On the heels of a full desktop-class Android app built with Chromebooks in mind (Krita) and the arrival of both Doom and Doom II for free on the Chromebook Perks website, it appears Google may have finally made it through to developers that Chromebooks are worth targeting as a platform. Today, we’re beginning to see the arrival of a dedicated Chromebooks Games page in the Play Store that will house games made to work well with Chrome OS devices.
We talked about this very thing yesterday on the podcast, but I honestly thought we’d see more development over the coming weeks, not days. Instead, this morning I woke up to a tweet from @dmgerbino asking us if we’d come across the newly-formed Premium page in the Play Store just for Chromebooks. In fact, the heading for this new section of the Play Store reads:
Premium games on your Chromebook
We’ve picked the games that play well on Chromebooks
As of right now, my version of the Play Store doesn’t have this section, but it is likely a server-side update that we’ll all get to see go live in the coming days. I’ve reached out to David to get a full list of the games Google has deemed worthy of making the cut so we can try them out. For now it’s enough to know that there is a special place in the Play Store coming for games like Doom and Doom II that take full advantage of the larger screen, keyboard and mouse input methods on Chromebooks. I can’t wait to try out some of these games I’ve likely never heard of and see if others are doing what Doom and Doom II are with native, working mouse and keyboard controls out of the box.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: it feels like we’ve finally come to the point that Android developers are ready to take Chromebooks seriously en masse. Once this really begins, it won’t only be about games. Instead, we could see an app revolution of sorts for Android on larger screens. The tools are there and have been for a long time for developers to build bigger things than just phone apps for Android. It is beginning to feel – 4 years after their introduction on Chrome OS – that Android apps are really ready to expand into their full potential on Chromebooks.