If you have been wanting to work in Chrome OS but have been holding back yourself because you were not able to use Android apps there is a good news for you: Google is introducing Chrome OS to tablets and hybrid laptops. Soon tablets powered by COS will be available in the market, especially from Google. Although Google hasn’t directly made a commitment, considering that the company is doing lots of work on touch UI so naturally the next best destination is going to be Chrome OS tablets. Android apps are already available in Chrome OS, or at least they are talking about it. So if Chrome OS starts working in tablets than these tablets will automatically be able to use your existing apps.
What is the use of tablets running on Chrome OS that can also use Android apps?
Especially when there are already zillions of such devices available?
Chromebooks have a strong presence in the education market. They are affordable and easy to maintain. You may already know typically Chromebooks don’t require an operating system that needs to be installed on a conventional hard disk – though some sort of disk is needed to install at least the basic software that gets things started and then later on you get hooked on to the cloud. Chromebooks run on Chrome OS. This is an operating system that is solely based on the Google Chrome architecture. Google has announced that from 2017 onwards, all Chromebooks will be able to run Android apps. If you have a Chromebook, you will be able to login to your Google Play Store account and use all the apps that you may have purchased or have been using for free.
This is a big implication for many people. Google can suddenly expand its market and attract people who want to stuck with the Android environment despite wanting to switch over to Chrome OS because of their reliance on Android apps. If Chrome OS becomes available on tablets and if people can use there are existing apps on these tablets, there is nothing stopping them to make the switch. There are some excellent Android apps available that people in the education sector can use.
Who else benefits from such tablets and hybrid laptops?
As mentioned above, Chromebooks are used extensively by many segments but right now people have very limited access to Android apps if they are working in Chrome OS. Most of the hybrid laptops come with the touch UI. Actually, almost every contemporary laptop these days can be easily converted into a tablet. So when they talk about tablets coming with Chrome OS with an ability to run Android apps what they actually mean is, tablets as well as hybrid laptops. Maybe they will be just hybrid laptops that can be turned into tablets powered by Chrome OS and then run Android apps on them.
Has Google confirmed that it will be introducing Chrome OS tablets with Android apps could abilities?
As mentioned above, not directly. Google has already released a high-end Android tablet called Pixel C and this tablet comes with a detachable keyboard. So this is sort of a hybrid tablet (instead of being a hybrid laptop). Maybe this tablet will be used as a preview for Chrome OS tablets with full-blown Android apps support?
The new tablets could be a big competition to Microsoft’s Surface tablets and iPad Pro. Although it all depends on how well the tablets adapt according to people’s needs and how easily they can use their existing apps in the new tablets.