Use Android apps on Chrome OS right now

Feel like testing the Android waters on your Chromebook? Here's how.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read
Enlarge Image

ASUS Chromebook Flip running the Android Play Store.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

In May, Google revealed Android apps would soon begin working on Chromebooks. The addition of Android apps to a Chromebook transform it from a device with a sparse app offering, to one with access to virtually any app you can use on your Android device.

Starting today, owners of the Asus Chromebook Flip, Pixel 2 and R11 can begin testing the new feature before its official launch later this year.

Owners of compatiable devices will need to enable developer mode before the Play Store will show up on your device. You can do so by opening Settings > tap on About Chrome OS at the top of the screen > More info > Change channel > Beta.

You will receive a couple of warnings which remind you the Beta channel isn't the most stable version of Chrome OS. In other words, you might experience random crashes and bugs when using a Chromebook on the Beta channel. If you're alright with that, follow the prompts to download and install the update.

Asus Chromebook Flip C100

See all photos

With the update installed, you will have the Play Store app icon in the app shelf at the bottom of your screen. Tap on it, follow the prompts, accept some terms and you're ready to start using Android apps on your Chromebook.

I ran into two issues during my testing. I was unable to open the Play Store when signed into my Google Apps account, nor could I enable Android apps in my Chromebook's settings. Turns out, Android apps need to be enabled by your admin (which is me, in my case), but the setting is currently missing from my dashboard.

The second issue I ran into was easier to fix: Using my Gmail account, I still wasn't able to open the Play Store, but after disabling and then turning it back on everything is working.

Google has said Android apps will come to more Chromebooks when it officially rolls out. You can view that complete list of compatiable Chromebooks here.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on June 17, 2016 and has since been updated with new information.