Right on the heels of Gabriel’s post yesterday about the state of Nougat hitting Chrome OS in the near future, we received a comment from one of our intrepid Chrome OS users, Yanny Mishchuk, stating that he’s come across Android 7.1.1 in the Beta Channel.
You can see his proof and Reddit here. Before this, we’ve only seen reports of Nougat appearing in the Canary Channel of Chrome OS. Canary is wildly experimnental and a full step beyond the buggy nature of the Developer Channel.
For those keeping track, there are 4 development channels for Chrome and Chrome OS: Stable, Beta, Developer, and Canary. Each becomes more experimental and bug-ridden as you move down the list.
Why This Is Exciting
With the overly-experimental nature of Canary, we don’t get a ton of timeline info on new things happening there. There are trials and errors and zero guarantees that things tested in that environment will ever make it out to see actual deployment.
While seeing Android 7.1.1 in Canary with its resizable windows and apps is cool, seeing it in the Beta channel (just one step from Stable) is not only encouraging, it is crazy-exciting!
With Beta being in version 58 right now and the knowledge that 58 Stable will be out within a week or so, there’s an outside chance that we could see a device or two get some Nougat goodness with the next update. Curious about the Chromebook Yanny has unearthed this nugget with? It is the Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Chromebook.
We’ve believed for some time that Android 7.1.1+ is likely the key to seeing the Play Store on Chromebooks come out of Beta status. The problem is, since we’ve only seen 7.1.1 in Canary (which is on Chrome OS 60 currently), the timeline was feeling more like mid-summer. That is a far cry from the early 2017 timeline Google originally launched this entire initiative with.
Getting the Play Store fully equipped and rolled out will likely open the flood gate for all the new devices and form-factors we’ve been reporting on. No manufacturer wants to ship a Chrome OS tablet with a wonky Play Store experience. General consumers don’t really know the intricacies of what is happening. They simply expect their apps to work if the Play Store icon is in the tray.
A more stable experience with flexible, resizable apps is a great way to get closer to that experience. Here’s hoping we start seeing 7.1.1 rolling down to more devices as Chrome OS 58 hits the Stable Channel soon!