Google might be planning a coup of sorts by introducing over a million Android apps to its Chrome OS. And a direct fallout of such efforts will be the same apps running on Windows and OS X as well.
All of that is centered around Google’s ambitious App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) project that seems to have gone for a significant extension in its scope to bring along the whole of Play Store itself to the Chrome platform.
As reported in Ars Technica, all of it started with the sighting of “Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook” checkbox by Reddit users on their Chromebook devices. Another Reddit took things further by taking the plunge into Chrome OS source code, and the efforts have been worth it considering the discovery of something more substantial – a code segment containing the following:
“Choose from over a million apps and games on Google Play to install and use on your Chromebook.”
It would make for a world of a difference to Chrome OS that so far was able to host a handful of Android apps. Having plenty of apps to choose from will not only infuse more life to Chrome OS that has often been criticized for the lack of enough quality apps, such a move will also be beneficial for Android as well in that it will get a life outside of tablets and into laptops that come with a dedicated keyboard and pointing device.
However, the entire exercise is not without its own inherent issues. Much of it has to do with Android apps itself, the majority of which have been designed for smartphones or tablets at the most. Trying to make the same apps scale up to fill the entire display of a full-sized Chromebook will not be a cakewalk.
Interestingly, Microsoft has been doing something similar with its Universal Windows Platform for past 2 years, which aims to design apps for the Windows 10 platform as a whole, irrespective of it running on a smartphone, tablet or a notebook.
Google has not been forthcoming wit further details on this though with its developer conference just weeks away (Google I/O 2016 starts mid-May); we might have more on this them.