Every year Google shows off its software advancements at the I/O conference, 2014 was no different. Android was the highlight of this year’s conference but Google did take some time out to talk about Chrome OS. Its browser based operating system powers machines known as Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. Google revealed at I/O 2014 that soon it will add the ability to run native Android app to Chrome OS and today it has revealed the first set of those applications. The idea behind this is to transform the experience between Android and Chrome OS devices to be entirely seamless. Apps shown running on systems during the demonstrations included Flipboard, Vine, and Evernote.
Android apps are coming to Chrome OS, and the very first of them arrive today. Vine, Evernote, and two other Android apps can now be run on Chrome OS and operated using a mouse and keyboard. This is the start of a potentially huge change for Chrome OS, which should ultimately make the operating system far more powerful and filled with a much richer selection of apps. The language teaching app Duolingo and the children’s app Sight Words are the other two apps being made available today. All four apps will be available in the Chrome Web Store. Chrome and Android chief Sundar Pichai revealed the initiative to get Android apps running on Chrome OS back in June. Google tells us that it would ultimately like for Android developers to be able to bring their apps over to Chrome OS with “little to no engineering effort” beyond perhaps a few interface changes, but for now it’s still working with individual developers to get these apps up and running. More Android apps will be adding Chrome OS support over the “coming months,” and Google is actively taking suggestions on which ones should come first.