The indicator considers how many Chromebook users utilize Android apps, and the number is steadily increasing. This information was released as part of Google’s year-end developer report, which also noted that Chrome OS had expanded by 92 percent in the last year, making it the fastest-growing platform available.
With a 50% increase in Android app use on Chrome OS in the last year, and two-thirds of Chromebook-toting Android Police readers using them at least occasionally, this will be yet another surface for app developers to worry about on a regular basis, especially for game publishers looking to get a piece of Google Play Games on PC.
Of course, we’re mostly interested in Android-specific Chrome OS modifications, and there have been plenty this year, such as limiting window size to minimize app instability. Beyond that, we’ve seen other examples of cross-pollination, such as in Chrome OS 96, when Google gave the platform the same MAC address randomization as Android. There was also a specific section for activating or silencing notifications and toggling Do-not-disturb mode in that release, as well as Nearby Share for effortlessly transferring files with your phone or other nearby devices. We could go on, but you get the picture.
The year-over-year rise is certainly the product of a lot of behind-the-scenes work and dedicated resources, and Google does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Google has taken small steps to adapt Android to larger screens over the years.
Android 10 included a general desktop mode, whereas Android 12L included a full suite of tablet and foldable device enhancements. But, given how much Chromebook users appear to value Android apps, regardless of how broken they can be with deformed UIs in freeform windows, this recently announced addition to Android Studio seems long overdue.
The Chrome OS team is encouraging developers to try out the new Desktop Android Virtual Device in Android Studio’s next Electric Eel version – as of press time, we’re still looking at Dolphin Canary 9 on the preview releases page.
The Android 12-based virtual desktop will allow users to observe how their program reacts when asked to scale in various states, work with other apps in multi-window mode, generate notifications, and draw activity toggles from the taskbar.
With Google seeing a 50% increase in Android app use on Chrome OS over the last year, and two-thirds of Chromebook-toting Android Police readers using them at least occasionally, this will be yet another surface for app developers to worry about on a regular basis, especially for game publishers looking to get a piece of Google Play Games on PC.
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