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Google's Play Store, Android apps may be inching toward Chromebooks

Screenshots support rumors of closer integration just ahead for Google's Android OS for mobile devices and its Chrome OS for notebooks.

acer-chromebook-14-1.jpg

Reddit users have seen evidence that Google's Play Store for Android OS apps may soon surface on Chrome OS notebooks such as this one from Acer.

Acer

Google's Play Store and its millions of Android apps could be headed to Chromebooks and Chrome OS software.

Screenshots posted by Reddit users on Sunday indicate that the integration of Google's mobile app emporium into Chrome OS, its operating system for Chromebooks, may be imminent. The change has been rumored since Google executives hinted in late 2015 that Chrome OS and Android -- Chrome's mobile equivalent -- could be inching closer.

An image posted by Reddit user TheWiseYoda and hosted on Imgur shows an option in settings that reads: "Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook," which then disappears. Ars Technica reported that it was able to replicate this on a second-generation Chromebook Pixel.

Google I/O, the company's annual developers conference, is slated for May and usually includes slew of updates and changes to Google software. Any plans regarding the potential integration of Android and Chrome are complete speculation. However, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, hinted in November that the two operating systems might eventually merge.

"We're always experimenting with new features, but don't have anything to announce at this time," said a Google spokeswoman.

Correction, 5:30 a.m. PT: Eric Schmidt's title has been fixed.