Google is working on adding the ability to run some Android apps on Chrome OS laptop and desktop computers. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to run every Android app in the Play Store on a Chromebook… at least not initially.

During this week’s Google IO developer conference, Google demonstrated a few apps that are already working including Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard. Want to see more apps running on Android? Google wants your help picking some.

android on chrome

The implication is that one day it might really be possible to run every Android app on Chrome OS — but at launch, Chrome OS won’t support every app. So Google is going to pick a group of apps to prioritize.

Google is running a poll that asks users which Android apps they’d like to use on Chrome OS. Just include a link to the Play Store page for that app and let Google know if you’re the developer of the app and provide your email address if you are — so Googlers can get in touch if they need to.

Google isn’t saying when it’ll let users start to run Android apps on Chrome OS or exactly how much work is involved — it’s not clear if Google just wants to make sure apps are optimized for a mouse and keyboard or if there are some underlying bits of code that need to be altered before Android apps will run on a Chromebook. But it does seem clear that Google doesn’t plan to stop at Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard.

via François Beaufort

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26 replies on “Help Google pick Android apps that should run on Chrome OS”

  1. Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype, Skype.

  2. Having some cool apps like iFunny or Quizup would be intersting to run on Chrome. However, I think it would be cool to get the games ported over.

    1. Yeah, I already have a Chromebook and lack of Skype is the only thing that’s sometimes problematic.

    1. How do you propose to do that? ChromeOS and Android have very different UI designs and target form factors. I think coming up with a way to merge the OS’s would have similar isues too.

      I’m sure the fact that Google created ChromeOS versus augmenting Android means that Google have thought of these issues already and is currently unable to do it with adequate results. Maybe in the future they can come up with something.

    2. Yes, and the sooner that happens the better. Chrome OS, Android and Linux are all on a collision course.

      1. Don’t think Linux will be colliding with anything on the client side. Chrome OS is aimed squarely at taking market share away from Windows.

        1. I mean that the Android extensions to the Linux kernel will eventually become a standard part of the mainline.

          1. Aren’t those mostly driver and process/IO/memory scheduling/management type stuff? Even if the kernel is exactly the same, the OS’s are completely different.

          2. Chrome OS is binary compatible with regular desktop Linux. You can run Chrome OS inside a standard Linux desktop on the same kernel, or you can run a full Linux distribution on Chrome OS and switch between the two.

            Android, on the other hand, is not binary compatible with regular Linux or Chrome OS, because it uses different C libraries. It will be interesting to know how they’re resolving this problem. Making Android apps run on Chrome OS should mean running Android apps on regular Linux will also be possible.

          3. You often can’t run binaries from a Linux distro on ChromeOS even if they use the same shared libraries but different versions.

            What you describe with ChromeOS can be done on Android. I run Debian in a chroot on Android.

            The point was that what happens at the kernel level is fairly separate at the OS and especially the UI and target usage where the difference in design to be a big issue.

          4. My point was GNU/Linux and Chrome OS can run on the same kernel in parallel, with everything working fully, whereas running GNU/Linux on an Android kernel or running Android on a standard Linux kernel will not work fully.

          5. But you can run Debian, Arch, Gentoo, etc. on the same Linux kernel that your phone is using. I said I’m doing that now by running Debian on my Android phone using the same kernel Android is using.

            Also, Linux is the kernel and Debian, Ubuntu, Android, etc. use it. Linux is not an OS.

          6. I know what Linux is. Again, my point was about running GNU/Linux in parallel with Chrome OS, with both functioning 100%, which is possible. Running GNU/Linux and Android at the same time on the same kernel with everything working perfectly isn’t possible. As I mentioned originally, Android’s C libraries are not compatible with standard GNU/Linux C libs and can’t be run in parallel.

    3. If anything, this is a step towards that. Kind of like MS’ plan to have developers create universal apps across their Windows phone, tablet and desktop platforms where the UI and maybe even functionality adapts to the platform it’s being run on.

      Google may be envisioning the same thing as Microsoft by first seeing what it takes to adapt Android applications for ChromeOS and its related hardware. Then as a next step, they’ll come out with an SDK that allows devs to create universal Android and ChromeOS apps that can detect what they’re running on and take appropriate actions. All the while analyzing where things can be merged or have automatically change at the OS level. Android on phones and tablets was a similar but easier situation. Having a single base OS for phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops has more hurdles to go through.

      1. I highly doubt that’s what they’re doing. If they wanted a single OS, they would simply drop ChromeOS and go with Android, perhaps adding an app or service layer to help existing ChromeOS users migrate. ChromeOS doesn’t have the user base to prevent Google from doing that if they wanted to.

        1. What are your thoughts on why they’re looking into running Android apps on ChromeOS?

    1. … why? Firefox on tablets is nowhere near Firefox on desktop.

      1. Would replacing Firefox with Windows 8 make you better understand his statement? Or I can just say whoosh. Or maybe that could be said about my comment and I’m the one not understanding the hidden/sarcastic meaning in your comment.

        1. Okay, now I’m really confused. What do you mean replace Firefox with Windows 8? My point is that why submit Firefox for Android to be ported over to Chrome OS. If Google was to port it over, they’re not porting Firefox, they’re porting Firefox for Android. And Firefox for Android is not the same as Firefox for desktop.

          1. Because it’d be funny if one of the first Android apps you could run on Google’s Chrome operating system were a web browser that competes with Chrome.

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