Android Apps On Chrome OS Move From Dev To Beta Channel

Acer Chromebook 14 Chrome Logo AH 10

For Chrome OS users, trying out Android apps on their device, supported device or not, meant installing dev preview software on your device unless you wanted to use unofficial means. Developer previews always come with a good number of bugs, since they contain a huge number of features meant for developers to use in order to see the state of development, what improvements can be made, and how to integrate their own products with the product at hand. While dev preview firmware can be used as a daily driver for some users, most are happier on more stable channels, with more refined software on offer to ensure that their experience is consistent. Those wanting to try Android apps officially on their supported Chrome OS devices can now use slightly more stable firmware.

Android apps, along with Chrome OS build number 53.0.2785.36, are officially on the beta channel, with the support and stability that normally hallmarks a jump from dev to beta for a Chrome or Chrome OS release. For the most part, users can expect the usual Chrome OS beta channel experience, with one big exception. The headline feature of the OS release, being support for Android apps and the Play Store, is still in dev preview status, highly unstable, and mostly unfit for daily use. The release does not add support for any more different Chrome OS devices, meaning that the only people who can get in on the action are those who already could; owners of an Acer Chromebook R11, Asus Chromebook Flip, or a 2015 Google Chromebook Pixel.

While those using Android apps on their Chromebooks, either officially or through sideloading and Chrome extensions, should see some improvements, but the feature is still far from ready for daily use. Users can still expect a great many apps to not function properly, or even refuse to install or launch at all. As with any other feature making it to the beta channels, users can always report any major bugs they find to Google through Chrome OS’ built-in bug reporting system. The sheer number of bugs that will inevitably plague the feature and the OS, of course, ensure that such reports will take a while for Google to get around to acting on.