As seen with 12L, Google is making a big push to improve the experience of using Android and its apps on large screens. In its developer recap, Google shared today that usage of Android apps on Chrome OS increased 50% year-over-year. 

This Chromebook YoY metric specifically, according to internal Google data from 2020-2021, counts the “number of users engaging with Android apps.” It comes as Chrome OS in May grew 92% over the last year, which at “five times the rate of the PC market” makes it the fastest-growing OS. In all, Google says “people are craving their favorite smartphone experiences on large-screen devices.”

Google previously shared in October of 2019 that time spent in Android apps on Chrome OS had grown 4X YoY. Over the past two years, Android apps and the Play Store have further proliferated on Chromebooks, while more and more dedicated tablets are arriving. 

The rest of today’s blog post provides a recap of what Google has done to improve Android on Chrome OS, including:

  • Android 11 rollout: “Steadily updating all Chromebooks to support Android 11⁠”
  • Improved Android app window management: On Chrome 93+ on Android 11, “made-for-mobile apps” are locked in a phone or tablet-sized window, while there’s a “Resizable” pill in the top bar.
  • Nearby Share in Android apps: Chrome 96+ on both Android 9 and 11 
  • Low-latency stylus library: “The API minimizes latency by rendering pen strokes directly through the hardware compositor and predicting where the next part of the stroke will be drawn.”

In terms of what’s next, Google says it will provide developers with “more guidance and easy-to-use tools” in 2022.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: