Owning an Asus Chromebook Flip myself (a great machine) I was really excited when I discovered that android apps were coming to Chromebooks. Having installed custom roms on past phones I was not afraid to enter the developer channel (the least stable, most experimental and cutting edge version of the browser. Channel explanations). I enabled the dev channel and have been playing with android apps on my Chromebook for a couple of months. Now that it is out of beta on the Asus Chromebook Flip, Asus Chromebook R11 and Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) I wanted to share what I have learnt so far.
Essentially you can run many of the apps available through the play store in a window on your chromebook, though you can make apps fullscreen in immersive mode which works well. I hear some people have run into problems running apps on chromebooks, but I really haven’t experienced that. Everything I have tried has worked well. Obviously if an app is designed with only phones in mind then the dimensions of the chromebook screen can cause user experience problems but these are few and far between as apps have been developed with tablets in landscape mode for some time.
This additional functionality has truly transformed the future of Chromebooks. You have always been able to operate with productivity apps on Chromebooks, but Google’s own productivity apps aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Using all android apps increases the ability to use a lot more. Playing games on it is great, and though I have yet to buy it you can now play the full original KOTOR game on android and therefore chromebooks too. This is truly an exciting time for Chromebooks and I for one can’t wait to see where developers take this.