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.

Chrome Unboxed

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:

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,543 other subscribers

6 replies on “Run Android apps on Chromebooks without pausing when they lose focus (beta)”

    1. I’m wondering the same thing. I’m running Chrome OS 67 and can’t find the option where he says it is.

      1. I know this is an old post but I can confirm that this was disabled in v65

  1. I picked up an Asus Chromebook Flip C302 expecting to run Android apps. After all, Amazon advertised it as “Google Play Store/Android app ready”, but it didn’t come with Google Play preinstalled. I had to put it in Developers mode before I could install Google Play myself. Even then, Android apps like Angry Birds, Firefox and Skype would not run. I boxed up the Chromebook and returned it the next day. There was a message saying these apps would be available ‘soon’. That about 1 year ago.

  2. Another fine example of today’s “modern” operating systems. It’s ducktape all the way down…

    1. I never understood the need for Google to code a whole new OS for Chrome.. from the getgo it should have just been android with a custom launcher that gives Chrome focus

Comments are closed.