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Android apps arrive on Chromebooks with Chrome OS Dev 53, Play Store live on ASUS Flip


Announced at Google I/O 2016, Androids apps and the Play Store are now officially on Chromebooks. Chrome OS 53 is rolling out now to all devices in the developer channel, but the Play Store is only showing up on the ASUS Chromebook Flip. Early users are reporting bugs, but reactions are generally positive with performance improvements over Android apps installed via ARC Welder.

While the Acer Chromebook R11 and the 2015 Chromebook Pixel are on Chrome OS 53, the Play Store is not yet visible in the app launcher, nor is there an option in settings to enable Android apps. Along with the Flip, the laptops will be the first to feature the Play Store. For a full list of Chromebooks that will support Android apps later this year, check Google’s support site.

Interestingly, the Chromebook is treated as a tablet running Android 6.0.1 and apps designed only for phones will not download. One user reported successfully downloading Real Racing 3, but not being able to get pass the “Tilt your device left to steer” screen, hinting at an issue with the accelerometer. Games like Alto’s Adventure and Crossy Road are reportedly running well.

Glitches seen in apps installed via ARC Welder are gone, with performance being generally better. So far, apps like Instagram do not launch, while Snapchat is buggy with users not being able to post or view stories.

The developer channel is considered unstable and Google warns it is “not suitable for use on your primary device and certain features and apps might break.” In my brief time on the dev channel, the browser portion of Chrome OS is stable on my Acer R11. However, it is probably wiser to wait for the beta channel in approximately six weeks.

(Image via Reddit)

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