Another batch of Chromebooks can now receive the Android update in the Canary channel.
Initially, there were a trio of Chromebooks that were planned to be the first to receive the Play store update. They were the Acer Chromebook R11, ASUS Chromebook Flip, and Google Pixel (2015 edition). The update just recently went into the Stable channel for public release, after being available on these Chromebooks only in the developer channel. However, even though these models of Chromebooks have received the update, Google still considers the Play store update as a “beta” release, according to Android Headlines.
Android update rolls out to three more Chromebooks
Now, the Google Play store is available in another batch of Chromebooks, as the update rolls out to more and more units. Three more Chromebooks are now eligible to try out the update in the Canary channel, which is basically a channel for users to try out new features basically as a guinea pig. The channel is known to have bugs, security issues, or and other nasties. The Canary channel precedes the development channel, which precedes the Beta channel, which then goes to the Stable channel. However, the owners of the Samsung Chromebook 3, Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015), and Acer Chromebook 15 are eligible to get the update if users opt-in to the Canary channel.
Google has been working hard on bringing Android apps over to Chromebooks, which unlocks over a million Android apps available for download. The addition of Chrome apps along with Android apps unlocks a whole plethora of possibilities of what exactly a Chromebook can do. Everything from business, industrial, educational, causal, transportation, games, art, 3D projects and visuals, tutoring, and even something as simple as playing Minecraft Pocket Edition on your Chromebook. All these are possible and makes Chromebooks into an omni-functional laptop.
On the developer side, bringing the Play store onto Chromebooks should encourage them to optimize Android apps for both smartphones and laptops, and offer a multitude of possibilities not available before due to the limitations of smartphones- such as the lack of a real keyboard, mouse support, screen size, and in some smartphones, hardware and performance.
More Play store updates on the way
So far, Google has released the update to Chromebooks in batches of three. This is their second batch. Google seems to be rolling out the updates slowly to work out all the kinks. I think the newer devices that are being tested first have much stronger hardware specs compared to some of the other devices on the list of Chromebooks that will receive the Android update. This may cause issues when the update rolls out onto weaker Chromebooks, as the eligible Chromebooks now have higher-end processors and RAM, along with Intel and ARM CPUs and touchscreen support. My Chromebooks doesn’t have any of this, but rather, a budget Pentium CPU and the standard 2GB of RAM with no touchscreen. I wonder how the Android update will play on my laptop, as it’s supposedly in the list of Chromebooks to receive the update. I’ll have to wait and see. From what I’ve seen so far, the transition so far from phone to laptop is pretty smooth. Android apps seem to run without much issue on any Chromebook.
You can see how Android apps run on the ASUS Chromebook Flip in this video:
You can also check out Google’s blog for Chromebooks if you want to learn more about the updates.