Does Your Chromebook Run Android Apps?
In May of 2016, Google announced the ability to run Android apps on some Chromebooks. The ability to run Android apps really adds functionality, especially on touchscreen and convertible devices, like our Asus Chromebook Flips. It gives the best of both worlds, in my opinion. We can use browser based web apps like Google Docs with their full functionality and can also run app based games or education software from the play store.
The list below highlights some of the more common current Chromebook models (as of 8/27/2017) that run Android and the Play Store on the stable channel – which is what you are running if you have not specifically chosen to use the beta or developer channel.
|Common Chromebook Models with Play Store||Touchscreen||Convertible||Stylus||Amazon Price|
|Acer Chromebook R11||Yes||Yes||No||$249.00|
|Acer Chromebook Spin 11||Yes||Yes||Yes||$399.00|
|AOpen Chromebox Mini||No||No||No||$202.03|
|AOpen Chromebase All-In-One Desktop||Yes||No||No||$728.19|
|Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA||Yes||Yes||No||$305.69|
|Asus Chromebook Flip C213||Yes||Yes||No||$349.00|
|Lenovo ThinkPad11e (Gen 4)||No||No||No||$239.00|
|Lenovo ThinkPad11e Yoga (Gen 4)||Yes||Yes||No||$219.91|
|Samsung Chromebook Plus||Yes||Yes||Yes||$343.90|
|Samsung Chromebook Pro||Yes||Yes||Yes||$499.00|
Not sure which channel your Chromebook is on?
Check by opening settings and clicking on the hamburger menu in the top left corner. Choose “About Chrome OS” at the bottom of the menu that appears. On the “About Chrome OS” screen choose the last option, ” Detailed build information.” The screen the appears will show you which channel you are on. There is also an option to change to beta or developer channel here, but be aware that doing so will wipe your chromebook and delete anything in the downloads folder. All your apps, etc will re-install when you log back in, but you WILL LOSE anything in your downloads folder if you choose to change channels.
The Asus Chromebook Flip model we use allows for installation of Android apps alongside normal ChromeOS abilities. It is easy to use and many apps work really well. Some apps are a bit finicky and don’t always work the way I expect them to, but it sounds like this will be improved in the future.
One of our Chromebooks is on the beta channel, and it updated to Android N (7.1.1) yesterday. Once your Chromebook is running 7.1.1 the android apps can be resized just like all the other windows. This doesn’t always have the desired effect, but it is a great step in the right direction.
To install and use an Android app on a Chromebook that supports the Play Store:
You click on the play store icon and find the app you want to install.
Click on install, and after the installation finishes the icon will appear in your app drawer.
Click on the icon and use the app just like you would on a phone or tablet, including touchscreen capability.