+ Thursday November 21st, 2019

Google’s Chrome OS is going from strength to strength and a new feature could see Android apps coming to the platform as ‘headless’ apps, starting with Androids Clock App.

The talk of Android apps being brought to Chrome OS comes from a code change which talks about installing the Android Clock app from Google Play while leaving it unavailable from the launcher:

Make Android Clock App headless

It will be one of the default ARC apps, but we don’t want it to show
up in the launcher.

BUG=744719
TEST=Install a new image build with the new PAI apk, and make sure
Clock don’t show up in the launcher, yet it is installed from the
play store.

Change-Id: I9994c740f4bad64515a4b88c6d6734684f9f6ec2

The app would run using the Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) layer that we first saw bring Android Apps to Chrome OS last year. Google said earlier this year that all Chrome OS devices going forward would run Android apps, and these ‘headless’ apps would presumably show up upon a user signing into Chrome OS for the first time.

The idea is that the functions of the clock would be run by the Android app, though the nature of a ‘headless’ app would make it run without a GUI. This wouldn’t be the best idea, as having the app show up in a window after double-clicking the clock would be awesome, as would having the Google Calendar app for Android show up windowed when you double click the date.

Of course the option to choose your own app if you don’t like Google’s would be good too. All Google really has to do is build the functions into Chrome OS and let users do the rest.

I’m all for implementing Android apps in Chrome OS as it removes the necessity for building apps twice and the Android apps like the clock app work extremely well offline. We’ll probably see more about this down the track.

Which other apps would you like to see being implemented into Chrome OS by default?

Daniel Tyson  

Daniel Tyson

Daniel is a former editor of Ausdroid, and left in February 2019.

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