For nearly two years now, Google has been encouraging developers to build Android apps with Chrome OS in mind. Optimizing apps for the desktop experience seemed to be a priority for Google even as they struggled to stabilize that user-experience of Android apps on Chromebooks.
With new tools and guidelines of how to create for both mobile and desktop, the hope has always been a mass-adoption of Chrome OS by Android app developers in the sense that apps can be developed with both platforms in mind. This is all great in theory but there are a few obstacles that must be hurdled before the worlds of Chrome OS and Android truly find harmony.
The greatest of which, for reasons that span the gamut, are the developers themselves. In order for big-time apps to get attention in the Chrome OS space, it has to be beneficial to the app-makers. Whether it be subscriptions, in-app purchases or simply the expansion of a given product, no company is going to exhaust resources tweaking an app for Chrome OS to the detriment of the bottom line.
Around the office, we are constantly on the look out for big-name Android apps that have taken the steps needed to make their product work well on Chrome OS. Image editing apps, note-taking tools and especially games, most Chromebooks have the horsepower to run them with ease if developers will take the time to optimize them. Seriously, we have been waiting for an eternity for PUBG mobile to run maxed out on a Chromebook. There’s a Pixel Slate sitting here just waiting for the opportunity to fully leverage the 8th gen processor inside.
When we do happen across an app that has been built to the benefit of Chrome OS, it is a victory for the entire ecosystem. It is a sign of a maturing operating system. Still, the adoption has been a slow burn.
On the flip side, Chrome OS scored a huge win this week with an announcement from what could be the most unexpected source we could imagine.
The folks from good ole’ Cupertino are generally close-fisted when it comes to their products and services. Don’t get me wrong, the closed nature of Apple’s ecosystem is probably one of its greatest strengths, most days but they also know that some services are better served when the cross-platform lines are breached.
Launched in June of 2015, Apple Music is the companies audio and video streaming service that is, in simple terms, the industry alternative to Google Play Music and streaming services such as Spotify. Knowing that a subscription service would thrive if allowed to go outside of the iOS realm, Apple followed up the release with the Android app in November of the same year. That wager paid off as recent reports show that more than 40 million Android users have installed the app.
Before I go any further, I have never used Apple Music. It may be the greatest invention since the wheel but I wouldn’t know. I don’t own any Apple products and Play Music has been my platform of choice for years. It does everything I want it to so I’ve never considered an alternative. If you use Apple Music and you like it, that’s awesome. We’re fanboys but we are not haters.
Anyway, Apple has recently updated the Music app for Android and listed right under the what’s new tab is “Support for Chromebooks.”
On the surface, the update isn’t a lot to take in as it is simply extending official support to Chromebooks. The Android app has been a staple for Apple on mobile devices for more than 5 years. The other updates are superficial with minor bug fixes and some new options for browsing.
I know this may not seem like a big deal but the fact that Apple has taken the time to add this compatibility it a major hat-tip to Chrome OS as a platform that is finally demanding attention from the masses.
If you are an Apple Music subscriber and a Chromebook users, you can grab the app below and start enjoying your subscription on your Chrome OS device wherever you go.Apple Music From the Play Store Shop Chromebooks On Amazon