Android app optimization on Chromebooks has been detailed by Google in a new post on the Android Developers blog, as the search giant seems to be nudging developers of Android apps to optimize their apps for Chromebooks now and goes over some key factors on how to complete such a process. Google’s encouragement comes with good reason as the list of Chromebooks which support Android apps and the Play Store is continually growing, and eventually it will get to a point where every available Chromebook will support Android apps, so Google is simply highlighting this fact and stating that now is as good of a time as any.
While some apps have already been optimized, the sheer number of apps on the Play Store is massive, and the amount of apps which don’t have optimization for Chromebooks vastly outweighs the number of apps that do. Thankfully Google has laid out a simple to follow process for optimizing apps to be used on the Chrome OS-powered laptops, and there are a few key points to keep in min that Google highlights first before diving into some more detailed descriptions on what developers should include in the process.
One thing to consider is the screen size of the device. Just like with smartphones Chromebook screens can vary in size and span a range of different sizes from as little as 11-inches all the way up to 15.6-inches. Due to the nature of the varying screen sizes developers are urged to think about how their apps or games would scale on these different-sized laptops, not to mention how they would scale on a device that has a much larger display than the devices the apps or games were originally designed for. Another factor to consider is the use of things like the keyboard, trackpad, and a traditional mouse for input with the use of apps and games. As many Android apps and games, if not almost all of them are designed with only touch controls in mind, using the apps on a Chromebook could include touch input, but also those other options. Developers may decide not to implement the use of other input methods when porting their app over, but Google seems to be encouraging devs to consider optimizing their apps to support these input methods as it would give users more choice on how to navigate through the app. Google also suggests that developers maximize their app or game discoverability on Chromebooks, while also taking into account things like orientation support and resizable windows. There are quite a few things to keep in mind for this process if you’re a developer, and if you’re interested in checking out all of the information you can find the detailed set of instructions at the Android Developers blog post.