Recently, an incremental update to the Stable channel of Chrome OS brought with it the addition of Android Apps to a few Chromebooks. Since the announcement of the Play Store on Chrome OS, these staggered updates that exclude a number of devices seem to be more and more frequent.
The list of devices that didn’t receive the update to version 60.0.3112.101 was quite a bit larger than the normal three or four devices but with the mass amount of work going into Chrome OS/Android harmony, it’s completely understandable. Over the last 24 hours we have been receiving word that a number of Chromebooks have now updated and not only do they have the latest version of Chrome OS, the Play Store came along for the ride.
Kevin B. emailed me yesterday to let me know that his Lenovo Chromebook N23 had received an update and now had access to the Play Store on the Stable channel. The N23 is a Braswell device similar to the Chromebooks like the Acer R11 so this wasn’t too much of a surprise but still quite random. According to the developer’s list, the N23 is still listed as Beta channel for Android. It seems Lenovo is quickly becoming the king of Android-enable Chromebooks for the time being.
What Kevin shared next, I found quite a bit more interesting.
This got me thinking so I tried out the EduGear R4D, and once updated, it too allowed the device to access the Google Play Store. I tried it with 2 other R4D’s and 3 other N23’s and they all updated to allow access.
The EduGear R4D is an older, Bay Trail Chromebook running the Intel N29xx series. In the timeline of Play Store rollout, the Bay Trail devices were supposed to be last. Many of these devices have limited RAM and low-powered processors but Kevin said Android Apps were running quite well on the ones he updates. Just my opinion but I strongly feel this is pointing at a full-scale release of the Play Store in the very near future.
Kevin’s email prompted me to take a look at my own device. The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook I have been using for a few weeks now has had Android apps in Beta for some time now. I don’t spend much time in the Stable channel as I am frequently testing new flags and features but I pointed the Flex in the direction of Stable and off I went.
Sure enough, I now have the Play Store in the Stable channel.
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 11 is the consumer version of the Chromebook N23 Yoga and they are identical in every way. It’s a good chance, if you have the Yoga, it has Android as well. One caveat there. If it is a managed device, you don’t get full Play Store access. Sorry kids, you have to talk to your IT guy to get apps.
Okay, so that’s three devices. (four if you count the Lenovos as two) Here’s where I started to get really excited.
The Acer Chromebook R13
In my opinion, this is the Chromebook that broke through the wall and laid the groundwork for the Chrome OS/Android revolution, to begin with. I can go on for hours about why I think this but I will save that for a later article. Either way, the Acer Chromebook R13 was touted as the first Chromebook designed with Android apps in mind and now, the all-aluminum convertible has joined the Play Store club. Thanks to lagonda for the update.
The last Chromebook on the list didn’t get apps in the Stable channel but instead has finally gained Android access in the Beta channel without all the hoops to jump through.
The Dell Chromebook 13 7310 is still a much sought-after device and was one of the first to access the Play Store but required Developer mode and a few command lines to implement. From there, you had to re-input the commands anytime you powered down or update. Inconvenient to say the least. If you are a Dell Chromebook 13 owner we are happy to report you can now just switch to Beta and Android apps will be at your disposal.
As I previously stated, I have a strong feeling in my gut that the Play Store will be coming to many more device very, very soon. If you haven’t checked the list lately, it’s changing almost daily so head over and see if your Chromebook made the cut.
If your Chrome device has recently received the Play Store and you don’t see it on the list, be like Kevin and email me. It makes my day and I update our device list as quickly as possible.
*Update: It appears the Acer Chromebook 14 is now running the Play Store in the Beta channel with no tweaks. Awesome news!