Just at the time when many thought the Chromebook might not be long for this world, the advent of Android apps on Google’s still-young platform was a real game changer. We’re only really now seeing devices launch with Android compatibility out of the box, instead of older devices receiving the functionality as development progresses.
There are, of course, a few things that could be done better, and one of the big ones is the version of Android that’s being used inside Chrome. At the moment, Chrome OS uses Android 6.0, and while it’s not that old, and while there aren’t that many changes from Android 6.0 to Android 7.1, there are a couple of key ones, and resizing windows is a huge one.
Android 7 Nougat has OS-level support for multi-window functionality, and that means that apps can resize to the appropriate size for the window (or part of it) that they’ve got. On a desktop-type environment like a Chromebook, this is even more important, because you can then resize Android apps to take up as much or as little space as you like.
There are other minor changes under the hood too, but the main news here is that it’s coming, and soon. Android 7.1 is already in testing in Chrome’s Canary channel (i.e. alpha-level of stability), and it should make its way to more Chromebooks soon.
Here’s hoping the new Chromebooks from Samsung and Asus – which are already properly desirable – will be receiving this new version sooner rather than later.