Illustration of an Android phone and Chrome OS device showing the same application running on both.
Adapting Android

Android apps on Chrome OS

In 2016, the Google Play Store was brought to Chrome OS, allowing the same apps that run on phones and tablets to run on Chromebooks without compromising their speed, simplicity or security. Because Chromebooks run a full version of the Android framework, your app is most likely running on Chrome OS devices today! That means devs can take their single Android APK and scale it to work on any Chrome OS device, allowing for even more immersive and engaging experiences on devices with bigger screens. There are a few differences between phones and Chrome OS devices (and other larger screen form-factors) that can add challenges and opportunities for different experiences such as:

  • Larger landscape-first screens
  • x86 architecture devices
  • Free form windows and resizing
  • Keyboard, mice, & trackpads as first class input methods

To jump in to how you can start building Android apps for Chrome OS, learn more here. Read below for more information on resources we have and topics to keep in mind.

Where do I start?

  • Publishing your app for Chrome OS devices can seem challenging or confusing, but it is the same APK that you ship for phones and tablets. For more information check out our resources on publishing through the Play Store for Chrome OS including optimizing for x86 if you use the NDK.
  • Chrome OS allows your app to bring new experiences and patterns to your users, but it does come with some challenges. Read what is involved to optimize your app or check out a blog postfor more information on what your app on Chrome OS and other larger screen devices involves.
  • There are design considerations to keep in mind on larger screen devices, and we’ve created some recommendations and guidelines to keep in mind when thinking about how your app looks and behaves on Chrome OS.
  • There are a few ways to develop for Chrome OS, you can build directly on your Chrome OS device using the Linux (Beta) for Chrome OS or you can connect your Chrome OS device to your main workstation and develop that way.