Google’s never-got-off-to-a-start Chrome OS could soon get its shot at revival with the introduction of the ability to run millions of Android apps on its platform. The Chrome OS, which has been Google’s effort to boost it’s platform on Laptops and hybrid computers, had seen a decline in user base, despite the introduction of new and better tablets, like the Pixel C.
This news comes from a redditor by the name of TheWiseYoda, who, while running the recent Chrome OS 50 developer version(which also introduces the material design makeover to Chrome OS) discovered upon opening the settings option on his PC, an option to ‘Enable Android Apps to run on Chrome OS’ under the Android Apps section. But, he also reports that the option disappears almost immediately, and is unclickable.
He says, that he started looking around for an explanation for this erratic behavior of the OS and found some clues pertaining to this upcoming feature in the source code, which reads something like this:
<message name=“IDS_ARC_NOTIFICATION_MESSAGE” desc=“Description message of the first-run notification that enables Android apps.”>
<message name=“IDS_ARC_NOTIFICATION_TITLE” desc=“Title of the first-run notification that enables Android apps.”>
Google Play Store
Over a million apps and games now available on your <ph name=“DEVICE_TYPE”>$1<ex>Chromebook</ex></ph>.
What you see above is a code from the Chromium code channel and it shows the message that ‘Over a million apps and games now available on your Chromebook’ via the Google Play Store. Another important thing to notice in the above code, is the mention of the name ‘ARC’ which refers to the ‘App Runtime on Chrome’, a project that Google released about an year ago to allow developers to run Android Apps on most desktop OS’s. This seems to be an extended version of the same ARC runtime, which has finally allowed the Android apps to come to the Chrome OS.
This feature has recently started showing up on the Chrome OS, when the Google I/O Conference is just around the corner.
Another Redditor InauspiciousPagan replied to the above subreddit, and has able to expose this feature and open the Google Play Store on the Chrome OS, but it still doesn’t seem to be responding.
Does this mean that the Chrome Web Store that Google has very direly tried to push to the forefront is about to die? The introduction of Android Apps on the Chrome OS is a positive sign for the developer community as well as the users, but the Chrome extensions and apps, will be rendered useless once this feature is released and set into motion. We’re really excited to see how the Android Apps will run and perform on the Chrome OS.
It will be important to see the announcements Google makes at the I/O Conference(from 18th-20th May in Mountain View, California), to take the Chrome platform one step further, and closer to Android.