With Chrome OS, one of the most requested features for the platform has been for Google to provide users access to Google Play and the library of apps within it. Although it has been rumored more than once in the past, a more recent rumor and more or less confirmation came yesterday when a session on the Google I/O schedule revealed Google’s plans to make this a reality. Today, Google has officially announced that the Play Store will be available on Chrome OS this Fall, specifically landing in September for Chromebooks. Google does not, however, give a specific date in September.
Before heading out to Chromebooks as a public release a few months from now, Google will be pushing the Play Store out to the dev channel version of Chrome 53, and will be available for three Chromebooks at that time which includes the ASUS Chromebook Flip, the Acer Chromebook R 11, and the Chromebook Pixel. Although this is a fairly small list to begin with, Google has plans to roll the Play Store feature out to other Chromebooks in the future, and they even provide a list of supported Chromebooks that will support Android apps once the Play Store launches for stable, which looks like all of or most of them.
Google notes that users will be able to access Play Store apps on Chromebooks without compromising their speed, security, or simplicity and that the Play Store functionality was built on top of Chrome OS. Although this is going to be a huge benefit to users, developers will see a benefit from this as well as they’ll easily be able to publish and update apps for Android smartphones and tablets as well as Chromebooks, giving them a wider reach and access to more users. Google notes other changes coming along with the Play Store as well like full download support for Google Play Movies and Google Play Music, meaning users will be able to play movies and listen to music offline.
Google is also promising that security updates every six weeks will continue to roll out to users uninterrupted. What might be one of the most interesting factors of this upcoming Chrome OS update is that it has Android framework. Google states that this will allow Chrome OS to have support for the dialer, and Google will be looking to ship new hardware that can take advantage of this particular functionality so users should eventually be able to place regular voice calls from their Chromebooks. The majority of these changes if not all of them should show up for Chrome OS 53 in the Dev Channel next month, so those who will want to test things early will want to look out for them.