What can and can not be done with a Chromebook that supports Android apps?
Throughout 2017, the catalog of Chromebooks compatible with Android applications will increase to complete major models of the major brands. We have tested one of the already supported Android apps, the Acer Chromebook R11, which we analyzed in 2016.
At the time, one of the main hits that we found to the device was the operating system, Chrome OS, and its bad adaptation for a convertible like the R11. Now that we can get you the Play Store, does the result improve? What can and cannot we do with Android apps on a Chromebook?
What we can do?
Most apps in the Play Store will be compatible with Chromebooks. Therefore, you can take advantage of different situations:
- Productivity: Let’s think of office, work and productivity apps such as the Google pack (Gmail, Drive, Keep, Spreadsheets, etc.) or others like Trello, Asana, Wunderlist or Slack
- Social networks: You can easily install Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram … or any other client you prefer these social networks.
- Games: We tried ‘World of Tanks’, ‘Asphalt: Extreme’, ‘EA: UFC’ … It is a great advantage to enjoy these games with a bigger screen, but it is also somewhat more uncomfortable to handle touch controls And by weight).
- Series, movies and music: You can use popular apps like Netflix or Spotify and take advantage of the cloud synchronization benefits they have. For example, you can start to see a series that you have in Netflix offline mode on the train and, when you return home, continue on your TV where you left off. Same with Spotify.
In all cases, the R11 (which has 4 GB RAM and an Intel Celeron N3150 1.60 GHz, dual-core processor) moves smoothly and without major problem all the apps. The games we install are demanding graphic level (considering that they are for mobile) and the terminal moves them without difficulty. All this, coupled with the good autonomy of this model, is a good combo if we need a device to take us everywhere.
You may also like to read another article on YellowTube: Samsung is serious about Chromebooks: Pro model is convertible and carries pencil
What we cannot do and limitations?
Any application that requires a phone number will not be compatible with a Chromebook for obvious reasons. You will not be able to download WhatsApp or Snapchat from the Play Store because they are apps that need to be associated with a phone number. In the case of WhatsApp, you will have to settle for the web version and Snapchat, why would you want to use Snapchat from a device that weighs more than a kilo?
On the other hand, and this is a clear limit or an impediment to a good user experience, all the apps we download from the Play Store will load in their mobile version. There are some very well optimized (Netflix case) and others, the vast majority, that do not take advantage of the 11.6 inches of this Chromebook, making its usability is somewhat harmed. Most apps use a fraction of the screen, so there is a lot of space wasted and the feeling is that they lack optimization for Chrome OS. As it is a matter of software, we have faith that it will be solved at some point. Despite this, they work well, only that the interfaces are not well implemented (partly because they may not be designed for Chromebooks).
The Acer Chromebook R11, a 2016 model, can already be purchased for less than 300 euros and earns many integers with the integrated Play Store. It is, without a doubt, a good alternative if you need a small, light and versatile terminal to work (mail, office, etc.), use social networks and entertainment mode (games, music, series, movies, etc.).
We have tested this Chromebook because it is one of the few that currently have support for Android apps, but as they reach other models in 2017, it will be an added argument for a type of device that will suit students or work environments in That the office is sufficient.