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Open-source code leaks indicate arrival of Google Play Store on Chromebooks

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Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Many Android users are already very familiar with the Google Play Store as a means of downloading the latest apps, as well as other content like music, books, and video. Now, it seems that the storefront might soon be accessible on Chromebooks, too.

Over the weekend, a user called TheWiseYoda made a post to Reddit about a strange new addition to the Chromebook settings menu — a tickbox that would allow users to “Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook.” This intriguing option would apparently disappear shortly after the menu was opened.

Intrigued, TheWiseYoda and other users soon began pouring through code, and soon found even more concrete evidence that the Play Store would soon be made available to users on Chromebooks. Line 1214 of the open-source Chromium code, hosted here, confirms that the option to enable Android apps is indeed legitimate.

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While Chromebooks can already run Android apps, opening up the Google Play Store would certainly make more of them available to users, and would streamline the process of obtaining them. More importantly, the fact that Google is implementing this roll-out now suggests that the company is happy with the way the content runs on Chromebook hardware.

It’s easy to see why both end users and Google would be eager to see the massive array of apps available from the Play Store brought to Chromebooks. However, a large amount of content that doesn’t perform well is perhaps likely to do more harm than good in the long run.

Given the nature of this leak, there’s no word on what sort of time frame we’re looking at before this functionality goes live. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Google detail its plans for Play Store content on the Chromebook platform at the company’s I/O conference next month.