Google announced at its annual I/O conference today that Android mobile apps from its Google Play app store will now run on ChromeOS devices like Chromebook laptops.
Google is making the Play store, and the gazillion Android apps you can get on it, work on the Chrome operating system, which is also developed and supported by Google.
In theory, that would mean digital signage apps on the Play store that would currently run on things like Android set-top boxes and sticks would port over and run happily on Chrome devices like Chromeboxes and Chromebits.
But that’s not the case with this, at least not yet.
A Google contact told me the new scheme does not have support for Android apps to run as a kiosk, or to be locked down natively on Chromeboxes or Chromebases. The intention for now is that the Android apps on Google Play will just run on Chromebooks. So think of apps you have on your Android phone or tablet, whatever they may be.
My contact suggested deeper support, for things like the kiosk mode enabled on Chrome devices that then allows digital signage play-out, will be available down the road.
Bloomberg reports the decision to continue converging the operating systems is another suggestion Chrome may be dying off, but move is the latest sign that Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., may eventually combine Android and Chrome OS into a single operating system. While the company has said it has no current plans to eliminate Chrome OS, but Hiroshi Lockheimer, head of Android and Chrome OS at Google, sais at I/O that;s not the case.
“There’s been a lot of speculation about Android and Chrome OS merging. Our approach is to take the best attributes of each and share them with the other.”
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.