Chromebooks may beat smartphones to future Android features

You might get a taste of what future Android releases have to offer on a Chromebook before those features come to your phone — with a minor catch.

Senior director of product management for Chrome OS Kan Liu, speaking with The Verge, says future Android updates may make their way to Chromebook devices before coming to phones.

Recently, Chromebooks have begun to lean towards a sort-of hybrid between Chrome OS and Android — as seen with the upcoming Chromebook Pro, which Google expects to release on May 28 with support for apps running Android Nougat.

Liu explains that Chrome OS' release cycle is faster than Android's dessert-themed updates, meaning that some Android updates post-launch could potentially come to Chromebooks emulating the Android OS before coming to Android phones themselves. 

Beta be careful

Two big caveats here: Google clarified features from Android O won't roll out before the OS itself debuts on phones this summer. 

Second, any new app updates released post-Android O on Chromebook before making it to phones will likely be beta versions of that app.

That said, Liu describes that apps on Android are, for the most part, ready to go for Chromebooks, and that the occasional user launching a beta version of an Android O-compatible app shouldn't be too much of an issue. 

For those with phones who want to be on the bleeding edge of Android O itself, you can sign up for the OS' beta and developer preview, should you own a Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or a Nexus Player.