Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th May 2016 21:58 UTC
Android

It's really happening. Android apps are coming to Chrome OS. And it's not just a small subset of apps; the entire Google Play Store is coming to Chrome OS. More than 1.5 million apps will come to a platform that before today was "just a browser," and Android and Chrome OS take yet another step closer together.

In advance of the show, we were able to sit down with members of the Chrome OS team and get a better idea of exactly what Chrome OS users are in for. The goal is an "It just works" solution, with zero effort from developers required to get their Android app up and running. Notifications and in-line replies should all work. Android apps live in native Chrome OS windows, making them look like part of the OS. Chrome OS has picked up some Android tricks too - sharing and intent systems should work fine, even from one type of app or website to another. Google is aiming for a unified, seamless user experience.

Interestingly enough, this project is actually not ARC, the technology Google used before to bring Android applications to Chrome. ARC wasn't good enough for Google, as it still required developers to make changes to their code. In fact - and this is kind of funny - ARC didn't even pass Google's own Compatibility Test Suite Android variants have to comply with. So, they started from scratch, and used containers instead.

The new model dumps the native-client based implementation for an unmodified copy of the Android Framework running in a container. Containers usually bundle an app up with all of its dependencies, like the runtime, libraries, binaries, and anything else the app needs to run. This allows the difference between application environments to be abstracted away. In this case, Google is putting the entire Android Framework into a container, all the way down to the Hardware Abstraction Layer.

I'm hoping Google will eventually bringing Android applications to all variants of Chrome, including the one on Windows.

Order by: Score:
Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 19th May 2016 22:22 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Ars is reporting that older Chrome devices - including the original Pixel - won't get Android App support.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/05/if-you-want-to-run-android-a...

If you've had your Chromebook for a couple of years, you're out of luck.

EDIT: With link goodness!

Edited 2016-05-19 22:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by darknexus on Fri 20th May 2016 12:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

If you've had your Chromebook for a couple of years, you're out of luck.

So just like Android phones then. Google are consistent, I do have to give them that. Buy our latest stuff or f*ck off!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by calden on Fri 20th May 2016 16:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

Ars is reporting that older Chrome devices - including the original Pixel - won't get Android App support.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/05/if-you-want-to-run-android-a...

If you've had your Chromebook for a couple of years, you're out of luck.

EDIT: With link goodness!


It will be easy enough to compile your own version for any laptop or previous ChromeBook.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by darknexus on Fri 20th May 2016 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It will be easy enough to compile your own version for any laptop or previous ChromeBook.

Wow. Forgotten just who the Chromebook is marketed at, eh? Tell me how many Chromebook owners will even know what compile means?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by unclefester on Sun 22nd May 2016 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


Wow. Forgotten just who the Chromebook is marketed at, eh? Tell me how many Chromebook owners will even know what compile means?


A couple of years ago one of the sales guys at JB HiFI (Australia) told me that most of their Chromebook sales were to people who intended to install Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by mmrezaie on Tue 24th May 2016 07:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
mmrezaie Member since:
2006-05-09

Well they merged Android with Chrome OS. Fragmentation is one of the android's features, right?

Reply Score: 1

I'm hoping for the same thing
by MyNameIsNotImportant on Thu 19th May 2016 22:23 UTC
MyNameIsNotImportant
Member since:
2013-01-02

This would be a nice new way to develop cross platform apps.

You can also use a toolkit like Qt5 to target Android and create APKs, which means they would then also work out of the box everywhere Chrome is installed.

Running apps with their complete dependencies is a good approach in an age where memory is cheap, yet I would hope the system is still intelligent enough not to reserve new memory for the exact same shared library that was already loaded by another container, I hope this will be handled efficiently.

I hope desktop Android apps will interact with non-Android non-Google non-Chrome apps nicely, at least the clipboard should be shared and other such good behaviour.

I've found myself wanting to use a certain Android app on the desktop a couple of times and ARC was less than satisfactory, slow, cumbersome, and it segfaulted.

On the other hand I don't want a gazillion Android apps and/or Android APIs taking over the desktop, the foothold Google is having on all the technology I'm using is increasing to a frightening amount.

Edited 2016-05-19 22:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Android TV
by bugjacobs on Thu 19th May 2016 23:59 UTC
bugjacobs
Member since:
2009-01-03

I just hope they make AndroidTV A LOT better ... On the Nvidia Shield it doesnt even have a web browser..

Reply Score: 0

RE: Android TV
by Adurbe on Mon 23rd May 2016 14:30 UTC in reply to "Android TV"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06
allanregistos
Member since:
2011-02-10

I'm hoping Google will eventually bringing Android applications to all variants of Chrome, including the one on Windows.


The one in Windows is a true/pure browser. The one in Chrome devices which was powered by Linux, is I think of different configuration and setup than a pure browser running in Windows. It can easily do linux container related technology including running android apps through containers.

And the article stated clearly the type of technology being used:
The new model dumps the native-client based implementation for an unmodified copy of the Android Framework running in a container.

So running android apps on top of a browser running in Windows is a more complicated approach since according to the article android apps runs inside containers, In windows, its only possible with ARC.

Reply Score: 3

ARC vs container
by WorknMan on Fri 20th May 2016 04:08 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Can someone ELI5 the difference between using ARC and a container? If I remember correctly, ARC is Google's implementation of the Java virtual machine, but I'm not sure what a container is in this context.

Edited 2016-05-20 04:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: ARC vs container
by Lunitik on Sat 21st May 2016 23:41 UTC in reply to "ARC vs container"
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

They will likely provide an Android container, ie an environment that is implementing the entire Android stack, on top of the Chrome system...

I am not familiar with the implementation of ARC, but I am willing to bet this will allow them to ship ART proper, which explains their ability to run basically all Android apps on the platform moving forward.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ARC vs container
by przemo_li on Mon 23rd May 2016 09:05 UTC in reply to "ARC vs container"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

ARC is just run time for android apps.

Meaning that it would have to re implement whole Android stack to be useful.

Container technology on the other hand lets You run Android inside the box on Your machine. Like real pure blood Android ;)

Courtesy of low level advancements to Linux kernel powering both Android and Chrome.

That is also why in the announcement Google Android team is handling container stuff, while Chrome team pledge support for any changes required. Chrome is still Chrome while the stuff in container IS Android.

Reply Score: 2

Not the way we expected
by avgalen on Fri 20th May 2016 07:49 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23
RE: Not the way we expected
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 20th May 2016 09:03 UTC in reply to "Not the way we expected"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29



That one is so good. What makes it even better is that it's made by a Google employee ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Fri 20th May 2016 08:53 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Why don't they just get Chrome for Andoid on par with Linux version and call Android laptops Chromebooks? AFAIK there's nothing in ChromeOS beside Chrome that users will miss.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ddc_
by chithanh on Fri 20th May 2016 12:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Nothing, except maybe direct and fast updates from Google.
Or easy central management.
Or the devices being essentially stateless, having everything stored in the cloud.

The latter two are especially important for the biggest users of Chromebooks, namely the schools.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by ddc_
by calden on Fri 20th May 2016 17:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

Why don't they just get Chrome for Andoid on par with Linux version and call Android laptops Chromebooks? AFAIK there's nothing in ChromeOS beside Chrome that users will miss.


It's already on par, you really don't know anything about Chrome OS do you. By simply installing a package manger, like ChromeBrew, using a one liner wget command, "wget -q -O - https://raw.github.com/skycocker/chromebrew/master/install.sh | bash" inside the terminal, CTRL, ALT F2, you can install and use any Linux application directly in Chrome OS without using a Chroot.

Chrome OS is a fantastic OS, secure, fast, sleek UI, etc. and though there is absolutely nothing you can't do online, I also have access to Linux applications, Windows applications through Wine and now the Google PlayStore, there is no denying that Chrome OS is now perhaps the best OS you can currently get.

My current Pixel 2 is running MS Office 2016, the entire Adobe Creative Suite, Dia, Gimp, Blender, Inkscape, Netbeans, LAMP server, Perl, Ruby, Python, etc. Again, there is absolutely nothing I cannot do on my Pixel 2 ChromeBook, nothing and to do so all I used was a little bit of inguinity, as in I did some reading.

This ridiculous idea that Chrome OS is nothing but a browser is perpetrated by those who have zero idea what their talking about, Chrome OS is Linux, and a really good distro at that. Since it doesn't contain the bloat that most Linux distro's have it's also one of the fastest OS's available today. You stating that no one would miss it is a statement based on complete ignorance. Also everything I added to my Chrome OS can be done by anyone, I mean to install an application all I have to do is type, "crew install VLC", done. It's easier to install applications than OSX or Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ddc_
by HangLoose on Fri 20th May 2016 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ddc_"
HangLoose Member since:
2007-09-03

I am genuinely interested on how are you running the entire Adobe Suite on Linux.

Could you please provide me with details/tutorials/videos? It is the last link keeping me on Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Fri 20th May 2016 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ddc_"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

using a one liner wget command, "wget -q -O - https://raw.github.com/skycocker/chromebrew/master/install.sh | bash"

https://www.idontplaydarts.com/2016/04/detecting-curl-pipe-bash-serv...

inside the terminal, CTRL, ALT F2, you can install and use any Linux application directly in Chrome OS without using a Chroot.
[...]
there is no denying that Chrome OS is now perhaps the best OS you can currently get.

Oh dear...

Since it doesn't contain the bloat that most Linux distro's have

Sorry, but Chrome is already too much bloat... You know, GNU/Linux is not only Ubuntu. There are distros that really don't have much bloat, eg. Alpine, Void, Gentoo or Arch.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ddc_
by TM99 on Tue 24th May 2016 04:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ddc_"
TM99 Member since:
2012-08-26

I have Chromebrew install but packages like VLC, GIMP, etc. are not listed as being available.

So how are you getting those working with Chromebrew?

Reply Score: 2