Google’s Chrome OS team has reportedly announced new features that will make the Android app experience better on Chromebooks. The features are primarily coming on the developer side of the equation. And that includes the launch of a new Chromebooks-specific app development site.
End-users will ultimately see the fruits of the endeavor, once developers start taking advantage of the new resources. And that’s not just in Android apps either. Google has made some inroads to drive the adoption of PWAs and has started to automatically swap some Android apps for those. That started, in fact, back in April.
PWAs are a focal point for the incoming changes. So the end game for Google seems to be in making the app experience more lightweight and usable than ever via web-based experiences. More succinctly, via web-based experiences that perform and act more like native apps.
Better app experiences on Chromebooks start with better Android developer tools
The new developer site in question is, of course, ChromeOS.dev. That site can be thought of as a hub for developers that want to aim at supporting Chrome OS gadgets. But that isn’t just to improve the Android app experience on Chromebooks. As hinted already, it’s also geared toward promoting and assisting with the development of PWAs. The latter of which perform and look like apps but are web-connected, despite working both online and off.
And supporting that new site are new additions to the developer tools themselves. Android Studio now supports Android Emulator directly on select Chromebooks. That means that users working from Chromebooks can utilize Android Studio in Linux to develop Android apps for Chromebooks. That’s from start to finish.
Coupled with recent changes to the Chrome OS Linux terminal, not just relegated to theming but also now supporting shortcuts, Chromebooks are now a much more effective development tool. Developers can also sideload apps testing.
You won’t see the benefits right away though
Now, it’s going to take some time for developers to find a balance between building out full Android apps aimed at Chrome OS and creating PWAs that can be used across all platforms. So end-users won’t see the improvements on their end immediately. And there’s really no timescale that can be associated with that either.
But the changes are incoming and improvements should be seen soon enough as word of the new tools circulates through the developer community.