Google’s plans to bring Android apps to Chrome OS seems to be going well. The ARC, which stands for App Runtime for Chrome, first saw a handful of nice Android apps make their way to the web-based operating system so users can access more rich apps.
The initial list of apps users were able to use was small, but it sufficed — it was better than nothing, right? But Google looks to be expanding that tremendously sometime soon. Hints of Google Play support for Chrome OS were unintentionally revealed to some users.
The first hint was a new opt-in check box in Settings for allowing Android apps to run on your Chrome OS device. Digging through some code found more, though — a dialog box that hypes the arrival of Google Play on your Chromebook. (In case it wasn’t obvious, the Get Started button doesn’t do anything yet.)
The dialog box suggests you’ll have access to over a million apps and games (pretty much the full gamut that Google Play has to offer), so it sounds like they’re allowing apps to run on Chrome OS without developers having to change a single line of code. The details are scarce, of course, so that’s only speculation.
More speculation: if Google is allowing any and all apps to run on Chrome OS, we’d imagine they would want to give developers the option of creating a new user interface for those users bundled into the same APK they use for phones and tablets, or at the very least defaulting to a tablet interface when one is available.
If any of this is accurate, it’s likely to be a big undertaking that Google will want developers’ help with. What better way to court and inspire developers than at a developers’ conference? Google IO seems perfect for that, we’d say. But again, speculation. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves before we know exactly what we’re dealing with here.