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

Acer Chromebook R11
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.

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.

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.

Home Theater

From Atmos to WiSA: These are the coolest soundbars of CES 2019

While some companies chose not to play this year, CES 2019 still had a ton of impressive soundbars at the show. From Klipsch to Vizio, we've rounded up the coolest soundbars we saw at the show.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Here's what you need to know to play Nintendo Switch online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

This ‘computer mouse’ sets the new size standard for portable computing

The Raspberry Pi is an amazingly capable little computer and it's small enough that it can fit just about anywhere. Even in a computer mouse — if you're willing to build a custom chassis for it.

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.

Don’t even bother with the rest. Here are the only laptop brands that matter

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.