Android Browsers

Have an Android Device? Chromebooks Are the Perfect Companion

Bertel King 29-09-2015

Frankly, there are many reasons to consider checking out a Chromebook Looking For A New Laptop? Get A Chromebook Instead! Read More . But here’s a big one: they’re ideal companions for Android devices.


So if you’re rocking an Android smartphone or tablet, you might enjoy using a Chromebook more than you think simply because of how they’re built to work together.

Here are several ways Chromebooks supplement Android quite nicely.


1) Google Account Integration

When you set up an Android device or a Chromebook, what do they have in common? Both ask you to sign in with a Google account. Then they go through the process of syncing your information.

On Android, this means having your email ready when you tap the Gmail app. It means regaining access to all of the apps you may have downloaded in the past. It means seeing all of the photos you’ve saved to Google Photos show up within the pre-installed app. It means seeing your location history in Google Maps, your favorite videos in YouTube, and all of the files you’ve saved to Google Drive.


On a Chromebook, the experience is the same. Chrome signs you into Google’s websites. When you open the Gmail web app, your email will be ready. When you go to Maps, you will see the places you’ve been. When you go to YouTube, Drive, and Google Photos, well, you’ll see precisely what you see on your Android device.


Android and Chromebooks come with their own versions of the same apps pre-installed, and out of the box, both will push you towards using the same Google services. If you do, you’re going to find your information similarly presented and easily accessible on whichever device you use.

2) Android Apps in the Chrome Web Store

Several different kinds of software populate the Chrome Web Store. The oldest are extensions. These expand what Chrome can do, and there are no shortage of great ones to recommend 8 Absolutely Brilliant Chrome Extensions That You Should Know About Trying out different plugins is half the fun of using a browser. Here are eight ones for Chrome that I started trying out, and now I won't allow them to leave me. Read More . Another common form is the Web app, which is essentially a glorified bookmark that links you to a website.


Then there are apps that were designed and packaged to run specifically in Chrome. These tend to run offline and offer functionality more similar to what people expect when they think of the word “app”.

Then there are apps that were designed to run on Android and have been packaged to run inside Chrome OS 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 as well, with the same code at the core. See the Chrome Web Store list of re-packaged Android apps.

Many apps have been packaged for both Chrome and Android separately, which is not quite the same as above, but useful to know if you want to use that app on both devices and keep your information synced. These apps often look and work largely the same as they do on your phone or tablet. Just look for the “Available for Android” label at the top of the screen.



3) Material Design

Before releasing Android 5.0, also known as Lollipop, Google unveiled a new set of visual interface guidelines that it referred to as Material Design Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More . Android served as a showcase of this vision, with Google gradually updating its apps to meet this new standard. It has also worked on adapting its websites as well.

Going forward, we’re starting to see more elements of Material Design work their way into Chrome OS. Some changes are already in development that will make Chrome look visually similar regardless of whether you open it on Android or in a Chromebook.


If you get used to Google’s design language on one platform, using a laptop with a similar look and feel could potentially save you some headache down the line.


4) Cross-Platform Integration and Features

Android and Chrome OS’s similarities don’t just stop at the surface. These days, Google has integrated some features on both platforms at the same time. When it rolled out the Chromecast, you could install a Chrome extension How to Set Up Your New Google Chromecast If you own a brand new Chromecast but have no idea how to use it, let our easy-to-follow guide help you get started in mere minutes. Read More  for casting just as the Cast icon started popping up inside Android apps.

When Lollipop introduced the ability to automatically unlock your phone or tablet when it’s paired to an Android Wear watch or any other Bluetooth connection, Smart Lock appeared on Chromebooks as well, letting you skip entering your password if your phone was nearby.


5) Easy File Transfer

Do you want to transfer a file from your phone to your Chromebook? What about the other way around? Pull out a USB cable and plug in your Android device. You will see it pop up inside Chrome OS’s file manager as removable storage, and you will have access to the full directory of folders you can browse on a non-rooted device.


There are many ways to transfer files between mobile devices and PCs How to Transfer Files From Android to PC: 7 Methods Want to learn how to transfer Android files to a PC or vice-versa? Here are several easy methods for moving data between devices. Read More , but it doesn’t get much easier than this. And unlike on Windows, you don’t have to deal with installing drivers beforehand. The process of transferring files from Android to Mac How to Transfer Files Between Android and Mac: 7 Easy Methods Need to transfer files between your Android phone and Mac computer? Here are simple ways to move data between those platforms. Read More is even more complicated.

If your phone or tablet still has a microSD card slot, you can also pop that out and stick it in your Chromebook. Some come with microSD slots, while others require a full-sized adapter. Since both Android and Chrome OS are based on Linux, folders should appear the same, and you don’t have to worry about programs creating junk files all over the place.

6) Excellent Battery Life

An interesting phenomenon is occurring right now. Laptops are lasting longer throughout the day, while smartphones are crapping out faster. Today’s high-end flagship phones tend to come with huge, pixel-crammed displays with higher screen resolutions than most PCs. They’re also powered by mobile processors that can make light work of demanding mobile games.

Batteries continue to get bigger, sure, but most of time that increased size is required just to make sure this high performing tech can make it through most of the day.

Meanwhile, laptops are no longer limited to 3-5 hours, and this isn’t just with Chrome OS. MacBooks can easily carry you through a workday, and it’s not as hard to find a Windows machine that can last through a cross-country flight as it used to be.

Chromebooks, however, don’t require much processing power, and they tend to be cheap. You’ll often get better battery life for less money Can A Laptop Last All Day? You CAN Do That On A Chromebook! Chromebooks are extremely portable, as most have 13 inch display and power-sipping processor. This makes them an appealing alternative to affordable Windows notebooks. But can you actually use a Chromebook for an entire work day? Read More , and don’t be too surprised if you start getting more screen-on time from a cheap Chromebook than your phone.

What Is Your Laptop of Choice?

Much of what you find in Chrome OS you can also find in the version of Chrome available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Naturally, Google wants Android and Chrome to be accessible to the largest number of people as possible. And yes, there are some things you can do on these operating systems that you can’t easily do on a Chromebook, such as connect to a phone or tablet over ADB New To Android Debug Bridge? How To Make The Process Simple And Easy ADB is incredibly useful for sending commands to your Android device from your computer. For the beginners out there, here's a dead simple way to use ADB. Read More .

However, each of these operating systems will try to pull you in other directions. Microsoft designs Windows to lure you into its ecosystem. Apple does an even better job of locking you in on Macs.

Most Linux distributions don’t have this particular kind of corporate influence, but Chrome OS (itself a Linux distribution) comes ready to integrate with your Google account from the moment you turn it on. And we can only expect Chromebooks and Android to become further integrated in the years ahead.

Do you own an Android phone or tablet? Have you ever used a Chromebook? In what ways have you enjoyed using the two? How do you wish they could work better together? Give us your opinion in the comments below!

Related topics: Android Tablet, Chromebook, Google Chrome.

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  1. John Brush
    February 14, 2019 at 1:41 am

    This is a lovely article, but it doesn't tell me anything. I have a chrome book, and I have a fire HD seven . I know how to pair devices, and right now my fire device says it is paired to my chrome book . Honest to God, I know how to pair Bluetooth devices. :-)
    Do you think someone could tell me why this is a useful combination of devices? Can I actually have any control of my chrome book, by way of the fire device? And as a curiosity, can't go the other way, chrome look to fire device? I haven't found much help, because nothing looks like it's useful. I know how to use the fire device, I was thinking it would let me see and use my chrome look remotely over the Bluetooth connection, but where in the world. Do I go to make the remote control useful? I'm looking at my fire device, and there is nothing unique there other than the verification that my devices are paired, I look at my chrome book, and nothing looks different and there appears to be no place to activate any kind of remote access.

    If I could get help with this I would be more than appreciative. Every Internet search treats me like I don't know how to pair my devices, but none of them tell me what I can do after they are paired and connected. This article implies that when I do things on my fire device they will appear on the chrome book. That's not what's happening here, and so I don't know what my expectations should be. So that I can decide if something is wrong. I would love to be able to control some of my chrome book functions across the room with my fire device. If anyone can help me. I don't know how I could be more grateful than just be seriously appreciative of the time. I can't make any of the things on this page happen because none of them tell me what to do to get to that point where files appear and where I see images and videos.

    Ironically, having so much access using search engines, makes life miserable. When we get caught up in a loop, and apparently unable to figure out how to ask the question. :-) The question is, why would I want to do it, and once I make the pairing. What can I do and how can I do it. All the search engines, just choke on that question, and focus on telling grandma how to connect Bluetooth devices. Much obliged for the space and the time

  2. Shawn
    March 29, 2018 at 3:09 am

    How do you make an android tablet become a 2nd monitor for a chromebook?

  3. Nick
    August 16, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Hate my chromebook, limited apps wish i had access to google play store

    • John Brush
      February 14, 2019 at 1:41 am

      I presume that by now you have figured out that you have full access to the Google Play store and can load every app available?

  4. Anonymous
    October 3, 2015 at 5:26 am

    As a tip for accessing files from other device:
    Simply use Drive.
    It's really convenient.

    • Keith Llewellyn
      December 14, 2016 at 9:19 am

      I use Drive to transfer files (any kind of files) tp my Samsubg Chromebook, Macbook Air, iphone and a spareNexus phone. Very easy. Also you can plug a USB drive (or hard disc drive) into the phone to backup or transfer files using an On-The-Go USB cable.