The Google Play Store is packed full of useful Android apps for your handset. But did you know that you can now also download apps on your Google Chromebook as well as your smartphone?
Whether you want to play your favourite mobile game on a bigger screen or you're looking for an easy-to-use photo editor on your Chromebook, there's sure to be something for everyone. Chromebook compatible apps are being added every day, and they sync effortlessly, meaning you can switch between your phone and Chromebook without any fuss, picking up the app where you left off.
Learn how to download Android apps to your Chromebook today in our step-by-step guide below.
What is a Chromebook?
This slim, low-cost laptop was first launched in 2011 and runs purely on Chrome OS, Google's very own efficient operating system.
While you'll find fewer built-in programmes and features on a Chromebook compared to a regular laptop, it's quickly become an extremely popular option for the everyday computer user. Lightweight, easy-to-use and extremely speedy, you'll be able to carry out all those essential tasks, from writing documents and sending emails to watching your favourite shows on online, without any hassle.
And now, thanks to the addition of Android apps, you can download software like Skype, Photoshop and Microsoft Word on a Chromebook too.
What Chromebooks are currently compatible?
Support for Android apps on Chromebooks first appeared in 2016, and it was slowly rolled out to existing devices. Since then, almost every new Chromebook created has been designed to be compatible with the Google Play Store, so if you own a Chromebook from 2017 - 2019, it's likely support is already available.
And, if you're planning on buying a new Chromebook, you can pretty much guarantee Android app support as soon as you switch it on.
A complete list of Chrome OS systems that support, or will soon support, Android apps can be found on here.
How to download Android apps on you Chromebook
1. Update your Chromebook software
It's a good idea to make sure your Chromebook is running the most up to date software.
To check you're using the latest version of Chrome OS, select the Status Tray, click Settings and open About Chrome OS. You'll then be able to double check what software you're using and update it if necessary.
2. Log in to the Google Play Store
If you didn't have the Google Play Store on your Chromebook before, updating your Chrome OS software will automatically download it to compatible devices. Open it up, and sign in using the following steps:
- At the bottom right of your screen, select the time
- Click on Settings
- Find Google Play Store and check that 'Install apps and games from Google Play on your Chromebook' is turned on
- A window will pop up. Click More.
- Read through the Terms of Service, and once you're happy select I Agree to continue.
3. Download your favourite apps
Now your Google Play Store is set up successfully, you'll be able to download as many Android apps as you please.
While you'll be connected to the same Google account used on your Android phone, the apps you already use on your smartphone won't begin to download on your Chromebook automatically. Instead, you'll have the freedom to select which apps you'd like to access on your Chromebook. Found some? Just hit download on the Play Store to begin.
Backup and Restore
Your Chromebook should automatically create a backup of each app, meaning you can switch to a new Chromebook at any time without losing your data. If you've noticed this isn't the case, however, don't worry - it's simple to fix, just make sure you do it before you switch devices.
To turn on backup and restore, head to the bottom right of your Chromebook and select the time. From here, tap Settings, enter the Google Play Store Section and click on Google Play Store. You'll then be able to tap on Manage Android preferences, scroll to the section titled Personal and click on Back up my data.
Turn it on if it's disabled, or if you'd rather not create a backup you can switch it off by moving it to the left.
That's it, you can now download as many Android apps as you like on your Chromebook.
For the best deals on both Android and Apple handsets, remember to take a look at Mobiles.co.uk.