Chrome OS is getting some major changes soon, depending on how you look at it. Today during the Google I/O developer conference Google announced officially that the Play Store would be making its way to Chromebooks in the near future, with a first stop being Chrome OS 53 in the Dev Channel next month. With the Play Store coming to Chrome OS, Android is now essentially becoming a part of the Chrome OS platform.
To introduce the Play Store to Chrome OS, Google will be updating Chrome OS with new framework that weighs in at all of about a few hundred MB which means very low CPU and GPU overhead. This means that the framework won't take up a whole lot of space, and that's a good thing considering that most Chromebooks only come in 16GB or 32GB internal storage sizes. Due to these changes, Google notes that all Android apps will have the capability to install rather seamlessly to Chromebooks thanks to Chrome OS Sync, as all applications that are installed on an Android device will sync to Chromebooks with the Chrome Sync feature so long as the same Google account is tied to the Chromebook, meaning users will basically have to do next to nothing to get the applications they want onto their laptops. Having said that, there is alway the possibility that users will not want all apps on their Chromebook that are installed on their smartphones or tablets, so uninstall will always be an option, and it should be possible to only install the apps that you want. It's also likely that it can be set to install apps automatically through Chrome Sync if you don't want to pick and choose.
Google states that the backup and restore APIs will function completely on Chrome OS as well, so once the apps are installed it'll be easy to restore any information that may not automatically be there. Android apps are also installed via the system and not the profile, and the HAL (hardware extraction layer) has been moved into Chrome OS, which, Google states has made it possible to clean up the HAL for Android devices, and this could lead to more integration between Android and Chrome OS in the future for things like faster Android updates and more. For businesses and schools, the Play Store is also optional, so there is no requirement to have it be part of the Chromebook experience, although if they do choose to enable it they'll be able to control the content that can be installed on devices. With that kind of management, businesses won't need to worry as much about security and schools can prevent certain apps from being installed that may distract from learning. For serious Chromebook users, and for businesses, or education systems that are using the Chromebooks for Work and Chromebooks for education platforms, there's a lot to look forward to.