back to article Chrome OS to get Android apps via the magic of containers

Google has pulled the move the software market has been waiting ages for, and built a system to run Android apps on its desktop operating system. The system works by setting up a Linux container in the Chrome operating system that runs a complete version of Android in a locked-down environment to minimize security issues. It's …

  1. ratfox

    the platform is now outselling Macs in the US

    Let's see those numbers. I am aware that not everybody can afford a Mac, but I would still have bet that Macs are more mainstream than Chromebooks.

    Or maybe it's all those schools that are ordering a Chromebook for every child, because it's cheaper and the kids don't realistically need more until high school.

  2. VeganVegan

    Do the apps come with their insecure features as well?

    that's all.

  3. JeffyPoooh

    And for their next trick...

    The Chrome BROWSER should be able to execute Android apps. Probably much closer than you think. Browsers are already larger than OSes used to be. One could slip an emulator inside.

    How about an Android OS emulator in the form of an Android App. This could get amusingly recursive.

    Sooner or later somebody is going to 'build' a computer (PC) in Minecraft and then get it to boot Windows 95.

    Anyone that thinks that any of this is impossible will find the next 10 or 20 years very confusing.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: And for their next trick...

      The new DOOM contains a working piano and a drum machine.

  4. Redbaron

    This is great!

    I have an ARM chromebook - the battery life is lovely, but I have to use crouton for Firefox sync and I can't do things like TeamSpeak, Skype or dropbox.

    I'm very happy with this decision!

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: This is great!

      There is a third party "File System for Dropbox" which works pretty well on ChromeOS, allowing you to browse your Dropbox files in the ChromeOS file manager and drag & drop etc. I had thought that the lack of Skype might be an issue but actually I find I'm hardly ever using it now anyway - MS have more or less ruined it and many people have moved on to other messaging services.

  5. Mikel

    An exciting evolution

    I can't wait to see what is available for Christmas.

    A Chromebook Pixel with Kaby Lake, cellular data, GPS, Android apps and 4K for me please.

  6. Daniel Voyce

    I hope this gets open sourced

    Since NHL.TV changed their platform mid season they basically wrote off Linux as a supported platform, however it still works on Android! This is one of many cases of vendors dropping support (for whatever reason) for Linux, however these vendors usually have perfectly serviceable mobile apps - if this gets ported into Chrome / Chromium (or someone cobbles something together) then I think Linux as a platform will be a whole lot richer for it!

    Android in a container though should be pretty easy to accomplish now I guess?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I hope this gets open sourced

      vendors dropping support (for whatever reason) for Linux

      hm, let's see: tiny market that expects everything for free? more GUI frameworks than you can count? weird licence restrictions?

      Android in a container / VM has been possible for a while.

  7. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Access to specific hardware wouldn't be a problem if I could refuse permissions.

    "Android apps that require specific hardware, like an always-on cellular link, won't run on a laptop that doesn't have the necessary kit"

    Most of the Android apps which demand access to these features don't really need them. If I were allowed to refuse access and still run the app then it wouldn't be a problem, would it?

  8. ColonelDare

    Sounds a bit like Crouton?

    I'm sure there are technical differences which escape me, but I have been running David Schneider's Crouton here on my three year old HP Arm Chromebook for a while now and love it. Ubuntu 16.04, LibreOffice, Gimp, Thunderbird and all that good stuff - excellent.

    Anyway, I welcome this Android option as my choices will be richer even as I leave the lost world of M$ a distant memory in my rear view mirror :-)

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Sounds a bit like Crouton?

      Crouton is very nice to have but the implementation of this should be much more seamless. I can't say I'm overly enthusiastic about Android applications on ChromeOS but it I suppose it's always good to have options.

    2. John Sanders

      Re: Sounds a bit like Crouton?

      I have been saying for a long time that APKs will become the path for commercial software into Linux.

      Sooner or later.

      Windows will get them too, and so do Macs, (even before Linux)

      Why do you think MS is trying to fence the PC market?

  9. TVU Silver badge

    "I have been saying for a long time that APKs will become the path for commercial software into Linux."

    I think it's worth mentioning that Linux currently has the potential to do that in the form of ARChon and ARChon Packager although the actual results vary from app to app.

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