Yesterday, Chrome OS 56 arrived on the scene and many of us were excited to see what Chromebook did and did not get the Play Store with this update.
Turns out, only one new Chromebook was added to this short list.
Before yesterday, the 3 Chromebooks in the Stable Channel Android loop were The Acer R11, ASUS Flip, and the Pixel. These devices have been the torch-bearers since June, when the first appearances of the Play Store began on Chromebooks.
These three have had Android Apps in the Stable Channel since Chrome OS 53, released back in September. And we’ve all grown a bit tired of these three being the ‘chosen ones’, if I’m perfectly honest.
Chrome OS 56, during its long stint in Beta, brought many more Chromebooks into this circle, so we freely assumed that when 56 landed in Stable, at least those devices that had Android in Beta would also see it in Stable.
For now, according to our readers’ comments, that isn’t reality.
Only one new Chromebook has been added to the mix, and that is the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302.
We feel incredibly confident that the Samsung Chromebook Plus will also arrive with Play Store enabled out of the box within a week from now, but that only makes 5 devices total.
There was a commit in the past few days that removed ARC++ (Android integration) for a slew of devices in Beta, so that could easily be reverted in a subsequent update within any given time frame.
As we said yesterday when Chrome OS 56 showed up, it is unlikely that other devices will be waiting until OS 57 for Android, but it is getting a bit tiresome at this point. We really want the experience to be right and done well, but Google needs to deliver on this sooner than later. There’s a decent amount of buzz around these new devices, and Samsung in particular.
Both parties need Android Apps running smoothly out of the box for Samsung’s ad campaign that is likely to begin soon.
Existing Chromebook users can be back-and-forth on how important Android is in the grand scheme of Chrome OS, but I can confidently say that the inclusion of the Play Store will be a huge marketing hook, and if Google wants Chromebooks to fully break through in the consumer market, this all needs to come together soon.