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Very soon, everyone will be able to use Android apps on a Chromebook Chrome Is Joining Android, and All You Need to Know About Why This Sucks Chrome Is Joining Android, and All You Need to Know About Why This Sucks There has been speculation about Chrome and Android combining in some way for some time, but recently it's all come to a head: Chrome will become part of Android. And that sucks. Read More . It’s a move that’s been long-awaited and will make Chromebooks even more desirable to Android users Have an Android Device? Chromebooks Are the Perfect Companion Have an Android Device? Chromebooks Are the Perfect Companion Android phones and tablets play really well with Chromebooks -- this is why you'll want both. Read More .

This is also coming on the heels of the news that Chromebook sales have now overtaken Apple’s Mac OS X sales One Million Reasons to Buy a Chromebook, Chromebooks Outsell Macs... [Tech News Digest] One Million Reasons to Buy a Chromebook, Chromebooks Outsell Macs... [Tech News Digest] Google is bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, Chromebooks outsell Macs in the U.S., Gran Turismo Sport has a release date, help Google name Android N, and watch a nightmarish vision of our future. Read More in the US for the past year. That means more people are likely to be using Chromebooks on a daily basis than they were a few years ago, and all of these users will no doubt be excited at the possibility of running Android apps on their devices.

As an extra boon for Google, just knowing that Android apps are able to be natively run on Chromebooks will be enough to further boost sales. For many people, Chromebooks were not quite able to meet their needs. Until now, that is. With all of the Google Play store about to come to our fingertips, the power of an incredible number of apps is about to reach Chrome OS.

So what are we going to install first Top 6 Android Apps We'd Like To See On Chrome OS Soon Top 6 Android Apps We'd Like To See On Chrome OS Soon In light of the impending cross platform portability, we take a look the Android apps we would most like to see made available on the Chrome operating system sooner rather than later. Read More ? Let’s see.

On one hand, it’s worth thinking about what the Chromebook is lacking, and which apps will fill the need. On the other hand, it might be best to consider which Android apps are really well made and could actually out-do the Chrome OS or web app counterpart.

It’s also worth considering that Google say the Android apps will be able to interact with each other, and create native notification alerts. So certain apps may be really well suited to being run locally on Chromebook, for these reasons alone.

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Here’s my take on what I’ll install first and why.

Social Media & Chat Apps with No Web Version

What’s with all the best social apps only being available on mobile devices? Why do so many great social apps not have web versions? This is what we need on our Chromebooks.

Skype

There’s not a lot to say here. Skype has been somewhat eluding Chromebooks for a while now.

Android-Apps-Chrome-OS-Skype

Although it’s been possible to install Skype How to Install Skype on a Chromebook: The Ultimate Guide How to Install Skype on a Chromebook: The Ultimate Guide The lack of Skype is regularly cited as one of Chromebook owners' and would-be buyers' biggest gripes. All that has now changed. Here's what you do. Read More on Chromebook or emulate using the ARChon method How to Emulate Android and Run Android Apps on Your PC How to Emulate Android and Run Android Apps on Your PC It's actually pretty easy to get Android apps running on your desktop or laptop! Here, we step you through the best methods. Read More , that’s a little bit convoluted and hacky for regular people. Having the Android app installed will just make everything simple.

Instagram

Nowadays on the mobile version of Instagram it’s possible to log in to up to five accounts at once, and swap between them all easily. This also means you can get notifications for your friends’ accounts locally on your Chromebook just as you do on your mobile or Android tablet.

Snapchat

Snapchat is an amazingly fun app for sharing images and video, but also for watching it. To be able to keep track of what my friends are up to on Snapchat while I’m working away on my laptop would be great — especially if it enticed me to share something back or just go out and meet them somewhere.

Periscope

Scopes are very timely things, and if you miss the original airing you may never get the chance to see it again. They can also be valuable in terms of networking and learning from other people. And when you’re not interested in bettering yourself, they can actually just be a fun way to do some armchair tourism. This makes it ideal to have on in the background while you work, and definitely makes it on to the list of Android apps I’d use in Chrome OS.

Smule Sing

I’m so addicted to this mobile karaoke app. It’s basically the ultimate social network for singers 6 Sparkling Star-Lit Social Networks for Singers 6 Sparkling Star-Lit Social Networks for Singers There are a number of really interesting ways you can get together with other singers online, so we pulled together a list of the most fun you can have socializing with other singers. Read More , allowing you to do karaoke whenever you like and asynchronously record yourself with singers all over the world.

Sadly, it’s mobile only. So, I’d definitely want this Android app in Chrome OS so I could play around with different microphones and more.

Other Chat Apps

On that note, there are plenty of other chat apps that could be mentioned here: Line, WeChat, GroupMe, etc. Any chat app without a web-based counterpart is a contender.

There are so many neat communities of people chatting on all manner of subjects, but due to the apps being useable only on my phone I tend to forget to drop in on occasion. If I had the Android app in Chrome OS I’d be able to keep much better track of the chat apps that interested me.

LinkedIn Pulse

While you can read LinkedIn articles on the LinkedIn site, the LinkedIn Pulse app does a great job of featuring just what you want to read next. And if widgets in Chrome OS become a thing, Pulse is basically essential for all professionals.

Survival Apps and Vital Information

Now I’m thinking about survival apps, and I find it’s very important to have quality information and communication potential on hand in times of crisis, often when you’re nowhere near a source of power and may not be for a long time.

Serval Mesh

The Serval Mesh How To Use Serval Mesh To Chat To Other Mobile Phones Without A Phone Network [Android 2.2+] How To Use Serval Mesh To Chat To Other Mobile Phones Without A Phone Network [Android 2.2+] For those of us living in first world cities, it's hard to imagine how we would get on if we couldn't communicate easily with our mobile phones. Yes, some of us might recall the days... Read More  is an innovative little app made by a friend of mine, the technology of which is now getting included in LandCruisers in Australia. Serval creates a mesh network Mesh Networks: The Future of Communication Mesh Networks: The Future of Communication Mesh networks are almost invulnerable. In a mesh network, there are no choke points through which all traffic passes. Instead, information is passed from one device to the next until it reaches its destination. Read More between nearby devices also running the app, making it the perfect tool for communication in times of a national crisis The Technology Apocalypse: Part II The Technology Apocalypse: Part II This is part two of our fictional technology apocalypse series - four stories about what could happen during an extended blackout following a terrorist hacking attack. Read More . Getting this on my laptop would give me one more powered device I could use if necessary.

St John’s Ambulance First Aid

First Aid advice is possibly the most important information you can have available to you in an emergency.

The St John’s Ambulance First Aid app in particular does a great job of making the information you need easy to find when you need it. And it will all be available for you offline.

Games & Anything with Entertaining Information Offline

Ultimately, the more important and interesting data you can store offline the better, just in case you’re stuck in a tight spot for a while without Internet access. Games with no online component are also ideal. While Chromebooks are perfectly functional offline Chromebooks Don't Work Offline? Debunking the Myths Chromebooks Don't Work Offline? Debunking the Myths One of the biggest criticisms aimed at Google's Chromebooks is that they are online-only machines – ergo, no Internet, no point. How true is this statement? Read More , most people don’t prepare very well for this eventuality.

By installing some of the best Android apps, full of vital information and entertaining things to read, you’re giving yourself plenty of options when you finally get into that situation.

Kindle App

The Kindle app with a few books downloaded would be ideal for Chromebook users in transit without Internet access. So the next time you’re in a hotel with overpriced Wi-Fi, you can at least get stuck into a good book, despite having left all your actual books and Kindle device at home due to space-saving measures in your baggage.

Ticket to Ride

Of all the Android games to port to Chrome OS, Ticket to Ride would be the top on my list. Not only do I love it, but I think it would play exceptionally well on a laptop.

Android-Apps-Chrome-OS-Ticket-To-Ride

Well, this point really stands for any game really. Lots of Android games could be mentioned here, like The Room and Monument Valley. But for me, Ticket To Ride is the ultimate casual game app.

Photo and Video Editing

This is not something I use often on Android, but I can see how many users will want these great apps on their Chromebooks.

The web apps for photo and video editing are usually limited in some way, while free and paid Android apps are often quite powerful in comparison. If you’ve got a favorite editing app you’ve already paid for on Android, porting it to Chrome OS would be far preferable to paying for yet another web app.

Repost

The Repost app is by far the best way to republish other people’s Instagram content, as it gives the other user appropriate recognition for the original image, both in the image and the description. To have this ability in your Chromebook laptop Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back) Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back) I've adopted, studied every Windows OS, adapted, and eventually learned to love each of them for different reasons. Are you curious to know why as of today, I'm a Chromebook guy? Read More or desktop setup would be an incredibly useful way for people to curate Instagram content for their own feed.

Over

Again, Over is an app for Instagram users mainly. You use it to add text over another image, creating quote pictures and the like. It’s comparable to web-based tools, but something about it makes it ideal as an Instagram-focused app. I’d use it regularly on my laptop given the opportunity.

Also Worth Mentioning

When Anchor comes to Android, that will be on my list too. Also, if Android apps are to work nicely together as promised, I would be tempted to install the Twitter app and apps that work with Twitter, like Blab and the previously mentioned Periscope, so that I could switch accounts easily. It really is so much easier to swap accounts on mobile apps just because of the Twitter integration.

All this talk about installing Android apps on my Chromebook, just because swapping accounts is a pain on the web, is kind of crazy. Because, you know, we could instead try to get Twitter and Instagram and Blab to do something similar on their web apps. In a perfect world, anyway.

What about Widgets?

So, in this ideal near-future world where Android apps inhabit our Chromebooks, do you think we’ll see widgets? I’m not expecting them immediately, but I’ll bet they’ll appear eventually. If that’s the case, it opens up a whole new bunch of features we could want on Chrome OS and increases the number of apps we might use.

Which Android apps will you install on Chrome OS and why?

  1. Raymond Madigan
    July 27, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Anyone know how to save Google Music and Books to SD card on the Asus Flip for offline user?
    How to download Android apps to SD card as Flip only has 16GB storage?

  2. James Kelly
    July 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I am loving the Android Apps on my r11.

    I would have to add that it works great for the most part.

    What I look forward to in the future:

    1. A dedicated Android App drawer.
    2. Option to make Android the main UI, if possible?
    3. Support for folders and widgets on the desktop.
    4. A usable file system with more fine adjustments and options.
    5. Support for Android Launchers.
    6. Steam support is coming to run Windows games on Chromebook, through Android.
    7. A control panel that gives more tools: mouse experience is horrible. Yes, I know about the terminal, but I think this is not good for the masses.
    8. Option to right click on shelf to add shortcuts or other options.

  3. Rick
    June 5, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Off the top of my head, so far I only have a few Android apps I want to install that I feel will add new functionality that I personally would like to have, or that would work considerably better than what I can already do with currently existing Chromebook solutions using webapps, Chrome apps and extensions. Depending on how good the experience ends up being, I may come up with more over time.

    1. Kodi, for the occasional movie or older tv show I can't find on Netflix or Hulu, as well as for accessing local movie files on my home network using UPnP.

    2. Google Earth, though still nowhere nearly as functional as the desktop version, still allows much options than the Earth view in Google Maps on the web for scouting out hiking destinations.

    3. Backcountry Navigator, which allows working with topo maps, .gpx and .kml files offline when I can't access Caltopo.com.

    4. Solid Explorer, which has replaced ES File Explorer for me recently. This is great for accessing files on my local network, multiple cloud storage services, and particularly for creating encrypted zip files of documents I want to keep in Google Drive but that might be of a sensitive nature.

    5. Tool for Google Photo, Picasa, which allows pinning Google Photos albums, complete with captions for the pics, for offline viewing. In fact, if this app will be able to store the albums on the sd card, I might even pin ALL of my albums for offline availability.

    6. Evernote, primarily for being able to use offline notebooks.

  4. alisonnic
    June 5, 2016 at 4:54 am

    My top picks: Skype, Word, Safe in Cloud, Dropbox, Google Earth, Kindle, Deliveries. Nova Launcher, Evernote, Nook, Fing, Wifi Analyzer, Swype, Ventriloid. Not sure all of these will work as well on my Chromebook as they do on my Moto X and other Android devices, but if even the first seven do, I'll be delighted.

    I hope gadgets are implemented soon, too. And it sure would be nice to be able to put app icons on the desktop instead of having them hiding in the popup.

    Love my Asus Flip. Gonna love it a whole lot more in a couple of weeks, I'm sure...

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      June 6, 2016 at 1:00 am

      Have you tried right-clicking the app in the popup and pinning them to the taskbar? I do that for my most-used ones.

      • Alison Hine
        June 7, 2016 at 4:35 pm

        Yes, I've already got my shelf almost full of apps that I use frequently. It just seems like a terrible waste to have all that desktop space there, and have it be totally unused.

        • Kelsey Tidwell
          June 7, 2016 at 4:41 pm

          I agree! It seems I remember reading a couple years back that there was a method to use the desktop, or that it was planned to be included in ChromeOS. We see how far that went. :)

          But I'm interested to see what happens when Android apps are fully integrated, since it's no big thing to have icons all over a phone screen. Unfortunately I'll have to buy another Chromebook, as mine isn't on the list of CB's that will be supported.

  5. Kelsey Tidwell
    June 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Angela, good article. It made me look forward to all of my favorite phone apps being useable on my Chromebook.

    The only raised eyebrow I had was concerning the Kindle app. I mean this in a friendly way, but it's kind of a redundant item. I've never owned a Kindle, but I use the browser version all the time on my desktop, my laptops and my Chromebook.

    It's as good as the app in every way, except for one thing: I've never been able to organize my books on my computers like I can with the app on my phone. But it does allow me to download and save books for offline use too.

    Happy day!

    • Rick
      June 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      One other big disadvantage of the browser version "Cloud Viewer" is that it only shows books you have bought from the Kindle Store. It does not allow you to access any .mobi or .pdf files that you have uploaded to your Kindle account. The Android app does.

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