Enable the Google Play Store



How to Get Android Apps on a Chromebook


One of the most exciting changes Google made to its Chrome OS platform inrecent years was the addition of Android app support in 2016. While Chrome OScould already run browser extensions and web apps, the addition of Androidapps has dramatically increased the platform’s value.Nearly all Chromebooks launched in or after 2019 support Android apps andalready have the Google Play Store enabled — there’s nothing you need to do.However, there are models new and old that simply can’t run Android apps dueto hardware limitations. If you’re not sure if your Chromebook qualifies,Google provides an extensive list. The company says it will continue to“evaluate more devices.”Keep in mind that not every Android app will run on your qualified Chromebook.Again, this is due to hardware limitations because the developer hasn’treleased an app that, for example, runs natively on Intel processors. Also,keep in mind that Android apps consume local storage, so be wary aboutdownloading all your favorites. These apps cannot be sideloaded to an SD card.Read on to find out how to get Android apps on a Chromebook. If your devicedoesn’t qualify (yet), then we’ll suggest an alternative.

Enable the Google Play Store


You probably already have the Google Play Store enabled, but if it’s notclearly visible on the Shelf or Launcher, here’s how to make sure it’sswitched on.Step 1: Click the Quick Settings Panel (system clock) followed by the Settingscog on the pop-up menu.Step 2: Select Apps listed on the left.Step 3: Select Google Play Store listed on the right.If the Google Play Store is enabled, you’ll see a Remove button. If not, moveon to the next step.Step 4: Click the Turn On button displayed next to Install Apps and Games fromGoogle Play on Your Chromebook.Step 5: Select More in the pop-up window.Step 6: Select I Agree after reading Google’s Terms of Service.Step 7: The Google Play Store appears on the screen. Accept the additionalterms and conditions.Now you can proceed to the next section.

Change app permissions or uninstall


Step 1: Click the Quick Settings Panel (system clock) followed by the Settingscog on the pop-up menu.Step 2: Select Apps listed on the left.Step 3: Select Manage Your Apps listed on the right.Step 4: Click on the app you want to modify or delete.Step 5: To modify the permissions, click the Toggle next to each to switchthem on or off. For example, Microsoft Word can access storage but not thecamera, microphone, or contacts.If you just want to uninstall the app, click the Uninstall button instead.

Android app extra tips


Chromebook type: The quality of your Android app experience will vary based onyour Chromebook. For example, Chromebooks with touchscreens, and particularly2-in-1s, will provide the best Android app experience. System components likeaccelerometers will make playing games and other tasks more enjoyable as well.Remember, always update Chrome OS before trying to download Android apps!Syncing: Your Android apps, like other apps, will try to automatically sync tothe data in any other Chromebooks you are logged on to. However, they may notsync if you are using the app on a non-Chrome device.Administrators: Administrator settings may block the ability to add the ChromeStore or Android Apps to your computer. If you’re at work or school, you mayneed to secure permissions or move to a different network.

Use Linux to force Android app installs


One possible workaround is to sideload Android apps using Linux. This can beuseful for those who prefer Linux commands and could make some Android appsmore stable on a Chromebook. Also, sideloading apps means you don’t have toget your apps through the Play Store, which can make it easier to access someapps that you may want to use.However, there’s a catch — the process isn’t easy. You need to be comfortablewith Linux and Android APKs to make the whole thing work. Here are a few otherthings to consider: * Installing Android apps outside the Google Play Store is absolutely dangerous, as they could contain malware. * Android apps simply may not run normally on your Chromebook’s hardware. * Your Chromebook may not have adequate space to host the Android tools and apps.If you want to take the risk, use the following steps. We divided theinstructions into three sections.Enable LinuxStep 1: Click the Quick Settings Panel (system clock) followed by the Settingscog on the pop-up menu.Step 2: The Settings window opens. Select Linux (Beta) listed on the left.Step 3: Select Turn On and follow the on-screen instructions.Enable Android Debug BridgeWith Linux up and running, you now need the Android Debug Bridge.Step 1: Click the Quick Settings Panel (system clock) followed by the Settingscog on the pop-up menu.Step 2: The Settings window opens. Select Linux (Beta) listed on the left.Step 3: Click Linux listed on the right.Step 4: Select Develop Android Apps.Step 5: Click the Toggle next to Enable ADB Debugging to switch this featureon.Get the ADB tools and Android APKYou’ll need the tools and APK to sideload your Android apps.Step 1: Open the Linux Terminal and type the following command to download theADB tools:sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb -yStep 2: With the Linux Terminal still open, type the following command:adb connect 100.115.92.2:5555Step 3: In the pop-up window to allow USB debugging, check the box next toAlways Allow and then select OK.Step 4: Install the Android APK.Step 5: To sideload a downloaded Android APK, use the following command in theLinux Terminal:adb install appname.apkThe whole process is certainly not for everyone, but those who are happy touse Linux will find it a great way to run Android apps without the Play Store.

Editors’ Recommendations


Running a performant android emulator for Window 10, AMD processor and RX580GPURecently upgraded GPU for an old machine and wanted to get the most out of thehardware, specially for an emulator running Android apps.There are number of Intel based guides out there but these configurations areparticular to the hardware that my machine is running.> Your numbers and results can vary to a great extent.Below on the left is an out of box 3D Mark test result for an X86 based AVD,compared to the right end, which is after all configurations X86 based AVD.Middle numbers are for an X86_64 based AVD, with same configuration as theright.* * *

Step 5 – Runtime settings


* Start the emulator and in “setting > Advanced” set it to Desktop native OpenGL and OpenGL ES 3.1, make sure to restart the AVD. * Inside Android, enable the developer settings, by tapping build number 7 times * Set Force 4x MSAA and Disable HW overlays in Developer options

2. Sign in to the Google Play Store


1. At the bottom right, select the time. 2. Select Settings . 3. In the “Google Play Store” section, next to “Install apps and games from Google Play on your Chromebook,” select Turn on. Note: If you don’t see this option, your Chromebook doesn’t work with Androidapps. 4. In the window that appears, select More. 5. You’ll be prompted to agree to the Terms of Service. When you’ve read and agreed, select I Agree.

Step 2: Get Android apps


Now, you can find and download Android apps on your Chromebook.Your Chromebook won’t automatically download the same Android apps as yourphone or tablet, so you’ll need to download them again. Also, some apps don’twork with some Chromebooks, so you won’t be able to download them.Note: The Google Play Store and any downloaded Android apps are only availablefor the account that signed in first. To use them with a different account,sign out of all your accounts and sign in with the account you want to use.

Change app permissions


After you install an Android app, you can control which capabilities orinformation it has access to, known as permissions: 1. At the bottom right, select the time. 2. Select Settings . 3. In the “Google Play Store” section, select Google Play Store. 4. Select Manage Android preferences. 5. In the “Device” section, select Apps. 6. Select an app in the list. 7. Select Permissions. 8. Next to a permission you want to turn on or off, select or tap the switch.

Back up and restore your app data


By default, automatic backup and restore of Android app data is turned on.This way, if you move to a new Chromebook, you can restore your Android appdata.To turn backup and restore on or off: 1. At the bottom right, select the time. 2. Select Settings . 3. In the “Google Play Store” section, select Google Play Store. 4. Select Manage Android preferences. 5. In the “Personal” section, select Back up my data. 6. To turn data backup off, move the switch from right to left. To turn it on, move the switch from left to right.Note: If your Chromebook has syncing turned off, but backup and restore turnedon, it will still back up your Android apps. But if you have more than oneChromebook, your Android apps and their data might not sync across yourChromebooks fully.Learn how Chrome OS handles your Android app data

What your Android apps can see


* Android apps can download files to and read files from your Chromebook’s downloads location. You can change this by opening an app’s permissions page, then turning off the Storage permission. * Some Android apps that have permission to see your location might also access Bluetooth on your Chromebook. * If you’re browsing in incognito mode and you open an app, then right click to open a link in that app, you’ll leave incognito mode. * If you turn off the Google Play Store on your Chromebook, all data and settings for your Android apps will be erased from your device. * You can review other privacy and security settings which come with using Android apps. Remember: some of the settings described in these links might not apply or appear on your Chromebook.

What Google can see


When you opt in to using the Google Play Store, some system apps and featuresmay send Google information about how you use those apps.If you’ve opted to send Google data about your Chromebook’s usage andperformance, Google will also get diagnostic and usage data about your Androidapps’ activities by default, as well as crash reports. Any crash reportsChrome sends to Google may also include some sensitive information about yourAndroid apps.”

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