Another batch of Chromebooks can now receive the Android update in the Canary channel.
Initially, there was 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).
And now, three more laptops are getting the update.
Is one of them yours?
Let’s find out.
Android update rolls out to three more Chromebooks
The update just recently went into the Stable Channel for public release. Previously, it was only available on the Developer Channel and you had to switch Channels to access the update early.
However, even though the update is now live, Google still considers it as a “beta” release, according to Android Headlines.
This means that it’s not stable (even though it’s in the Stable Channel). It’s still full of bugs, performance issues, and other nasties.
The update is slowly rolling out to more and more laptops. 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 as a guinea pig.
The Channel is known to have bugs, so don’t expect smooth sailing. The Canary Channel actually precedes the Development Channel, so updates in it are very…primitive. But if you’re a dedicated Chrome OS fan itching to try out Subway Surfers or Clash of Clans on your Chromebook, I know there’s no stopping you.
So, if you’re the owner of a:
- Samsung Chromebook 3
- Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)
- Acer Chromebook 15
You’re eligible to try out the update by opting-in to the Canary Channel. Woot.
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 Web Store apps along with Android apps unlocks a whole plethora of possibilities of what exactly a Chromebook can do.
Everything from business, industrial, educational, casual, transportation, games, art, 3D projects and visuals, tutoring, and even something as simple as playing Minecraft Pocket Edition on your Chromebook.
All of these are possible and transforms them into an omni-functional laptop that you customize with your choice of apps.
In the developer’s perspective, 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.
It’ll also bring in the possibility of additional income expanding apps to a wider audience. Getting downloads, microtransactions, and installs on two different platforms means a larger bigger demographic and reach. The cost is that the app would need to be optimized for both platforms (and get rewarded for it).
Tying the two platforms together would be nice (that’s what Andromeda was), but they’re still distinct in their own way. In fact, that’s why the whole new Andromeda OS rumor was debunked in the first place. Keeping them separate is necessary.
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 that’ll receive the Android update.
This may cause issues when the update rolls out onto weaker Chromebooks, as the eligible laptops now have higher-end processors and RAM, along with Intel and ARM CPUs and touchscreen support. A lot of older laptops have very modest hardware.
My laptop doesn’t have any of these newer features (it’s an old Acer CB3-131), but rather a budget Intel Celeron CPU and the standard 2GB of RAM with no touchscreen.
I wonder how the Android update will work 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, other than slight performance problems and some funky resolution mismatches. But it’s still palatable.
Update: The Samsung Plus has been released and it doesn’t seem to handle Play Store apps all too well.
You can see how Android apps run on the ASUS Chromebook Flip in this video:
Well, we’ll have to see how the update does over time. Google is releasing it in small batches, so I’m assuming the later laptops to receive the update will get a nice, chiseled kink-free update served to them on a gold platter.
If not, at least they’re constantly improving their product.
Stay tuned for updates. You can also check out Google’s blog.
Update: The Play Store integration has come a long way. It’s now available for a ton of different laptops and continues to improve.
If you have a newer Chromebook made in 2017, you’re probably eligible to try the update (if you haven’t gotten it already).
I can say this because it’s been announced that all 2017 Chromebooks will be receving the Play Store update.
So if you have newer laptops, here’s a guide to force the update.
Feel free to try it out and play in the Play Store (get it?).