Android app support coming to some Chrome OS devices

May 20, 2016 // 1:57 p.m.

Tags: #android #chromeos #chrome-os #google-play

Google has confirmed the longstanding rumour that its HTML5-powered Chrome OS platform is getting native support for Android applications, but warns that devices older than about two years are going to be left out in the cold.

Announced on the Google Chrome blog, Google's intention is simple: to tempt people into the Chrome OS ecosystem by offering them the ability to run the same apps as their Android smartphones and tablets. To do this, it plans to bring the entire Google Play ecosystem along for the ride: applications can be searched, purchased, downloaded and installed on compatible Chrome OS devices just as with Android.

The catch, there, is of course the word 'compatible.' In a support note on its website, the advertising giant has admitted that many older Chromebooks, Chrome Boxes, and other Chrome OS devices won't be getting the ability to run Android apps - even when their specifications exceed those of newer, lower-cost alternatives, and when their version of Chrome OS is still receiving regular official updates.

Google's cut-off point appears to be around the 2014 mark; its original Chromebook Pixel, released in 2013, doesn't make the grade, while its 2015 refresh does. The first devices to receive support, meanwhile, will be the Acer Chromebook R11 and Chromebook Flip, along with the aforementioned 2015 edition of Google's own Chromebook Pixel. Following the release of the software update for these devices in June, additional Chrome OS gadgets will be updated over the course of the year.


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