Google Play store, and 'over a million' Android apps, are heading to Chromebooks

Google is preparing to bring the full range of Android apps available on its Play store to Chrome OS, greatly expanding the range of software available on those devices.

Android apps running on Chrome OS is nothing new; the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) added that functionality back in 2014, but only a limited number of apps have been supported so far.

But over on the Chrome OS subreddit, various users have reported that when the settings first load on their devices, they see an option to "Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook". Ars Technica - which was able to verify the claims on its own device - noted that the option quickly disappears, so it's not possible to proceed any further with enabling that feature.

Reddit user 'TheWiseYoda' also spotted this among related strings in the Chrome OS source code (from line 6522):

And another Reddit user, 'InauspiciousPagan', also managed to bring up a branded dialog box introducing the new feature:

The feature will evidently be opt-in, allowing Chrome OS administrators - for example, those who manage the numerous Chromebook deployments in schools and universities - to block the ability for users to install Android apps on their devices.

But at this stage, not much more is known about Google's plans to offer "over a million" Android apps and games on Chromebooks. But the company's I/O developer conference is now just a few weeks away, and that seems like the perfect place for Google to make an announcement.

Source: Ars Technica / Reddit

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