The Chromebook Pro become intended to be a grand coming-out party for Android apps jogging on Chrome OS. The Samsung device would display Google’s capability to not just dominate the training area with web apps, however, cast off the “native app” difficulty for all people that turned into retaining out. But the function has been stuck in a buggy beta for months and the tool itself became behind schedule. Not exquisite.
We completely anticipated an update this yr at Google I/O, and now we’ve got one. Although Google chose not to say something up on a huge level, there is good news, horrific information, and doubtlessly very exciting news to a percentage. “I don’t need to overpromise,” says Kan Liu, senior director of product control for Chrome OS. But he says soon Google could be geared up to kick off the splashy product launch we had been purported to have earlier this 12 months.
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First, the best news: Google expects the Chromebook Pro to be released on May 28th, complete with help for Android apps jogging at the Nougat platform. “It will be the primary time that we are shipping this new version,” says Liu.
Now, the thrilling news: Someday, Liu plans to begin freeing a few Android features on Chrome OS before they come on telephones. “Dessert releases generally tend to have an every year launch cycle,” says Liu. And that’s not rapid sufficient for what he wants to do on Chrome OS. “We truly need to decouple ourselves from that. Because Chromebooks have a six-week launch cycle.”
That will mean that inside the destiny some Android functions from O ought to begin running on apps walking on Chrome OS well earlier than they arrive on telephones. “For things that make the experience on this form-element — APIs and features that we think are vital for our users — we’re going to be pulling stuff in each time it’s geared up,” says Liu. Update: Google has clarified that functions from Android O gained arrive on Chromebooks earlier than its launch on telephones this 12 months.
But of course, there’s awful information: Android apps on Chrome OS will nonetheless technically be in Beta when the Chromebook Pro launches. That will imply will now not absolutely guide window resizing, docking to the facet of the display screen, and cut up-view. Those functions will come later within the yr.
“WE’VE PUT IN PLACE A LOT OF GUARDRAILS.”
Essentially, Liu believes that Android apps on Chrome OS are “80 percentage” ready for maximum customers. Right now, he thinks the best use case for Android on Chromebooks is for folks that need just that one app — like Skype or a selected recreation. Even in beta, he argues, Android apps are ready for that form of user. He says there are greater “guardrails” that ensure that Android apps that assume to be run on phones function better on larger Chromebook displays. More of them will default to telephone view, for instance.
But Liu desires to enable a great enjoy for people who want to do greater than simply use an Android app at the aspect now and then, so he’s using his team to finish polishing up those “energy consumer” instances concerning break up display screen apps, resizing, and the alternative Android Nougat functions we’ve been watching for. It’s simply taking longer than Google originally promised. “The first 80 percent is 20 percent of the work, the ultimate 20 percentage is 80 percent of the work,” says Liu.
“IT USUALLY TAKES TWO TO THREE RELEASES BEFORE WE THINK SOMETHING IT REALLY GREAT.”
So whilst the Chromebook Pro can have those higher capabilities, it’ll take some of these six-week release cycles earlier than it’ll be geared up to go out the beta and get pushed out in a bigger manner. Liu places are that this manner: “When we do get it proper, our goal is to move large.”
The process to get right here hasn’t been clean, in component because the project is nowhere near as simple as you would possibly expect. The Chromebook Pro hardware itself needed to be redesigned. Issues with the thermals and antennas intended some matters needed to get shifted around. Google itself handles the software stack, so it needed to tweak that software program as Samsung tweaked the hardware.