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.
Use Android Apps on Your Chromebook
— Google Chrome (@googlechrome) May 19, 2016
There will soon be 1 million more reasons to invest in a Chromebook, as Google is bringing Android apps to Chrome OS. Such a move has been rumored for some time, and in April of this year news leaked that Android apps were coming to Chromebooks in a big way. One month on, and it’s finally official.
Later this year, the Google Play Store will be added to Chrome OS, bringing more than 1 million Android apps with it. Chromebook users will be able to download and install apps in exactly the same way as Android users currently do on their smartphones and tablets. Developers are already busy optimizing their apps for Chrome OS.
The Google Play Store-enabled Chrome OS will initially roll out to a select few Chromebooks, namely the ASUS Chromebook Flip, the Acer Chromebook R 11, and the most recent Chromebook Pixel. It will then be rolled out to most Chromebooks currently in the wild, with the full list of supported Chromebooks available here.
This is a game-changer for Chrome OS, bringing the biggest and best apps to Google’s desktop operating system for the first time. If the lack of functionality and features have been putting people off buying a Chromebook until now, the addition of Android apps should help change their minds.
Chromebooks Are Now Outselling Macs
Chromebooks outsold Macs for the first time ever in the first quarter of 2016, at least according to IDC (via The Verge). The market research firm estimates Apple shipped 1.76 million Macs in that three months, compared to shipments of 2 million Chromebooks (from Dell, Lenovo, and HP).
This effectively makes Chrome OS the second most-popular operating system in the U.S. at the moment, with Mac OS X relegated to third. And there’s one reason for this: demand from K-12 students, many of whom are choosing Chromebooks over other devices.
Ironically, Apple probably has little to fear from the rise of Chrome OS. There may be some people choosing a Chromebook over a Macbook, but generally speaking the two systems are marketed to different sets of people. However, Microsoft is in more danger thanks to low-cost Windows PCs.
If you want a low-cost laptop you can use online then Chromebook beats Windows hands-down. Especially once users can install Android apps on their Chromebook, adding a multitude of new features and layers of extra functionality.
Gran Turismo Sport Is Coming to PS4
Sony and Polyphony Digital have officially unveiled Gran Turismo Sport, the latest title in the long-running series of driving games. Gran Turismo Sport is the first GT game since Gran Turismo 6 back in 2013, and the first released on PS4.
Gran Turismo Sport takes the realism that defines the series to new heights, with online competitions sanctioned by the FIA (Federation International Automobile), PlayStation VR support, 140 real-world cars, and 27 tracks located in 19 real-world locations.
Gran Turismo Sport isn’t a full title, being a spin-off in the same vein as the Prologue games, but God only knows when Gran Turismo 7 will be released. GT Sport, which is due to be released on November 15, 2016, should tide us over in the meantime.
Help Choose a Name for Android N
Google has probably already decided what Android N is going to be called, with Nutella the obvious candidate. However, the company has asked for suggestions, with any word allowed as long as it starts with an N.
The Internet being the Internet, two things happened. 1. Some people suggested inappropriate names for Android N, including “Nazi,” “Nipple,” and the N word I’m not even comfortable quoting. 2. Other people too offense at that, and scolded Google for asking for suggestions.
The thing is, Google was never going to just blindly name Android N based on suggestions from strangers. It’s a bit of fun, with some marketing thrown in. So, type whatever you want into the suggestion box, but Android N is still going to end up being called Nutella.
A Nightmarish Vision of Our Future
And finally, this short film offers an utterly compelling, and nightmarish, vision into our future. That is if we carry on down the route of virtual reality, augmented reality, and all those other false representations and recreations of the reality we’re actually living in.
Hyper-Reality, by Keiichi Matsuda, depicts a future “where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media”. There are ads, notifications, apps, messages, and a peculiar ending where religion offers salvation through gamification.
It should be noted though, that alongside the ridiculous annoyances we should be fighting to avoid, there are some solid ideas here. The virtual shopping list, road signs, and green spaces could actually make life easier. The problem is stopping AR and VR from taking over completely.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you more likely to buy a Chromebook now that Android apps are available? Have you bought either a Chromebook or a Mac over the last six months? Are you looking forward to playing Gran Turismo Sport on the PS4? What should Google call Android N? Will augmented reality be a good or bad thing for humanity?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Sungmin Yun via Flickr