Android Apps Are Finally Arriving for Chrome OS
Google is finally making a move that has long been discussed among Chrome OS users: It's bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, opening the Chrome OS desktop up to a huge library of apps written for Android. Some observers are even predicting that Google could merge Android and Chrome OS in the future, although that move is unlikely for various reasons.
Here are the details on Google's latest platform moves.
Some makers of Android apps are even confirming that the best versions of their creations will run on Chrome OS. For example, here is a post from the Evernote blog:
"Whenever we see a major new platform on the horizon, we set a goal for ourselves: make sure Evernote is available on day one. This week’s launch of Google’s Chrome OS store was just that kind of opportunity."
"Evernote for Android is a full-featured app that was designed for a wide variety devices, screens and form-factors. For Chrome OS, we’ve adapted the app to work with a keyboard and mouse. You get the full desktop Evernote experience on a flexible, affordable device. We think it’s tremendous and we can’t wait to see how the Chrome OS market develops around the world."
Vine, Duolingo and Sight Words are other Android apps arriving for use with Chrome OS, and the Google Blog notes the following:
"These first apps are the result of a project called the App Runtime for Chrome (Beta), which we announced earlier this summer at Google I/O. Over the coming months, we’ll be working with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps so you’ll have a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook."
"In the meantime, please tell us which of your favorite Android apps you’d like to see on your Chromebook."
Don't expect Google to merge Android and Chrome OS, though. Android and Chrome OS provide separate, uniquely valuable on-ramps to Google's lucrative advertising ecosystem, and they will cater to different audiences over time.
The mechanics of steering users toward the ads on a small mobile device are entirely different from the mechanics of steering them toward ads on a Chromebook. Google is not going to haphazardly disrupt how these mechanics work. It makes much more sense for the company to simply open up the Android app ecosystem to Chrome OS, which is what Google is already doing.
Look for many more Android apps to work with Chrome OS in the coming months.