Chromebook Updates: Android Apps Will Give Google's Devices Killer Features [VIDEO]
Chromebooks have always been a dark horse among portable productivity devices. When the mostly low-cost, low-power devices were initially unveiled, many were apprehensive about its usability due to its OS essentially being a superpowered web browser. With Google's recent announcement that it would be bringing the Android Play Store to its Chromebooks, however, these cloud-based devices just got a lot more attractive.
One of the things that Chromebooks have really been lacking at is its offline capabilities. While Google has been constantly improving the offline features of Chromebooks, the devices still feel very limited once their connection to the internet becomes compromised.
With the addition of Android apps, however, the Chromebooks' offline capabilities would be very much enhanced. Even basic communication apps, such as Skype, would finally be completely usable on the cloud-based machines. Currently, services such as Skype are extremely limited on Chromebooks, as the service does not offer voice or video calls at all.
As of writing, Google has already released the Play Store on the first Chromebook, the 2015 Asus Chromebook Flip, a convertible device with pretty modest specs, through the use of the Developer channel of Chrome OS. Though a number of Android apps are still not completely compatible at this point, initial impressions of the devices' added capability have been very positive.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws of the new feature for Chromebooks is the fact that it would expand the use of some popular apps that have so far been exclusive to mobile devices only. Indeed, in social media alone, some heavyweights such as Snapchat have focused their efforts on providing services for smartphones and tablets. This particular constraint would be gone once Android apps are fully integrated into Chrome OS.
From the initial impressions of those who have tried out Android apps for Chromebooks, it would seem like Google is definitely into something. If any, it seems like Apple is doing the same thing, with Siri integration making its way to its full-fledged desktop operating system.