Google Makes It Easier to Write Android Apps on Chrome OS

Posted on August 12, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Mobile, Chromebook, Android, Chrome OS with 3 Comments

Thanks to native emulator support, it’s possible for the first time to completely develop Android apps using just a Chromebook. Additionally, Google has launched a new web-based resource for developers using Chromebooks.

“To deliver app experiences that truly improve people’s lives, developers must be equipped with the right tools, resources, and best practices,” Google’s Iein Valdez announced. “That’s why we’re excited to introduce, a dedicated resource for technical developers, designers, product managers, and business leaders.” is available in English and Spanish, and Google says that other languages are coming soon. It features the news, product announcements, technical documentation, and code samples from popular apps. “Whether you’re a web, Android, or Linux developer who’s just getting started or a certified expert, you’ll find all the information you need on,” Valdez said.

To me, however, the other Chrome OS-related developer announcements are a bigger deal. These include:

Linux Terminal improvements. The Linux (Beta) on Chrome OS Terminal now provides personalization features like integrated tabs and shortcuts, themes, and a redesigned Settings interface.

Full Android emulator support. Supported Chromebooks can now run a full version of the Android Emulator for the first time. This lets developers test apps on any Android version and device without needing the actual hardware.

Direct app deployment. This is perhaps the best reason to develop Android apps on Chrome OS: You can deploy your apps directly to Chrome OS. That’s pretty amazing.

Android Studio Project Wizard improvements. The Primary/Detail Activity template in Android Studio has been updated to provide complete support for larger screens, including Chromebooks, tablets, and foldables, multiple layouts for both phones and larger-screen devices, and better keyboard/mouse scaffolding.  (This feature debuts in Android Studio 4.2 Canary 8.)

Android lint check improvements. Google has improved the default checks in Android’s lint tool to help developers identify and correct common coding issues that can improve how apps work on larger screens with non-resizable and portrait-locked activities. (This feature is currently available for testing in Canary channel.)

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Google Makes It Easier to Write Android Apps on Chrome OS”

  1. jimchamplin

    Are they planning to make Chrome OS a first-class Android development platform in the future? If we see Android Studio for Chrome OS before Xcode for iPadOS, someone at Apple isn't paying attention.

  2. eric_rasmussen

    This is pretty awesome. If they expand ChromeOS to handle my professional development tasks, there's no reason for me to have a Windows notebook anymore. I have a gaming PC with Windows 10, but for professional use I've been burned so many times now by botched Windows updates that I really need something more reliable. I can't afford to have a day here and a day there of downtime in this economy.

  3. Aticeyound

    Meaningful thing, respect to the creator!