Android apps on ChromeOS: A complete guide – Smart Fone Video Blog

Chromebooks support Android apps, downloaded via the Google Play Store. This opens up a wide array of possibilities, with millions of productivity apps and games available. Whether you’re looking for familiar social media apps or mobile games, Android apps offer something for everyone. Let’s take a look at how to get started with Android apps on ChromeOS, along with some of the best apps to install.

Is your Chromebook compatible with Android apps?

Before you can start expanding your app selection via the Google Play Store, you need to verify that your Chromebook is supported. If your Chromebook was released in or after 2017, there’s a good chance it can run Android apps. The fastest way to check this is to head into Settings on your Chromebook.

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Click on the time in the bottom-right corner.
  3. Click on the Settings cog.

  4. Select Apps.
  5. If your Chromebook supports the Google Play Store, you will see a Google Play Store option. This means you can run Android apps on your Chromebook.
    ChromeOS settings app showing Google Play options

  6. If your Chromebook does support Android apps, the Google Play Store should be enabled by default.
  7. In the rare case, that the option isn’t on already, you can choose Turn on to enable the option to run Android apps.

Some older Chromebooks didn’t ship with Google Play support enabled by default. However, many of those devices received Android app support via an update. If you have an older Chromebook, you should check for updates if you don’t see the Google Play Store option available. Here’s how.

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Connect to Wi-Fi.
  3. Click on the time in the bottom-right corner.
  4. Select the Settings cog.
  5. Choose the About ChromeOS option.
  6. Click or tap on Check for updates.
    Checking for updates in ChromeOS

  7. Follow instructions until the update is completed.

Unfortunately, if the Google Play Store option still doesn’t appear in Settings, your device doesn’t support Android apps, or the feature has been disabled by your Chromebook’s administrator. If your Chromebook doesn’t support Android apps, it’s probably worth upgrading to one of our favorite new Chromebooks.

Installing Android apps on ChromeOS

If you use an Android phone on a daily basis, you’ll already know how to install apps from the Play Store. On the other hand, the process might be a bit new for those using an iPhone as their daily device. Installing apps from the Play Store is very similar to the process for Apple’s App Store for iOS or macOS. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Turn your Chromebook on and log in.
  2. Click on the Launcher icon on the left side of your screen.
  3. Find the Google Play Store app and open it.
    Google Play Store in the ChromeOS launcher

  4. Search or browse for your app of choice.
    Reddit listing on the Google Play Store

  5. If you’re looking for options, see our list of the best Android apps.
  6. Click on Install.
  7. Wait for the app to install, and it will appear in your app drawer shortly after.

Using Android apps on ChromeOS

Once you launch an Android app on your Chromebook, you might notice that it is sized for a phone and a mobile-sized layout. Some Android apps will allow you to resize the app to fit your Chromebook’s screen, but that’s not always the case. Here’s how to resize the app.

  1. In the title bar of the app, click the down arrow next to Phone.
  2. Choose Resizable.
    Resizing an Android app in ChromeOS

  3. If you get a warning choose Allow.
    Resizing an Android app in ChromeOS

  4. Drag the app around to fit your screen.

Note that some Android apps won’t let you resize them, and will only have two options, either tablet, or phone. This is a limit set by the developer. Still, most Android apps will run just fine on Chromebooks.

And that’s everything you need to know about running Android apps for ChromeOS. There’s something for everyone, from social media to pro apps for editing photos. There are nearly limitless options when it comes to using Android apps on your Chromebook. Keep in mind that some apps may not be fully optimized, but even so, these apps still work for basic functionality. If you’re into mobile gaming, you can also download many of your favorite Android games.

For those who need powerful desktop apps not found on Android, check out our guide to Linux apps on ChromeOS.

** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **

By smartphonejunkie