Chromebooks still can’t quite do everything a traditional Mac or PC can do (like changing the default web browser), but their compatibility with most Android apps and games has grown more impressive over the years. years. More and more people are also using Android software on Chrome OS, at least according to a statistic that Google just announced.
A new blog post on the Chrome OS developer site rounded up some of the improvements to Chromebook-compatible Android app development over the past year, such as the addition of official Unity engine support in June. Google also said this, citing internal data collected by the company:
Whether they unleash their creativity on Concepts, play games like Crypt of the NecroDancer, or take notes on Squid, more and more people are searching for their favorite smartphone experiences on large-screen devices, such as Chromebooks, tablets and foldable devices. On Chromebooks only, the number of users using Android apps increased by 50% year over year (YOY).
In other words, 50% more people are currently using Android apps on Chromebooks, compared to 2020. Google hasn’t explained the reason for this change, but there are many likely factors. The Google Play Store is prominently displayed on most new Chromebooks, and while the Chrome Web Store hasn’t been a popular place to download apps for a long time, Google officially ended support for Chrome Web Store apps on Chrome OS in 2021. TikTok and other platforms that are primarily accessible only through mobile apps have also grown in popularity in 2020 and 2021.
Google has also tried to improve the experience of Android apps and games on Chrome OS, with some Chromebooks receiving an upgrade to Android 11. Apart from mobile apps, the desktop Linux virtual machine on Chrome OS is also growing rapidly, allowing Chromebook owners to use some traditional desktop apps without a remote desktop or other streaming solutions.