If you own a Chromebook from a particular group of devices, you may be wondering exactly where the update to Chrome OS 90 is right now. At nearly 2 weeks in, M90 is still MIA for a very specific group of Chromebooks and, unfortunately, that group includes big-name, flagship devices like the Acer Spin 713, HP x360 14c, Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 1 & 2, ASUS Flip C436 and the Lenovo Flex 5 among others. With these Chromebooks being best-sellers that are popular among Chrome OS fans, the news that the latest update is coming to them last stings a little bit.
After all, far cheaper and far older Chromebooks already have the update to Chrome OS 90 and have for a couple weeks at this point. Users who opted to buy the latest devices and spent more money to do so are generally the ones that feel extra burned when an update simply skips their machines. While I don’t think Chrome OS 90’s tardiness is in any way on purpose, there could be a very good reason it is late and that reason could make users very happy once it arrives.
Android 11 in Chrome OS 90
The Chromebooks listed above all belong to the ‘Hatch’ family of devices. This same base board was the target of the early tests to bring Android 11 and the new Android container (ARCVM) to Chromebooks. The only devices in that early test were in the ‘Hatch’ family and they all got it in the Beta version of Chrome OS 90 a few weeks back. It seems like no small coincidence that these same devices are still waiting on Chrome OS 90 two weeks after initial release.
Whether it be an issue with the ARCVM container or Android 11, I have a hunch that this new method of delivering Android apps to Chrome OS is causing the hold up. While there were only a few immediate benefits to running Android apps via ARCVM that we could initially find, the long-term ramifications of a better, more-stable Android container for Chrome OS are important. Clearly, Android apps on Chromebooks are here to stay, so a better container to run them in is a very, very good thing moving forward.
I’d wager we’ll see Chrome OS 90 in the coming days for those who own ‘Hatch’ devices and, along with it, Android 11 and the new ARCVM container. While we don’t have a timeframe for when more devices will have this new Android app method, there are quite a few in the works (over 100) ready to receive the highly-anticipated update. Here’s hoping the future roll-outs of ARCVM go a bit smoother than this first one and if you’re one of the ones still waiting on Chrome OS 90, let’s all hope it hits soon and comes along with some nice, updated Android 11 goodness when it does.