avatarby Edgar CervantesJuly 14, 20160 comments

Google Play Chromebook

No longer will you be complaining about the lack of apps Chromebooks have access to. Google has announced Android apps (over a million of them) are coming to all compatible Chrome OS devices this Fall, but certain compatible Chromebooks are already getting access to the Google Play Store.

Some of you will be able to start using Android apps on Chromebooks right away! Want to learn how you can join the fun? Stick around and take a look at this tutorial to catch all the details.

Requirements

Currently supported machines include ASUS Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015) and the Acer Chromebook R11 (some may not have it quite yet, but it’s coming soon!). You will need one of these three machines if you want to run the Google Play Store before the general public. It’s important to note these also need to be running Chrome OS version 53 or higher, which is currently only available through the developer update channel.

Even if you decide to wait until the public release date, not all Chromebooks will be able to run Android apps. Older Chrome OS devices will not be getting access to the Google Play Store. Here is a full list of the devices which will be supported: Which Chromebooks support Android apps?

Switching to Chrome OS Developer Channel

If you have one of the supported Chromebooks and wish to switch to Chrome OS Developer Channel in order to access the Google Play Store, the procedure is not too complicated. You just have to know where to find the option.

Make sure to know what you are doing before moving forward with this, though. The faint of heart may want to just wait around. The Chrome OS Developer Channel allows you to test some of the newest features before the general public, but you are also bound to run into some issues from time to time. These software improvements are not finalized and continue being tested.

Here are the steps to switch to developer channel on Chrome OS.

  1. Turn on and unlock your Chromebook (main account).
  2. Click on your image, in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  3. A few options will pop up; select “Settings”.
  4. Look at the top of the page and select “About Chrome OS”.
  5. Below a few options you will see a link that reads “More info…”; select it.
  6. More options will show up, along with the “Change Channel” one. Click on it.
  7. Select “Developer – unstable”, read the warning and press “Change channel”.
  8. Let the Chromebook do its thing, reboot and you are done!

chromebook android apps

Enable the Google Play Store

Even if you have a supported Chromebook running version 53, the Google Play Store won’t simply show on on your screen. It needs to be enabled – here’s how to do it.

  1. Turn on and unlock your Chromebook (main account).
  2. Click on your image, in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  3. A few options will pop up; select “Settings”.
  4. Under “Android Apps” there will be an option that reads: “Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook”. Go ahead and click on the checkbox.
  5. Hit “Get started” on the new window.
  6. Read the terms of service and agree to them.
  7. The Google Play Store will show and now you can access it whenever you want. Log in and enjoy!

App compatibility

It’s important to note that not all Android apps in the Play Store will run on Chrome OS and, even in the case of the apps that do run, there’s a chance that you will run into various issues. This is new territory for most app developers, so expect the situation to improve over the next months.

Your thoughts?

Have any of you been able to test Android apps on your Chromebook? Your Chromebook just became a whole other machine, so hit the comments to tell us what you think! Will this help Chromebooks finally replace desktops and laptops?