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Google Asks Users What Android Apps They Want on Chrome OS First

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One of the biggest surprises at I/O 2014 was Google’s plan to bring select Android apps to Chrome OS later this year.

But which apps? Well, that’s entirely up to you.

Google Android App Survey

Little is yet known about the technical implementation of getting Android apps running on Chrome OS. Android and Chrome lead Sundar Pichai used the term ‘port’ during his demo of Evernote, Vine and Flipboard running on a Chromebook, so it does seem that this isn’t (as some initially believed) clever use of the Screen Mirroring feature debuting in Android ‘L’.

“We won’t be able to support every Android app from day one,” cautions Google

What is evident is that the process is not straightforward or without work. Anyone expecting to have access to the vast catalog of Google Play on their Chromebook will be disappointed to hear that only a ‘handpicked set’ of apps will be supported at first.

“We won’t be able to support every Android app from day one,” cautions Google.

But to help get things off to a solid start the company is asking for your feedback on what Android apps they should focus on porting over first.

You can vote for an application you think would be super useful on a Chromebook through this Google form. Google isn’t going to use every suggestion, but the feedback generated by the survey will help them identify specific use cases that could enhance the experience of Chrome OS.

You can nominate your favourite applications by filling in the form at the link below.

Android App Chrome Survey

Our vote? Skype, Twitter or Instagram. What Android apps would you like to see running on Chrome OS?

  • benny windolph

    Chrome OS needs an email client, voted for –> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.email

  • JPB

    I doubt we’ll see it, but I voted for Skype.

  • João Victor Schiavo

    OnLive please, for God’s sake!

    • Toshvi

      yes, please. A million times yes.

  • JusticeL

    So my question is will there be an increase in storage on Chromebooks moving forward for this venture? Android applications are installed locally on machines and do not run from the cloud. So

    • http://NathanBrauer.com Nathan J. Brauer

      It’s possible that they will find a way to install them in the cloud.

      • Heimen Stoffels

        Such an implementation is already possible. It just needs local storage enabled, but local storage for most apps is so little, it would even be possible on a 100 MB SSD.

        • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

          Yeah, they’re not huge. Installed sizes: Vine is 18.5MB, Flipboard is 6MB and Evernote is 19MB.

          That doesn’t include cache, but that could easily be set to auto-clean based on % of available SSD.

    • r4in

      Probably. They could also implement feature to move apps’ data to sdcard, similar to phones/tablets.

    • Mr Torch

      I hope so because that’s the only thing stopping me from getting a Chromebook.

    • Heimen Stoffels

      I don’t see the problem? 16 GB is more than enough, that’s even more than the average smartphone storage. If it’s really that bothersome, just pop in a MicroSD in your Chromebook. Currently, Amazon has Sony’s 32 and 64 GB ones for 75% off.

  • Kawshik Ahmed

    Skype

  • Bill Anderson

    I wonder why they are doing this survey. They know which Chromebook users also use Android, and they know what apps those devices have on them. Just look to where the biggest overlap is…

    • Collin1000

      Not always true – I doubt apps like fitness trackers or word games would be as popular on ChromeOS as would be utility apps like Skype. Just because people use it on android doesn’t mean it’ll scale to a laptop

      • Heimen Stoffels

        Word games are played on laptops, so I don’t see how Chromebooks differ from that. Agreed on fitness trackers though.

  • http://www.corbindavenport.com/ Corbin Davenport

    Does Google Play count as an app?

    • sonicyoof

      That’s like using one of your wishes to get more wishes…

      • Vhincent Sj

        ^exactly… wishing from a Genie with more Genies!

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Yes, but it’s worthless if you can’t install any apps through it since Play Store would be the only or one of the few ported apps at first…

  • r4in

    Personally I would like some better video player. VLC is pretty decent, IMO, but there are other good choices.

    • Mr Torch

      MXplayer is the best on Android imo. But the best media player available I think is MSPlayer, I can’t view YouTube hd videos via my browser on my laptop without it stuttering not even 720p it just about manages 480, however you can launch MSPlayer and search YouTube from it and I can play it in 1080p without any problems, but you’ll never see that on Android as you can also record YouTube from it.

  • mediumsizedrob

    I’d like to see a decent podcast app for Chrome OS.

  • KC69

    am i the only one bothered by how Vine is displayed on Chrome? there’s no way this will be a pleasant experience on the 11 inch Chromebooks.

    • Heimen Stoffels

      You can just run it as half a window. But maybe if it catches on, Vine will create a tablet version which would work even better on 11 inch Chromebooks.

  • Anthony Marincas

    I wish that we could get certain themes or icon packs on chrome, not that I don’t like the default chrome, but I would like some more customization or something a little different.

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Themes are already possible, but count me in for icon packs support. #numix

  • moe

    yes not so much the apps from Android but the features, flexibility, customization, something that makes it look and feel more like a laptop os rather than a children’s toy. How nice would day dream (in android) be in chrome os, or something as simple as a widgets or good looking notifications rather than the really ugly ones we got now, or having the ability to have your downloads go different folders directly or even make folder in that same app.

    • Curtis Mitchell

      Man, I’d love widgets. Take advantage of that desktop!

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Meh, I don’t like widgets so it’s not so important for me to have them port that over on day one.

  • Pete Davenport

    A lot of people might disagree with me, but I voted for Minecraft Pocket Edition, which I actually like better than full-on Minecraft because of the simplicity. It would also mean that we wouldn’t need Ubuntu just to play Minecraft.

  • rslh

    Not so much on apps, but would be nice to see a few widgets that can be placed on desktop. E.g., Keep, Drive, Calendar, etc. It would be fantastic to see the Material Design in action for these widgets.

  • Lou G

    Skype would be awesome.

    I’m just curious if you’ll need an android phone ot make it work or if it’ll literally run on your chromebook without it.

    I’d also like a couple of games (*bought a lot of games before his N7 got ran over*)

    • Heimen Stoffels

      I don’t get why not many game makers just use Nacl which also works fine on ChromeOS…

  • Skype

    Skype please

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Why don’t you port yourself?

      (jk, it’s because of your username)

  • Adrian

    Asphalt 8 would be a.o.k. with moi. As would Umano, the excellent audio news & stories app.

  • Anthony Tumiwa

    Antivirus!!! :D :D :D

    seriously… i need Line Messenger
    application like Messenger is the most important, because social media or some other can be accessed/opened via web browser.

  • niclas

    Evernote ☺

  • Terrance Henry

    Please submit this! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.estrongs.android.pop&hl=en — FINALLY we might be able to browse network shares via ES File Explorer (one the the best IMO)

  • Shriram Bhat

    MX PLAYER OR VLC MEDIA PLAYER

  • Seriously now?

    Honestly, I don’t need much from Android. Android is my mobile OS of choice, but the web has most of the things I use anyway. Sure, dedicated apps for things like Gmail and Google Play Music are needed, but they aren’t missing per se.

    What is truly missing from Chrome (and Android) is a development environment. Can I compile machine code natively? And run it? Please? If I could do that, I’d consider switching to a Chromebook. For now, MacBook is where it’s at.

    • Heimen Stoffels

      A development environment is missing, but if you just wanna code you can use Caret from the Chrome Web Store. It’s basically a Chrome copy of Sublime Text which works terrific.

      • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

        It’s missing a Android development environment (annoying) but the Chrome Dev Editor (Preview) is a fully-fledged dev set-up, complete with built-in web store publishing and github sync.

        • Seriously now?

          Just caught that. Now we’re talking!

    • Zactu

      This is exactly what Google should focus on. ChromeOS would be more appealing if the development enviroment supports complex desktop apps. Web apps and Android are not going to cut it. Google has an opportunity to replace Windows PC’s not a secondary browser OS but as the primary OS. I’d like Google to aim higher, aim at the Windows desktop monopoly.

      • Hein Hanssen

        True. If Chrome OS wants to make a serious impact in the marketplace it needs to run desktop apps. It’s not enough that you can use webbased apps (partially) off line. Chrome OS is offered on a laptop, so any one is expecting laptop capabilities.

        But don’t we want to see Ubuntu succeed? But what are the odds? In this case I think that Apple has the best cards at the moment. They do not integrate OSX on phones and tablets, but they make it possible to use the same data on a phone, tablet and laptop/desktop. It’s clear I want to see my appointments on my phone, but it’s also clear I don’t want to write a master thesis on my phone. I want to be able to display my thesis, though and share it with my phone or tablet. We have different pieces of hardware that partially overlap in functionality and partially they’ll never do. But they do need to share the same data. As far as I read Apple has the best cards at that right now. The only thing that’s hindering a huge success is the cost of their hardware (especially in Europe).

        • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

          It *does* run desktop apps. They just happen to be written in web technologies. They can leverage system hardware, GPU and local OS integration in the same way that native apps can on other operating systems. Yes, some often require online connectivity but this in’t 2007 – Wi-Fi is fairly ubiquitous. The bulk of most OSes are useless without Wi-Fi (e.g. on my OS X desktop right now I have Chrome, Twitter, Spotify, RSS reader, Skype, and a Calendar app open.)

          I think a lot of people make the mistake that a Chromebook is a laptop. It’s not; it’s a Chromebook. For most people it can do everything their laptop can (which is web-browsing, chatting, Facebook, etc), for others it can’t. But it’s never been pitched as a laptop replacement, more as a ‘companion’ device; a secondary computer free of the cruft and overhead of a Windows device.

          • Seriously now?

            Google has acted correctly so far. They push the web technologies to their boundary, and they constantly try to decrease use of plugins (especially Flash). With that said, revisiting native code in a more mature manner is indeed happening right now through the Native Client, and we shouldn’t forget that.

            Most things work great with HTML5 and JavaScript (and soon Dart). But I certainly wouldn’t mind games and similar, more demanding applications. NaCl is where it’s at.

            Chromebooks may have started as non-laptops, but they are quickly redefining what a laptop is.

    • Juan Algar

      Because 99% of the users are developers. Obvious

  • Olaf
  • Heimen Stoffels

    Spotify: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotify.music

    Because the Web Player sucks so much. I have to hook up my phone with a Spotify client to my speakers every time I wanna listen to Spotify music. It works well, but it’d be more convenient to have the (or a) client as an app on ChromeOS.

    • Adrian

      Yes, the difference between the desktop program and the web player is dramatic. N

      Are you able to see your playlist groups using the web player? I can see them on my phone and on the desktop program, but not on the web.

      • Heimen Stoffels

        Yes, I do see my playlist groups in the web player. My main gripes are:

        -Web Player’s interface is sluggish and unintuitive
        -Web Player constantly stops playing music due to “problems with my internet connectivity” even though other websites work fine and the Spotify desktop program (and mobile) never complains.

        • Adrian

          By playlist groups, just to be clear I mean the folders that can be made to store multiple playlists — see http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/spotify-top-tips-tricks/ These have to be created in the desktop program, not the web app. I see them on the phone, but not on the web app. You say they carry over to the web app for you?

          For me the webapp is pretty fast and never buffers, but I do have a fast connection. I agree, however, that it is clunky and unintuitive.

          • Heimen Stoffels

            Yes, they do.

            And I also have a fast connection (30-40 MB/s). Everything from websites to YouTube 1080p to whatever never gives me any trouble. Spotify desktop program and mobile app also never give me any problem. It’s only the web app that gives me trouble…

          • Adrian

            Not your playlists, your playlist *folders* which contain multiple playlists. See here: http://community.spotify.com/t5/Spotify-Ideas/Browser-version-folders-for-playlists/idi-p/499748

            That’s too bad your having buffering problems with the web app. Have you contacted Spotify?

    • maevian

      just subscribe to google play music, way better experience as spotify

  • Kapoios allos

    Utorrent and vlc of course!

  • Peddler

    The 2FA authentication client for LastPass but that’s not an Android issue.

  • Matt Rogers

    Cue the deluge of Skype requests.

  • undercoverduck

    Um. WhatsApp?

    • akshay2000

      WhatsApp exclusively requires SIM to be present. So, no. But it’d be great to use computer to type in the chats.

      • Heimen Stoffels

        WhatsApp works fine on WiFi only without SIM. The problem is that it user your phone number as username. You can use WhatsApp fine on ChromeOS if it was ported, but you then need to reactivate on your phone and on ChromeOS every time you switch. Not very convenient.

        • undercoverduck

          Well, I’m not sure why exactly we have to ask Google which apps we want available on ChromeOS (y’know, seems more like a job for the developers to me) but I guess WhatsApp could make an alteration that would allow it to be operative on multiple devices, à la iMessage

          • Anthony Tumiwa

            i doubt Whatsapp developer want to make a desktop version like Line messenger or ChatOn

      • undercoverduck

        Got it working just fine on my iPod Touch with a few Jailbreak tools P:

    • Nicolas Guichard

      No, Telegram !

  • Grant Ashman

    Just give me a proper Exchange capable mail-client. If Android can have it, why can’t Linux?

  • Mr.Awesome

    Wouldn’t It Be Cool If Text+ Was A Chrome App?

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gogii.textplus&hl=en

  • Paulo Pavačić

    Google Crome! The best browser.

  • peter

    Sonos would be extremly nice!

  • Lalo

    Don’t really care much for android apps. But I would like to see them upgrade the file manager and to fix Google Play Music so that it can play offline similar to what it does on Android.

    • Timbo

      File Manager should work like Google Drive. Folders on one side and files on the other.
      Anyone know of an extension?

  • Naoki Miyazaki-Chapleau

    Guys, stop asking for Skype by the way…. Why would Microsoft, Google`s biggest competitor, allow them to use Skype?

    • LiamTHX

      Linux and Mac have Skype.

    • Crow550

      It’s a native Android app and Chrome OS is adding native Android support so it can legally be available on the Chrome OS.

      Plus Skype is on many non-Microsoft devices as is. It’s nothing new.

      The reason why Skype wasn’t already on the Chrome OS is because Chrome OS doesn’t allow Linux programs (yet) and the web version in Outlook.com uses a Windows only plugin and not a standard like WebRTC (yet).

      Also Android already has built in Keyboard and Mouse Support. Which means adding apps in non-touch screen Chrome OS devices will not be so difficult.

      So Android apps should work well on non-touch as well as touch (of course) Chrome OS devices. ;)

    • http://www.appsandtweaks.com/ Chris Watson

      This is worth noting. Microsoft and Google are big competitors in the search world, but when it comes to most other things they play nice. Apple and Google are much bigger competitors than Microsoft and Google

  • http://vicente-de-pierola.tumblr.com/ Vicente de Piérola

    More than support of these Android apps, I’m hoping for actual Chrome Apps that work offline for Evernote, Tweetdeck, etc.

  • LiamTHX

    This might be a little off-topic, but has anyone else noticed in the latest update, the file manager seems smaller than usual? Like, hard to see small?

    • Timbo

      I hadn’t noticed it until you mentioned it. I wonder if they are going to enhance it, like separate areas for folders and files.

  • http://absolutezeromedia.com Clint Listing

    Flipboard, Skype, Wwe network, and line those would be mine

  • Greg Seljestad

    My vote would be LDS scripture library. I sold my tablet for this C720P which is great, but would like to have my scriptures to read. The Android version was excellent.

  • Crow550

    Skype of course.

    Also VLC (or equal all in one media player.)

  • Crow550

    Also Facebook Messenger would be nice too. :D

    • Crow550

      Why? Voice calling & Video chat.

  • Na’im A.Bakar

    Modern combat 5,Real Racing 3,Asphalt 8,Clash of Clans,Riptide GP 2,Dead Trigger 2,Shadowgun,Nova,Boom Beach,Leo’s Fortune…
    These all are my favourites

  • Lasse Venø Andersen

    nVidia Limelight, would be totally awesome :D Play all your games on your CB…just have to have a windows PC with Shield ready hardware :D

  • Brenden Morris

    I haven’t seen any comments about a photo editor, but I would love like Photoshop or Snapseed, to be an app on Chrome OS. There really isn’t a good photo editor for Chrome OS at the moment.

  • Adam Leon

    I voted for Estrongs File Explorer!