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Android apps and notifications come to Chromebooks

Google’s Sundar Pinchar took the stage at Google I/O to announce a few changes to Chrome OS, the operating system that powers Chromebook laptops and Chrome OS-based desktop computeres.

Pinchar said that with your Chrome OS-powered computer, you’ll be able to receive calls and texts that come to your Android L phone, and reply to this using your Chromebook as well. This very much reminds of us features that Apple announced at WWDC14, which will be coming to OS X Yosemite, the next version of Cupertino’s desktop operating system, and is due out this fall. Users could also remotely access the camera in their Android devices, turning a Chromebook into a large live-view display and taking photos. On top of that, if your Android phone’s battery starts receiving “low battery” notifications, you’ll see them on your Chromebook as well, which offers you a friendly reminder to plug in your handset. 

On top of that, Google is working on making Android apps usable on your Chromebook. Pinchar presented brief demos of popular apps like Vine and Evernote running on a Chromebook. The demo featured a snippet of a user browsing through Vine on the Chrome OS desktop. While Pinchar named these specific apps during this part of the presentation, it’s unclear whether this feature will be coming to all Android apps, or a selection of them. More details as they arrive.

It’s unclear when these features will be coming to Chrome OS and Chromebooks, but what is certain is that Google is looking to unify and converge both the Android and Chrome OS experiences, much the way Apple has been doing with OS X and iOS.

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