Chrome OS has been tweaked to slowly integrate Android over the course of a good amount of time now, and it seems that support for Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) is almost ready for primetime. According to insider Yanny Mishchuck, there have been "massive improvements" since the newest version of Android first started being implemented into the Canary channel of the Chromium project back in January. Early support for features like multi-window and apps using the newest Android API in the Play Store was intact, but the experience was glitchy, and often lagged or left users with unexplainable bugs. Mishchuck says that things are far better now, with his Thinkpad 13 Chromebook not missing a beat these days. This is despite the facts that it is not only switched on to the Canary channel of Chrome OS, but is also an x86-based device with an Intel processor, meaning that it can only run ARM content, such as most Android apps, through emulation.
Mishchuck went on to explain that the performance of his test Thinkpad has improved greatly across the board, even when using Crouton to run Linux apps on the device. One would think that improvements to the handling of Android Nougat would only bring tangible improvements to the user hile running Android apps, but the framework is apparently so integrated that a poorly handled Android core drags down the whole experience, while a zippier, fixed-up one makes every facet of the device run better.
Mishchuck says that the experience is a smooth and pleasant one thus far. There is still lots of work to be done to achieve full integration and a bug-free Android experience across the board, of course. The experience is more than usable right now, but could still suffer glitches due to poor implementation of Android, and emulation for x86 devices can always be improved. The whole experience may still need tidying up in some places, but popular speculation still pegs the current Canary features, including full-stack Android integration, as coming out to the Stable channel some time in April for all users to enjoy and for Chromebook makers to leverage in marketing their wares.