At Google I/O in June last year, Google announced that Android apps would be coming to ChromeOS. A flood of apps hasn’t eventuated, with Google carefully cultivating the apps which have been ported. We’ve seen a total of 28 apps ported over, but the flood gates may be about to burst with Google advising that any Android developer can now start using the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) extension.
Google made the announcement via The Verge, when talking about their low-end Chromebooks, Chromebit and Asus Flip Chromebook launch this morning. They took pains to advise that ‘Chrome OS still isn’t really designed with touch in mind’ – but that may get a bit more interesting with more Android apps sure to come after this announcement.
With the release of the low-price, touch-screen friendly Asus Flip which appears to be aimed squarely at the education market, an influx of touch-enabled functional apps is just what ChromeOS needs. ChromeOS has been toying with touch capability for some time with options such as a virtual keyboard and gestures such as pinch-to-zoom built-in to the core OS.
More information on porting apps should be made available shortly, so if you’re an Android developer keep an eye out.