Google is launching ChromeOS.dev as a single hub both for developers of apps for Chrome OS and for developers who use Chromebooks.
Chrome OS is, at least in my opinion, the most shockingly adaptable operating system on the market for laptops, desktops, and tablets, which is both a blessing and a curse. Between web apps, the soon-to-be-deprecated “Chrome apps,” and Chrome OS’s ability to run Android and Linux apps, it’s very easy to get your app onto a Chromebook, but there’s also no one right way to do it, either.
Beyond that, there’s never been one central place to find tips and best practices for Chrome OS developers. Instead, folks making Android apps for Chromebooks needed to dig through Android documentation for tidbits of Chrome OS-specific knowledge, and web developers, to a lesser extent, faced the same issue.
Today, Google is finally turning that around with the launch of ChromeOS.dev, which collects and presents everything that developers of web apps, Android apps, and games should know about making their projects run well on Chromebooks. For example, Android developers will find tips on how to handle laying out their apps on particularly large screens instead of a usual phone screen, as well as info on how best to work with mouse and keyboard.
Better yet, the tips and tricks don’t stop there. Since many Chromebooks can run Linux apps now, Google has devoted a section of ChromeOS.dev to making your Chromebook into a fantastic developer machine. In it, you’ll find resources for things like customizing your Linux terminal, installing Android Studio and Flutter, debugging Android apps directly on your Chromebook, and more.
As for making apps specifically to be run in Chrome OS’s still-in-beta Linux apps support, you unfortunately won’t find any tips on ChromeOS.dev, for now. Google tells us that the Linux apps support is currently intended to provide a developer environment, not to serve as another app ecosystem for Chromebooks just yet.
If you’re still looking for encouragement to get started optimizing your app for Chromebooks, ChromeOS.dev also includes a variety of case studies and info on the rapid growth of Chrome OS. For example, Google tells us that sales of Chromebooks between March and June 2020 are up 127% year over year, no doubt due to students being forced to finish school from home.
More on Chrome OS:
- [U: New screenshot] Google details Windows apps on Chrome OS, Parallels will require high-end Chromebooks
- You can now use Dropbox right from the Chrome OS Files app
- Chrome OS to gain Android ‘Phone Hub’ w/ notifications and ‘task continuation’
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