Google looks to be planning to merge its Android and Chrome OS stores, bringing millions of Android apps to PCs.
(CCM) — According to screenshots posted by Reddit users over the weekend, Chromebooks running Chrome OS version 51 feature a small checkbox in the Settings menu that allows users to "Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook." Once this is turned on, a popup appears that states, "Google Play store now on your Chromebook. Choose from over a million apps and games on Google Play to install and use on your Chromebook." Unfortunately, this option disappears after a brief tutorial. Chrome OS v51 is currently restricted to the Developer Channel. Google may announce the feature at the upcoming Google I/O conference next month.
Late last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google may be considering merging the Android and Chrome operating systems. The publication cited two sources familiar with the company's plans, noting that Google would likely stick with the Android name for the merged OS. In November, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, said that he believed the Android, Chrome OS, and HTML5 environments could be better integrated with today's tech advancements. "I think the distinctions that are so hardcoded today are allowed to become less hardcoded," he added. While Schmidt seemed to hint at the merged OS, Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Android, Chrome OS, and Chromecast, was quick to deny the report. He explained, "While we've been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS."
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