Ever since Google Introduced Chrome OS in 2011, the company has made a lot of efforts to upgrade the OS in a bid to improve the user experience. Launched as a simple cloud-based alternative for standard notebooks, the Chromebook is fast, light, and easy to use.
Chromebooks are now more powerful than ever, thanks to the latest Google update that gave them full compatibility with Android apps. That means every new Chromebook will now come with the Google Play app. This also means that every Android app can now be installed on the Google Chromebook, which is a huge upgrade to the platform.
Sure, an injection of over one-million Android apps should do a great job of filling in the holes in the Chrome OS. However, not all Android apps work the same on a Chromebook as they would on a smartphone.
Which Android apps for Chromebook should you use? We’ve compiled a list of the seven Best Android apps that will give your Chromebook a huge boost.
1. Microsoft Office Apps
We’ll kick things off with the most important and obvious apps. If Google Docs aren’t your thing, You’ll find Microsoft Office apps very useful. You can install Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for Android on your Chromebook and get the same experience you get on a smartphone or tablet. In fact, these apps work better on a Chromebook because you’ll have a keyboard everytime you use them. Since these apps are designed for tablets, they work best on big screens.
Slack is a cross-platform service where you can chat with your coworkers or friends, with extra features to enhance collaboration and increase productivity. We use it here at MTE all the time as the primary means of communication. The Android version of Slack is great and user-friendly. However, the same cannot be said for the web-based version, which is very frustrating. The Slack app runs flawlessly on Chromebook, and you’ll get the same experience you get on a smartphone.
Netflix has come a long way to become the best streaming service, and it would be hard to live without it. If you have ever used the Netflix app for Android, then you know how cool and flawless it is. That’s the very same experience you get when you install it on your Chromebook. Plus, the Android app lets you download content for offline viewing – a feature you won’t find on Netflix’s website. You’ll get to enjoy this feature on your Chromebook, too.
4. Infinite Painter
If you love artwork, don’t let your mobile phone screen squash your creativity. Let your big Chromebook display unlock your inner creative genius. And Infinite Painter is the app to beat. Even if you are not the artsy type, you’ll love how well the app works on a Chromebook. The app packs everything you need to create breathtaking imagery – from filters to layers, effects and transformations. But what makes Infinite Painter stand out are the brushes and how they work flawlessly on a Chromebook to bring your imagined creations to reality.
Evernote is a very powerful note-taking app, with more features than any other note-taking app out there. The Android app has a more touch-friendly user interface compared to the web version. The Android version of Evernote also boasts offline access – a feature you won’t find on the Web version. This app works very well on the Chrome OS and runs in the tablet mode. You can even transfer content from your Chromebook directly to Evernote and save it as notes.
6. Google Photos
High-resolution photos look best on a big display. If you own an Android device, you have probably used Google Photos. The Google Photos app looks great on Android, especially now that it has a new design. This app also works well on Chromebooks. Besides the benefit of viewing your cherished photos on a bigger screen, the app also lets you edit, use filters, and organize photos into albums. The Google Photos app on Chromebook gives you the same experience you would get on an Android device.
7. Solid Explorer
As you add more Android apps to your Chromebook, you’re going to need a handy app to help you manage your files the way you do on an Android device. The Chrome OS does have a built-in file manager that you can use, but it’s woefully frustrating. Solid Explorer is your best option, and it works perfectly well on Chrome OS. The app works great with both mouse and touch gestures, which makes it the best option for Chromebooks. It’s also easy to use, thanks to its dual-pane interface and a drag and drop functionality.
Since receiving the ability to run Android apps, Chromebooks have become more capable than they were when they were first introduced. This apps list is by no means exhaustive. Other apps you can check out include YouTube, Quik, Instagram, VLC, and Unclouded, among others.
Have you ever used any of these Android apps for Chromebook? Share your experiences in the comments section below.