At Google I/O 2017, it is likely that Google will look to build upon a number of the aspects that were introduced at last year’s I/O event. One of which was the Android app compatibility gained by Chromebooks. Speaking of which, one of the sessions listed on this year’s Google I/O schedule seems to suggest apps designed with Chromebooks and large screen devices in mind, will be one of the aspects that Google would like developers to focus on going forward.
Specifically, it seems as though this session is going to place a greater emphasis on apps that are almost purpose-designed for “larger screens.” While tablets would be considered large (compared to smartphones), they are not often in the same size league as Chromebooks. Which does mean that Android apps are most often encountered on devices that even at the largest scale, are at the foot end of the Chromebook device size spectrum. And it seems Google sees some real value here with apps that are designed for larger screens, as the description for the session clearly states that as well as being an “early adopter,” developers who focus on creating these larger screen-focused apps will have the “opportunity to lead and influence the ecosystem in setting the standard for apps on larger screens.” So while last year’s Google I/O was all about Android apps coming to Chromebooks, this year’s event might be much more focused on Android apps designed specifically for Chromebooks.
In some respects this is probably not that surprising. Chromebooks have been on the up and up over the last couple of years and seem to be doing extremely well in certain markets, like the business and education sectors. So it stands to reason that if developers can create apps which are better designed to perform on larger screens, and with larger screen-associated peripherals - as the Google I/O description notes “trackpad, mouse, keyboard, and stylus” - then those apps could very well find themselves instantly being used on a large number of devices almost overnight. Especially considering that unlike Android apps on Android phones and tablets, there seems to be far less competition when it comes to Chromebook-optimized apps. Something Google seems intent on talking about and dealing with at Google I/O 2017.