Best Android apps on Chrome OS



Optimizing Android app experiences for Chrome OS


Posted by the Chrome OS teamFrom releasing our first-ever tablets and detachables to launching Chromebooksin new markets like Japan and Germany, we’ve worked hard to adapt theecosystem of Chrome OS devices to today’s app users. And as peopleincreasingly use apps on devices with larger screens and versatile formfactors, we’ve been able to engage a huge new group of users.Android powers a growing variety of large-screen devices, from tablets andfoldables to Chrome OS laptops. Because Chromebooks specifically run a fullversion of the Android framework inside a container, most Android apps alreadyrun on Chrome OS. That means devs can take their single Android APK and scaleit to work on any Chrome OS device, allowing for even more immersive andengaging experiences on devices with bigger screens.> Devs can take their single Android APK and scale it to work on any Chrome OS> device, allowing for even more immersive and engaging experiences on devices> with bigger screens.Total time spent in Android apps on Chrome OS has also grown 4X in the lastyear,¹ and in Q4 2018, 21% of notebooks sold in the U.S. were Chromebooks — a23% YoY growth.²Delivering an optimal experience on Chrome OS only takes a few tweaks, butthey make a major impact. After Gameloft and TopHatch optimized their apps forlarger screens, Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne drove 6X more daily app usersand 9X more revenue on Chrome OS devices, while TopHatch has seen twice asmany paid conversions on Chromebooks and 20X more time spent on Pixelbooks forits Concepts app.At I/O this year, we broke down some helpful steps to ensure your app willlook and work great across a variety of form factors and screen sizes. Checkout the highlights below along with a couple exciting new updates for Androiddevelopers in Chrome OS.

Set up Play Store and run Android apps on your Chromebook


When you try to open up Play Store on your Chromebook for the first time, youwill notice that it’s not opening up. Well, you will first have to enableAndroid apps in Chrome OS settings to start using it. To do it, just head toSettings and check “Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook“.Note: You have to be logged in a Chromebook’s administrator account to enablethis option and run Android apps.Once done, you can click on the Play Store icon and set it up, like you wouldon a brand new Android device. After the set up, the Play Store should open upand you can start installing apps.

Best Chrome extensions for Chrome OS


Chrome extensions are really the last bastion in the fight for survival fornative Chrome apps. These extensions all use native Chrome libraries and API.With extensions, you basically get the ability to add mini versions of an appin the top-right corner of your Chrome browser. The operability of extensionscan vary by the intended use-case, and some web apps or Android apps may havetheir own Chrome extension as well.Google Keep is a prime example of a web app that also has an extension. TheKeep extension allows you to save websites to your notes as you navigate inthe browser. Let’s take a look at four useful Chrome extensions.

Best Android apps for Chrome OS


Before we jump into our list of the best Android apps for each category, notethat not all Android apps are optimized for Chromebooks. Most popular socialmedia, productivity, and media apps are optimized, but there are rareexceptions. It’s easy to tell if an app is not optimized for Chromebooks —you’ll notice the app still runs in a window the size of a phone screen.The majority of the apps discussed below are optimized for Chrome OS. You canalso check out our full guide to Android apps on Chrome OS for more tips andsuggestions.

Best Android Apps for Chrome OS


Since Chrome OS does not have native apps, Google has brought support formillions of Android apps on this new operating system. The apps are compatiblewith the mouse and keyboard and also support resizable window size. So, inthis article, I am going to share some of the best Android apps for Chrome OSthat you must use.

How to download Android apps on your Chromebook:


* Turn your Chromebook on and log in. * Open the app drawer. Either tap on the Launcher icon, or swipe up from the bottom. * Find the Google Play Store app and open it. * Search or browse for your app of choice. If you’re looking for options, see our list of best Android apps coming up in this article. * Click on Install. * Wait for the app to install, and it will appear in your app drawer shortly after.Now that you know how to install Android apps, let’s take a look at the bestoptions in each category.

Best Android apps on Chrome OS


Before we jump into our list of the best Android apps for each category, notethat not all Android apps are optimized for Chromebooks. Most popular socialmedia, productivity, and media apps are optimized, but there are rareexceptions. It’s easy to tell if an app is not optimized for Chromebooks —you’ll notice that the app still runs in a window the size of a phone screen.The majority of the apps discussed below are optimized for Chrome OS, with theexception of Microsoft Office Mobile.

How to download Android apps on your Chromebook:


* Turn your Chromebook on and log in. * Open the app drawer. Either tap on the Launcher icon, or swipe up from the bottom. * Find the Google Play Store app and open it. * Search or browse for your app of choice. If you’re looking for options, see our list of best Android apps coming up in this article. * Click on Install. * Wait for the app to install, and it will appear in your app drawer shortly after.Now that you know how to install Android apps, let’s take a look at the bestoptions in each category.

Best Android apps on Chrome OS


Before we jump into our list of the best Android apps for each category, notethat not all Android apps are optimized for Chromebooks. Most popular socialmedia, productivity, and media apps are optimized, but there are rareexceptions. It’s easy to tell if an app is not optimized for Chromebooks —you’ll notice that the app still runs in a window the size of a phone screen.The majority of the apps discussed below are optimized for Chrome OS, with theexception of Microsoft Office Mobile.

How to download Android apps on your Chromebook:


* Turn your Chromebook on and log in. * Open the app drawer. Either tap on the Launcher icon, or swipe up from the bottom. * Find the Google Play Store app and open it. * Search or browse for your app of choice. If you’re looking for options, see our list of best Android apps coming up in this article. * Click on Install. * Wait for the app to install, and it will appear in your app drawer shortly after.Now that you know how to install Android apps, let’s take a look at the bestoptions in each category.

Best Android apps on Chrome OS


Before we jump into our list of the best Android apps for each category, notethat not all Android apps are optimized for Chromebooks. Most popular socialmedia, productivity, and media apps are optimized, but there are rareexceptions. It’s easy to tell if an app is not optimized for Chromebooks —you’ll notice that the app still runs in a window the size of a phone screen.The majority of the apps discussed below are optimized for Chrome OS, with theexception of Microsoft Office Mobile.

Web apps first, Android apps second


If you’ve never used a Chromebook before, you might now be thinking, “Wow, whowould ever buy one of these things?” The simple answer is this: most peopledon’t care. Chromebooks are cheap, they work, and they’re still faster thanWindows laptops in the same price brackets (until you get to ~$500, anyway).Compared to the legacy dumpsterfire that is Windows 10, or the expensivewalled garden that is macOS, Chrome OS is definitely an attractive option tomany people — if only as a secondary operating system.When I had a Chromebook as my only laptop, I used Android apps as a fallbackfor when a service or tool didn’t have a comparable web equivalent. Forexample, the Slack web app still doesn’t offer notifications, so I installedthe Android version. This is the best way to use Chrome OS — try the web appfirst, and if it’s not good (or there isn’t one in the first place), go forthe Android app.Google is increasingly encouraging people to use Android apps first andforemost.However, Google is increasingly encouraging people to use Android apps firstand foremost. When you set up a Chromebook for the first time, the Chrome WebStore isn’t in the dock — but the Play Store is. While Chrome OS has receivedupdate after update focusing on improvements to Android app support, itsintegration with Progressive Web Apps is identical to Chrome onWindows/Mac/Linux.Again, Google is having trouble leading by example here. Some of the company’sweb apps have been updated to function as Progressive Web Apps (like AndroidMessages and Google Photos), but they don’t take advantage of any new webfeatures. Most of them don’t function offline or send backgroundnotifications.This strategy is also apparent with Google filling the software gaps in ChromeOS. Instead of making a web photo editor, perhaps as an extension to GooglePhotos, Google convinced Adobe to add tablet support to Lightroom for Android.If you want to do video calls, Duo for Android is the recommended option (nowthat Hangouts is kind of going away soon). If you want to edit PDFs, you getAdobe Acrobat for Android.Google is leaning more and more on Android apps to make Chromebooks viablecomputers. While this does lead to Chrome OS being a more versatile operatingsystem, it also means the average user experience isn’t getting any better.”

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