ANDROID APPS could soon be creeping over to Chrome OS as Google appears to be taking a hammer to the barriers that separate the two operating systems.
One eagle-eyed Reddit user called TheWiseYoda asked fellow Redditors if they had spotted a hidden feature in Chrome OS that offers the option to 'Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook'. The option appears to crop up in version 51 of Chrome OS as a checkbox, but disappears quickly.
This is not the first time Google has flirted with running several native Android apps on Chrome OS and other operating systems, having launched the App Runtime for Chrome project last year. But expanding this to all of Android could allow millions of apps available through Google’s Play store to work on Chromebooks.
Google has always championed keeping the two operating systems separate, but allowing them to play nice together could expand the scope of Chromebooks beyond popular if niche products.
Reddit folk who responded to TheWiseYoda’s post clearly think this is a stellar move by Google, if it's true.
“If what I got from this wasn't a nerdgasm I don't know what is. Thank you Google! Praise DuARTe and all that stuff. Fuck, this is all I wanted for Christmas. Now it just has to, you know, work properly,” said Matter99, sounding a bit like they needed a lie down.
Dbz2k got straight to the point: “Wow! this is amazing.” Sneakymofo, who we hope is reading this now, said: “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. This needs to be posted in a separate thread so news sources can pick it up."
Sadly for the excited bunch, the feature appears only in the version of Chrome OS made available to developers through Google’s Developer Channel. So less tech-savvy Chromebook users will need to cool their jets for the time being.
We’d like to point out that Jide’s Remix OS allows a large number of Andorid apps to be used in a pseudo desktop form. It might not be exactly the same as mixing Chrome OS with Android, but it’s a pretty good start.
Now if only Apple can follow suit and allow iOS apps on Mac OS X all will be right with the world. (Disclaimer: no of course it won’t.) µ
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