Chrome OS became infinitely more useful when Google started introducing the compatibility of Android applications on Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices, but up until now things have been a little limiting, only supporting a handful of apps here and there which Google was slowly but surely expanding upon. Android Apps on Chrome started with apps like Google Keep, Evernote, and others with a steady increase in a handful of new apps every so often. As of today and alongside the announcement of all the new Chromebooks and the new ASUS Chromebit dongle, Google is opening up the ability for all developers to port their Android apps to the Chrome OS platform.
Google announced the capability to port Android apps to Chrome OS back during Google I/O 2014 with the App Runtime for Chrome OS which is currently in beta. The App Runtime for Chrome OS will allow any and all aspirational developers the capability to put forth just a little effort and get the process started. Now that more touchscreen-based Chromebooks are coming out, and the App Runtime environment is progressing, more developers who already have their apps out there for Android devices should start to port their apps over and make use of those touchscreen laptops.
This is good news for all existing Chromebook users and anyone who is interested in perhaps purchasing a Chromebook in the future, especially if those users are accustomed to using apps on Android. Android apps that already feel more user-friendly and native on a touchscreen device, like ebook apps such as Google Play Books or Amazon Kindle will be right at home on devices like the new ASUS Chromebook Flip. ASUS isn’t the only manufacturer to introduce a Chromebook with a touchscreen however, both iterations fo the Chromebook Pixel offer a touchscreen for more interactivity and Acer has at least two or three touchscreen-based models. While a few of the Android apps that currently exist on Chrome OS are great, some of them feel less useful so hopefully with Google’s new efforts to make the porting process open to everyone, more developers will begin to move their apps over.