How to Run Android Apps on a Chromebook

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In recent years, Google has added the ability to run Android applications on your Chromebook. But not all Chromebooks support it. We show you how to find out if yours does and how to install and run them.

One of the advantages of obtaining a new Chromebook is the possibility to choose and run millions of applications from Google Play Store. Google implemented this change in Chrome OS in recent years. But not all Chromebooks can run Android applications and, in some cases, you may first need to enable the capability. We show you how to know if your Chromebook can run them and how to install them if it can.

Can my Chromebook run Android applications?

Most modern Chromebooks (2017 or newer) will run Android applications from Play Store out of the box. And Google has a list of models that support Android applications. However, that list can be cumbersome to look for. Therefore, if you are running a previous Chromebook or simply want an easy way to make sure you will run Android applications, there is a simple way to find out.

Open your Chromebook and open the menu Settings and see if you have a "Applications" or "Google Play Store" option in the menu on the right. If you don't see it, your Chromebook won't be able to run them. For example, in an old Samsung Chromebook of 2013 (shown in the following image), there is no menu option.

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Run Android applications on your Chromebook

But on this Chromebook 15, I bought in the last year; We are ready to go. But you may have to activate the option to run Android applications at the beginning. To do so, go to Settings> Google Play Store and click the Activate button and accept the EULA. Then, wait for your system to set up Play Store on your system.

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Now that you have it configured, you can open the Play Store application of the launcher. Then, start installing your favorite Android applications and games on your Chromebook.

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Note that many of the most popular applications (Netflix and Spotify, for example) are optimized to work on a Chromebook. That means they will look native and act like normal desktop applications. However, other applications that are not optimized will look like they would on your phone. They will continue to work, but some of the features and functionalities will vary.

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Here is an example of how to run two Android applications that are not optimized for Chrome OS. Instead, they will look like an application on your phone.

Please note that the experience of the Android application will vary from device to device. Chromebooks usually have limited hardware, so applications may not run as quickly and smoothly as on your shiny new Android phone. Still, Chrome OS has come a long way and is no longer just a "glorified browser."

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