Android apps are now available on these Chromebooks

Chromebook Play Store

Remember when we heard that Chromebooks were going to be able to run Android apps? Well, support for these in Chrome OS just became a reality, at least for certain devices.

Back at the I/O event last month, Google announced that the Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11 and the latest Chromebook Pixel would be the first devices to support Android apps, and indeed this is the case.

However, as Engadget reports, it appears the Asus Flip is the first machine to gain this functionality – if you're running Chrome OS dev channel 53, that is – and Reddit users reckon the Play Store still isn't working properly on the other two notebooks. But it should be very soon.

These have been chosen as the initial Chromebooks to run the apps because they've got chunky enough hardware and a touchscreen on board. The touchscreen makes things easier initially, as it means users can avail themselves of Android goodies without proper keyboard support.

More devices in the pipeline

However, support for far more Chromebooks is in the pipeline as developers get their apps in shape to be compatible with Chrome OS. Check out this support page to see the full – and quite lengthy – list of Chromebooks that will run Android apps later this year.

Note that at the moment, even those with the correct device and alpha version of Chrome OS loaded can only use tablet apps and games; those designed for smartphones won't work.

Naturally, you can expect some level of instability given that this is still early days on the dev channel, with screen rotation apparently broken, the accelerometer being buggy, and some apps are certainly not functioning correctly.

But there are reports of a fair number of apps and games working seemingly well, including Hearthstone, Galaxy of Heroes, The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Crossy Road.

Everything will be running more smoothly with the stable release later this year, of course, and far more Chromebooks will get support as mentioned, opening up a massive new world of apps for all and sundry – and indeed programs and games that can be used offline, making the Chromebook far more versatile when no internet connection is available.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).