Over the past few years Google has rolled out the ability to run Android apps on dozens of Chromebooks. But the feature’s still in beta, and there are some weird quirks: for example, while you can open multiple Android apps at once, they tend to freeze as soon as you click on a different window, because that’s largely the way they would work on a phone.
But on a notebook or desktop you can easily fit multiple apps on the screen at once, and you don’t necessarily want one to stop just because you clicked on another.
Starting with Chrome OS 64 beta, it looks like there’s an option called “parallel running of tasks” that lets Android tasks keep running even when the app isn’t in focus.
The feature’s disabled by default, but you can turn it on by enabling developer options from the Android Settings menu, and then scrolling down to those developer options until you see the option for enabling parallel tasks.
Keep in mind that Chrome OS was designed as a desktop operation and has always had the ability to run parallel tasks when using websites or native Chrome apps. What’s new here is that the Android subsystem now allows tasks to run in parallel as well… making Android apps on a Chromebook behave a bit more like desktop apps.
According to redditor cliubtech, who spotted the new option about two weeks ago, Chrome OS 64 beta is still pretty buggy and crash-prone, so you might want to wait for the stable version of Chrome OS 64 to roll out before trying out the new parallel tasks option. But Chrome Unboxed put together a video showing off the feature in action, which you can check out below: