It’s been rumored before that Google would eventually merge Chrome OS and Android for a more seamless experience across their ecosystem, and it looks like this time may be coming. According to Reddit user TheWiseYoda, a setting in version 51 of Chrome – an update still in the Developer Channel – appeared which was called “Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook”. Once checked, this option opened a new Play Store app which triggered a tutorial to show users how to get started with the feature on their computers. However, when clicking “Get Started”, nothing would happen as the service isn’t fully available yet.
Presumably, this would allow any Chrome OS user to run any of the over one million Android apps available on the Play Store right on their Chromebook. This would create a similar experience to Jide’s Remix OS which recently came out and met much praise amongst users. In case you aren’t aware, Remix OS is a desktop version of Android which allows users to install apps and run them in floating windows. Since this has proven to be a highly accepted feature, Google may want to jump on the bandwagon with their software and create a similar – if not better – experience. Plus, the company did state that with the new App Runtime for Chrome (ARC), developers would be able to test and run their apps right on Chrome OS, so since they’ve been working on it for quite a while and users are now noticing this feature pop up, it looks like the tool is almost done and ready to go mainstream very soon.
I’m not saying running Android apps on Chrome OS is new or anything, as a handful of applications have been available to download and run right from the Chrome Web Store, however with Play Store access, more and more users will take advantage of the feature as this digital marketplace is more widely known than the Web Store ever was.
Version 51 of Chrome should be coming out soon so we can get more information on this new feature, and since Google I/O is right around the corner, expect the company to talk about the Play Store on Chrome OS in much more detail.