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Google brings Android apps to Chrome OS, starting with the Asus Flip Chromebook

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Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Android apps are now part of Chrome OS. At least, if you own an Asus Flip set to the Dev channel.

That hybrid laptop tablet is the first Chromebook with access to the Google Play app store.. Google announced in May that three laptops would get access to Google Play this month: the Asus Flip, the Acer Chromebook R11, and Google’s own Pixel. Friday’s change delivers on a feature Google first announced two years ago, Endgadget is reporting.

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This means all kinds of features that previously didn’t work on Chrome OS now do. Reddit users are reporting that Skype video calling is now working on their Flip, thanks to the Android app. Skype famously has not worked on Chromebooks, at least until now.

Not every Android app is supported, however — only those optimized for use on tablets. And some applications are a little buggy, users are reporting, with features like the accelerometer lacking support. Of course, the feature is not yet intended for wide usage, so some bugs are to be expected.

Interested in turning this on? First you need to set up your Chromebook to use the cutting-edge Dev updates. These releases might be a little buggy, but give you access to new features like Android apps. Head to “Settings,” then “About Chrome OS,” then click “More Info.” Click the “Change channel” button, then select “Dev.”

Once you’ve switched to Dev, you should see the option to enable Android apps on your Chromebook’s settings screen. If you don’t see the option, it’s possible your device is not yet supported.

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It’s also worth noting that if your Chromebook is managed by an IT department, you might not be able to enable the feature.

It’s not clear when the feature will come to the Dev channel on the Pixel or the R11, or when the feature will be rolled into the stable channel. We’re sure it can’t come soon enough for users who have been excited about the prospect of this feature for years.