Android apps on Chromebooks have almost entirely defied expectations and while they spent most of their life on Google’s operating system being under served and under utilized by both users and developers, Google’s renewed focus on them has really been showing as of late.
Take, for example, the company’s desire to put Android and larger screens back in the spotlight with the new and upcoming Pixel Tablet, or all of its efforts to help optimize apps for peripherals and even desktop gaming. Recently, Google detailed plans to help users discover and install apps for different devices by providing custom filtered Play Store experiences per device.
This week, however, it went one step further to show off a redesigned Store experience for Chromebooks and larger screens. As you can see below, the left-aligned navigation and more importantly, the thoughtful real estate for apps and information means that those browsing for games and more on ChromeOS, foldables or Android tablets will no longer be forced to use a phone layout.
All of this comes shortly after the Play Store for the web received its very own redesign a few months back, and both are means of Google providing “content-forward” experiences where videos, descriptions, and screenshots make better use of the display size and form factor of the device you’re holding.
Speaking of screenshots, Google also announced that Play Store app and game listings will now be required to upload Chromebook-specific screenshots if that title works on ChromeOS so that those using a laptop can see what the experience will be like prior to installation.
When users browse the Play Store on Chromebooks today, they see tablet or phone screenshots in the app’s store listing page. Since this does not always accurately portray the Chromebook experience, we’re now launching the ability to upload Chromebook-specific screenshots in Play Console.Android Developers Blog
I absolutely love all of the focus the company is placing on Chromebooks as of late, and you can see its desire to elevate and aim for higher adoption rates for the OS across the company’s efforts. My desire is that developers will start to take mouse and keyboard and even game controller support more seriously if they see Google putting the work in.