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Google Is Bringing Play Store Apps To Chromebooks

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Move could bring “over a million” apps and games to Chrome OS devices

Google is planning a major expansion to its Chrome OS software which will look to join the dots between it and Android.

The company is set to announce a new feature that will allow the installation and running of Android apps and the Play Store app marketplace onto devices running Chrome OS, opening up the latter to a huge range of new services.

Previously, devices running Chrome OS, primarily Chromebooks and Google’s Pixel C notebook, have had to do with ported versions of popular apps from the Chrome Web Store.

Up and running

playstore chromeosThe update was spotted by a Reddit user in a developer build of the upcoming version 51 of Chrome OS, who found a new option in Chrome OS titled “Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook.”

The user posted a screengrab of the notification announcing the news (pictured left), which told users that they could choose from “over a million apps and games” currently on Google Play to install on their Chromebook.

Given the timeframe of this leak, the new feature could be announced at Google’s I/O event next month, where the company normally reveals its latest work.

This year’s event should also see the public unveiling of Android N, the newest version of Google’s mobile software.

So far two developer preview versions of Android N have been released, showing a number of improvements on the previous edition, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Among the improvements are ‘multi-window’ multitasking, along with support for Java 8 languages and the new Vulkan 3D rendering API, which brings major power and performance improvements for CPU-heavy apps.

There is also improved notification tools that let users reply to messages without having to leave the notification shade, and a new bundled notifications feature to allow users to group notifications from the same app together – for example individual messages from a messaging app.

Bringing together Chrome OS and Android would help smooth out Google’s rollout of new apps and services, and might even help attract consumers familiar with using Android on their smartphone to a Chromebook device running the same software.

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