During the Summer, at their annual developer conference, Google announced a big change that was coming to Chrome OS, Chromebooks and Android in general; the Play Store was headed to Chrome OS. While Google's Web-centric OS has had the ability to run Android apps for some time now, it was lacking a distribution system similar to those we use on Android everyday, so Google went ahead and ported the Play Store and Google Play Services over to Chrome OS themselves. During Google I/O back in May, the Internet giant demonstrated the Play Store running on a number of different Chromebooks and showed off just how easy it was to find, install and then run your favorite Android apps on Chrome OS.
Now, the Play Store has hit the stable channel of Chrome OS, opening the gates for more people to download and use Android apps on their Chromebook. The official blog post listed the stable update to version 53.0.2785.129 as headed to just the Acer Chromebook R11 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip. However, there is a long list of Chromebooks that Google has available for those wondering if Android apps will be headed to their Chrome OS device, and it's easy to find. The jump to the Stable build however, is a bigger deal than most will realize. This is in effect the merger-that-isn't-a-merger between Android and Chrome OS many have been long awaiting. The Play Store and all of the Android apps and games that are found within it is basically what we know and love about Android. Now that Chrome OS has access to the same pool of resources, the line between the two is blurred even further.
Regardless of whether or not your device is listed as supported and has this latest update, users will still need to enable the Play Store. This can be done from within the system settings of your Chromebook, and there you'll discover that the Play Store for Chrome OS itself has a beta tag. This might be confusing, but Google has a long and storied history of keeping services like these in beta for a long, long time. Some Android apps and games might not work quite as we'd like them to right now, which is probably why Google gave this an umbrella beta tag. Either way, this is a big step forward for Android apps on a Chromebook.