It’s finally happening. Google Play on Chromebooks is official.
Before, this was merely a rumor with some speculation. There was some commotion going on over at reddit about some group of (good) hackers finding code that basically stated the Google Play store would be coming to Chromebooks.
I wrote about this in another article stating how the Play store and your favorite Android apps are coming to Chromebooks, and even when I was writing it, I still didn’t really believe it until I saw it officially announced from the big G themselves.
Now, Google has officially announced it on their Chrome Blog.
I’m excited. We’re excited.
Are you excited?
I think there are 3 main groups of people that would be affected by this news- and in 3 distinct ways. Let’s go over them quickly.
Chromebook Group 1: The Chromebook Fanatics
If you’re in this group, you love your Chromebook. From the fast boot to the super fast browsing, you’re all for Chromebooks. You like the apps, but you want something more from your Chromebook. With the Chrome Blog announcement, you’re totally excited. Now, you can play Minecraft on your Chromebook (without developer mode or erasing your Chromebook), you can video call with Skype, you can work with Microsoft Office products, and you can even play Clash of Clans…all on your Chromebook. All the Play store apps you use can now be accessible from your Chromebook. Think about your favorite apps you use on your smartphone or tablet. Now, they’ll be on your laptop with possible keyboard, mouse, and touch integration. All your regular Chrome web store apps are still there, but now, you have the addition of millions of apps via the Google Play store.
Chromebook Group 2: The Casual User
If you’re in this group, you may not be as excited to hear about Google’s announcement. You like your Chromebook, and you get along fine with the apps from the Chrome web store. However, now with Google Play coming to your Chromebook, you find the extra convenience you get a nice and pleasant experience. Instead of having to use your phone to make a Skype call, you can now simply do it from your Chromebook. With Google Play coming to your Chromebook, you can get all the Android apps you usually use on your Chromebook. You find this added convenience very nice and something that should be expected.
Chromebook Group 3: The Whatever User
If you’re in this group, you don’t really care for whether or not the Chromebook gets Play store apps. You just bought a Chromebook because it was cheap, or you just needed a quick laptop in a snap. Android apps on Chromebook. Android apps not on Chromebook. You don’t really care. You don’t really use the apps available in the Chrome web store, and you may use some Android apps on your smartphone, but you don’t really see the point of having the same Android app on your Chromebook. Or maybe, you have an iPhone (gasp).
I just made up these groups for fun, and in no way do they really represent any segregation of Chromebook users. I was just so excited that I felt like doing something totally random and fun.
Sort of like a joke.
Regardless, Android apps on Chromebooks isn’t a joke.
You’re probably wondering at this point why all Chromebooks don’t get the Google Play update. It’s because this update will roll out starting with a few models.
Google rolls out the Play store on 3 “beta” Chromebooks
Google has announced the first 3 Chromebooks to receive the Google Play store are the following models:
- Acer Chromebook R11
- Asus Chromebook Flip
- Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
These 3 Chromebooks will be the first “beta” laptops to try out Google Play on Chromebooks.
When? Which one? What about my Chromebook?
The Google Play store will roll-out in next month for these 3 Chromebook models simultaneously.
Now, you’re probably asking “when will my Chromebook get the Google Play apps?”
Google plans to roll out the updates to other Chromebooks gradually. My Chromebook isn’t on the list of those Chromebooks either, so mine will have to wait, like many of you. There is no exact date for when we’ll get the Play store on our Chromebooks, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe Google will release more updates on the Chrome Blog regarding the rest of the Chromebooks.
You can check if your Chromebook is compatible with Google Play first. Before you get excited over the update. Just use the list below. Note that this list isn’t complete as stated by Google.
Will my Chromebook get Google Play?
There’s a list of Chromebook models and manufacturers that you need to check to make sure Google Play will be compatible for your Chromebook.
For your convenience, this is the list from Google’s Support KB:
|Acer||Chromebook 11 C740|
|Chromebook 11 CB3-111 / C730 / CB3-131|
|Chromebook 15 CB5-571 / C910|
|Chromebook 15 CB3-531|
|Chromebook R11 C738T|
|Chromebook 14 CB3-431|
|Chromebook 14 for Work|
|Chromebook Flip C100PA|
|Chromebase Commercial 22″|
|CDI||eduGear Chromebook M Series|
|eduGear Chromebook K Series|
|CTL||Chromebook J2 / J4|
|N6 Education Chromebook|
|J5 Convertible Chromebook|
|Dell||Chromebook 11 3120|
|Chromebook 13 7310|
|Chromebook Pixel (2015)|
|Chromebook 11 G2|
|HP||Chromebook 11 G3 / G4 / G4 EE|
|Chromebook 14 G4|
|N20 / N20P Chromebook|
|ThinkPad 11e Chromebook|
|Thinkpad 13 Chromebook|
|Thinkpad 11e Chromebook Gen 2|
|Samsung||Chromebook 2 11″ – XE500C12|
|Sector 5||E1 Rugged Chromebook|
|Chromebook 2 (2015)|
|True IDC||Chromebook 11|
If you don’t see your Chromebook model on the list, it may be added later, as Google states they’re updating the list constantly. It mainly has to do with the CPU architecture and system compatibility.
It’s already known that some models of Chromebooks won’t be able to run Google Play, however, a lot of this information is still in the air. There hasn’t been any official word from Google yet.
Google Play on Chromebook opens functionality
Either way, this news has me ecstatic. Finally being able to use Android apps on Chromebook is an amazing feat that should’ve been done a while ago. Chrome OS and Chromebooks, in general, have come a long way. From the first full-screen Chrome browser with no offline compatibility all the way to a blazing-fast laptop with file management, offline apps, and even a desktop (although it’s a static image). I’m sure Chrome OS will improve.
Chromebooks gaining respect in the market
Chromebooks aren’t really the joke they used to be anymore. They’re now used in educational systems across the United States, rapidly replacing Mac and Windows. They’ve also recently surpassed Macbooks in sales.
With the cheap pricing, efficient computing, and an improving service to get users more out of their Chromebooks- it’s easy to see why their popularity has increased so rapidly and is quickly becoming a respected OS.
Anyway, with Google Play coming to Chromebooks and the ability to use Android apps on Chromebooks, that’ll just add fuel to that growing fire. Chrome OS is already replacing Windows and Macs everywhere.
Google Play seamless app integration on Chromebooks
Of course, there will be some issues that need dealing with. Such as going from a touchscreen to a keyboard and mouse, or even just a keyboard and trackpad. And the issue with Chromebooks that have a touchscreen as well as keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. The majority of apps on the Play store, well pretty much all of them (but nothing is absolute), are built for touchscreen devices, so integrating it with a keyboard may be an issue. However, Google has stated that the Android apps should work nicely on a Chromebook and almost be seamless. How this will be done, I’m not sure. Will there be alternative apps with a different interface? Or will it just be the same UI but you click instead of touch? Lots and lots of questions, yet, I can only find so little answers online. And most of them are very vague and rumored.
It doesn’t matter. The news about Android apps on Chromebooks coming from Google’s Blog and Google I/O is enough to satisfy my hunger. And I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Knowing that Chromebooks have a large following should make a lot of users- whether they’re a casual user, poweruser, or developer get excited for the Play store coming to Chromebooks.
Ready to Skype, play Minecraft, and swipe right on your Chromebook? I know I am. I’ve been ready.