Chrome logo on a Chromebook

Since their debut years ago, Chromebooks have long been criticized for lacking native apps. That’s something Google has addressed by delivering support for Android apps and, more importantly, Linux apps on Chromebooks, and now the latter is finally dropping its beta label.

Google first announced the ability to bring Linux apps to Chromebooks at I/O 2018, launching the functionality in beta on some devices that same year. In the time since, the functionality has expanded to virtually all Chromebooks as long as they have the performance chops to handle it.

At I/O 2021, Google confirmed during a Developer Session that Linux support on Chrome OS would be graduating from beta status. This will take place during the Chrome 91 release that is set to roll out in about two weeks or so. This comes after Google has added features such as better stability, faster updates, better port/USB support, and more. A new addition is the ability for Linux to update alongside Chrome OS itself, cutting down as much as 15 or so minutes that the process previously required.

Notably, Google also confirmed that the rollout of Android 11 to Chrome OS will be further expanding with coming updates to the platform. Google also confirmed that at least 50 new Chromebook models will be hitting the market during 2021, something that doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given the absolutely massive growth in Chromebook demand over the past year.

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Ben Schoon

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