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Android Google Software

Google Play Store and Over a Million Android Apps Coming To Chromebooks (arstechnica.com) 48

It's official: the Google Play Store is coming to Chrome OS. The company announced on Thursday that it is bringing more than 1.5 million Android apps to Chromebooks. Google adds that zero efforts are required from developers' end for their Android apps to function on Chrome OS. Users will also be able to see notifications and have in-line replies on the desktop. Users on developer channel builds of Chrome OS will get an option to use Google Play and Android apps starting early next month. Regular users on select Chromebook models will have this feature in September. Ars Technica has tons of more details about it. The Verge says Android apps are just what Chromebooks needed.
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Google Play Store and Over a Million Android Apps Coming To Chromebooks

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  • Perfect, shovelware for my neutered laptop. Excellent. Amazing. Brilliant.
  • The only thing my wife needs is a browser (and the occasional casual document editing, which Google Apps can handle). I was strongly considering getting her a Chromebook (specifically the Acer 15) because the performance, battery life and display are quite good for the price, plus it's practically impenetrable to malware, but this news actually wavers me a bit. More stuff ChromeOS has to do means it's slower (keep in mind most Chromebooks have either a smartphone ARM CPU, or the lightweight Intel Celeron),
    • The only thing my wife needs is a browser (and the occasional casual document editing, which Google Apps can handle). I was strongly considering getting her a Chromebook (specifically the Acer 15) because the performance, battery life and display are quite good for the price, plus it's practically impenetrable to malware, but this news actually wavers me a bit. More stuff ChromeOS has to do means it's slower (keep in mind most Chromebooks have either a smartphone ARM CPU, or the lightweight Intel Celeron), and also it's more prone to malware.

      That's also the problem with Chrome books. As long as all you need is that stuff you are OK but the moment you want to do some real work you run into the limitations of Chrome OS. I can see how adding all those Android apps would be a good move for people like my dad who hates tablets and prefers a keyboard but for anybody doing any real work a thin client laptop is completely inadequate even if it has millions of Android apps designed to be used on tablets and mobile devices with all the horrifying UI comp

      • but for anybody doing any real work a thin client laptop is completely inadequate

        I beg to differ. We have hundreds of Chromebooks deployed that talk to our warehouse management system. They process orders, take mail from clients, move product onto trucks, print VICS bill of ladings, are able to access their dashboards, and so forth. I would say all of that is real work. I get what you are saying and I don't disagree on the finer points like wanting to power through spreadsheets, manage a workflow for 100s of photos, do 3d rendering, etc... But Chromebooks do actually do work. Our

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        "As long as all you need is that stuff you are OK but the moment you want to do some real work"
        That is also the problems with cars. Once you need to haul a lot of stuff you really need a pickup. And if you really need to haul a lot of stuff you need a Semi!

        Of course that is also the problem with PCs. One you need to get real work done you need something like a workstation class machine with dual Xeons and several Tesla cards.

        Oh wait... A car can do many tasks just fine and will often cost less than a truck.

      • As long as all you need is that stuff you are OK but the moment you want to do some real work you run into the limitations of Chrome OS. I can see how adding all those Android apps would be a good move for people like my dad who hates tablets and prefers a keyboard but for anybody doing any real work a thin client laptop is completely inadequate even if it has millions of Android apps designed to be used on tablets and mobile devices with all the horrifying UI compromises and awful user experiences that brings with it.

        If you can truly run any Android application on Chrome OS, then everything you describe isn't at all a limitation of the OS itself (nor is it a limitation of Android.) It's actually just a matter of application developers writing Android applications that take advantage of a larger screen. That's all there really is to it. There's nothing stopping you from having applications equivalent to the desktop counterparts of CAD, quickbooks, photoshop, and any other big name heavy duty productivity application you

    • My wife loves her Chromebook. Although it is set up to dual boot to Ubuntu, and she's comfortable with Linux, she has never needed it. ChromeOS does everything she wants to do. I was surprised how good the battery life is, too.

      You don't HAVE to run Android apps on it just because you CAN.

  • by Gregory Eschbacher ( 2878609 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @03:04PM (#52143197)
    Right now, Chromebooks don't have large amounts of local storage ("It belongs in the cloud!"). Hopefully with Android support (with some games running into the gigs) this will push Chromebooks to offer large amounts of storage (64, 128, etc) and basically make these real laptops, instead of cloudy-laptops. This is great news though, especially for Chromebooks with touchscreens.
  • my next laptop is going to be a shiney new Chromebook!!!, maybe Santa Clause will buy one for all the kids in the family
  • by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @03:29PM (#52143347)

    I am back to developing on Linux after a long stint on OS X and one thing I really miss now is the OS X Dashboard widgets.

    Ubuntu is way behind OS X here, even if they integrated a Dashboard clone the ecosystem of widgets would be far behind and never catch up. But Ubuntu could leapfrog the OS X Dashboard by absorbing Chrome's support for Android widgets into an integrated Dashboard clone.

    • I am back to developing on Linux after a long stint on OS X and one thing I really miss now is the OS X Dashboard widgets.

      Isn't that what KDE Plasma is supposed to do? Don't know, never tried it, and have nothing to compare it to. I use just the basics of KDE and find that perfectly ok.

      • by halivar ( 535827 )

        He's on Ubuntu, which is all in on Gnome. I, myself, am looking for a Hyper-V friendly distro with KDE default and no systemd. Alas, there is none.

        • by jon3k ( 691256 )
          So switch to Kubuntu [kubuntu.org] ?
          • by halivar ( 535827 )

            I tried out Kubuntu but the base packages gave me a weird error (no customization; I just took default options).

        • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

          I, myself, am looking for a Hyper-V friendly distro with KDE default and no systemd. Alas, there is none.

          Gentoo, perhaps? No systemd, whatever desktop you want (if any...there is no default), and while I've never done anything with HyperV, I have Gentoo VMs running in both VirtualBox and VMware ESXi.

          • by halivar ( 535827 )

            I was a Gentoo "ricer" for years. It was my first pick when I needed a Linux VM. But currently there is no official support for the Linux Hyper-V Integration Services on Gentoo, and the only overlay I could find was out of date.

        • He's on Ubuntu, which is all in on Gnome.

          sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop

          Co-exists perfectly well with Gnome. Gnome apps run fine under KDE and vice versa. Select whether you want to boot Gnome or KDE (Plasma) at the login prompt.

  • Does this mean we will be able to play Clash of Clans on a Chrome book? I know we can use Bluestacks right now, but it is clunky.

  • They say the cutoff is ~2 years, but the Chromebook 13 is not supported, despite being a less than 2 year old model and having an ARM processor. Perhaps it's because that processor is only 32 bits, but it still sucks.

    • I think manufacturers are choosing which Chromebooks to support and which ones not to support. I actually don't think it's a technical issue.
  • by Threni ( 635302 )

    Last time I looked it wasn't possible to get a Chromebook ISO so I could check it out in a VM. Has anyone had more luck than me?

    • I had a box a while back set up with chromium, the open source version of chrome, but don't know exactly how close it is to an out of the box Chromebook experience... ran all chrome apps fine, though.

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