps should remain just for smartphones and tablets? Let me know your thoughts on this and the future of Chromebooks in the comments below.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

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