It’s been nearly 6 months since we saw the first signs of the new Android 11 for Chromebooks. Delivered in the brand-new ARCVM container, this new way of offering up Android apps for Chrome OS is a big step forward. While we’re not seeing massive improvements in performance just yet, Google seems to think that this new container and current version of Android will do just that over the coming months. I’ll quote myself, here, as I summarized Google’s plans for the new Android container outlined at Google I/O earlier this year:
In a push to make Android apps on Chromebooks better, the team is not just pushing Android 11 via a new VM container (ARCVM), but they are continuing to provide developers the tools they need to make better experiences across larger screens, take advantage of multiple input methods (keyboard, mouse, touchscreen) and optimize apps for both x86 and ARM binaries. As Google continues to make the app building experience more and more seamless, we sincerely hope that more awesome Android app experiences will follow.via Chrome Unboxed
Apart from better performance down the road, there are some immediate perks that come along with the latest Android container for your Chromebook. Parallel running apps that don’t shut down in the background when the window is out of focus and improved app scaling are both benefits that you get to enjoy right now if you are on the handful of devices that have the new ARCVM container and Android 11. Sadly, for the time being, that list is pretty short. Only 10th-gen and 11th-gen Intel devices are part of the in crowd for now, but that looks to finally be opening up.
As we talked about back in early April, Google has outlined over 100 Chromebooks set to get this particular update. They just never said when to expect it. Thanks to a bit of digging from Dinsan Francis over at Chrome Story, it looks like we’re finally starting to see the early signs that Google might push Android 11 and ARCVM to more Chromebooks soon.
The images above are from his Pixel Slate that is currently in the Canary Channel of Chrome OS. As you can see, the new container is active and Android 11 is present on that build of Chrome OS 95. We checked a few other devices just to see if we could get Android 11 on other hardware, but we’ve had no luck thus far. Now that it looks like the floodgates might finally be opening, we’ll be keeping a close eye on all our devices to keep you updated when new Chromebooks get the updated Android container in the future.