Google has been increasingly focused on making sure Google Play and Android apps function well on recent Chromebooks. We saw a teaser of the big future Google has planned at CES, with Samsung’s new Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro advertising their support for the Google Play Store right out of the box.
Now it looks like Nougat could be rolling out to a collection of Chromebooks, as one reader of Chrome Unboxed has shared a series of screenshots showcasing his Lenovo Thinkpad Chromebook running Android 7.1.1. Keep in mind this Chromebook is on the Canary channel so it receives experimental test builds. After reading this post I checked my own Samsung Chromebook 3 and was disappointed to see it doesn’t have the update.
So what’s so special about Android Nougat appearing on Chromebooks?
With Android Nougat came the ability to resize your apps to use them side-by-side and perform a bit of multi-tasking on your phone. While support for this feature is still spotty at best because it requires developers to support it, it’s a godsend on Chromebooks with their larger screens designed to be used in this way.
Pretty soon the huge fleet of Chromebooks produced by several manufacturers will have access to millions of quality Android apps that work out of the box and provide a great user experience. With access to Android apps on Chromebooks, Google instantly becomes a more appealing alternative to traditional Windows laptops.
This takes a page out of the Lenovo Yoga Book playbook and it could mean the spread of Android beyond more than just powering people’s pocket devices and wearables.