Right now, Chrome OS is technically capable of running some Android apps thanks the “App Runtime for Chrome (ARC)” project that Google implemented. For some Chrome OS users, though, that might not be enough Android app love.
Luckily for those folks, it looks like a big change is coming down the pipe. According to a few different Reddit users, starting with “TheWiseYoda,” it looks like Google is building up Chrome OS to officially support not only more Android apps, but allow Chromebook users to access those apps through the Google Play Store, too.
“TheWiseYoda” was using the latest developer build of Chrome OS on his Chromebook, when booting up them machine went through the standard settings process. Within that, though, “TheWiseYoda” noticed that an option for “Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook” existed. Unfortunately the confirmation screen doesn’t last long enough to agree.
However, digging through the source code “TheWiseYoda” was able to discover strings that directly suggest that Google is bringing support for the Google Play Store and more Android apps to Chrome OS:
Choose from over a million apps and games on Google Play to install and use on your Chromebook.
One interesting point is that there appears to be an opt-in process this time around. With the aforementioned Android apps that already support running on Chrome OS, they function that way out of the box. This indicates, along with the confirmation screen while setting up the Chromebook, that Google will let users decide whether or not their machine can access the Play Store and more than a million Android apps.
Back in October of last year a report surfaced that suggested Google had plans to roll Chrome OS into Android, and that doesn’t appear to be what’s happening here. Instead, this move would suggest that Google is preparing to ditch the Chrome Web Store and offer access to the Play Store instead.
What do you think of the move?