Google has been working diligently for the past two years to remove as many obstacles as possible in the hopes that developers will get on board with making their Android apps better-equipped for desktop devices. More specifically, I’m referring to how Android applications behave on Chrome OS. Over the past year, Google has brought a full-blown Android Studio experience to Chrome OS in the form of a one-click install Linux app and they’ve given developers the tools to create applications that integrate native keyboard support and scale/run properly on larger displays.
While adoption has been slow at best, some app developers are finally taking notice of Chrome OS, and applications such as the recently launched Krita graphics editor have gone so far as to publish their applications specifically for Chromebooks and tablets. This is a huge step forward for the Android/Chrome OS ecosystem but mass adoption is still out, beyond the horizon. That isn’t stopping Google from making it as easy as possible for app developers to create with Chromebooks in mind. The latest update to Android Studio gives developers a flexible testing environment that allows app testing to be done in a “free-form” space. This will give developers the ability to test larger displays like those found on Chromebook, without needing the actual Chrome OS device. This capability extends to tablets and even foldable phones since that’s a thing now. Here’s a quick rundown for the Android Developer Team.
Now, I’m not a developer and I understand that there’s a little more to developing Android apps for desktop than simply adding some keyboard support and doing a little drag and drop. Still, Google seems to be making it as easy as possible for app developers to get their products primed and ready for use on Chrome OS. I sincerely hope that 2020 will be the year that big-name software makers jump on the bandwagon because it is time.