Chrome OS

Chrome OS isn’t regularly updated as the Android OS but when new features and improvements are available, we’re all eyes and ears on the platform that runs on Chromebooks. A couple of months ago, we learned Google may bring more integration between Android and Chrome OS. We also learned instant tethering could be enabled on other Android phones while mobile apps are now allowed to access an SD card. The last update to Chrome OS will bring something important—something that many Chromebook users have been wanting.

The next Chrome OS 80 version is delivering sideloading of Android apps to Chromebooks. This is a new feature that hasn’t been announced yet but devs know it will be ready soon. Changes in the code have been sighted that refer to sideloading of mobile apps on Chromebooks.

With this change, most Chromebooks users can install apps for third-party sources. The Google Play Store is readily available to offer apps supported but selection may be limited. Being able to install apps from outside sources may be helpful but there is the issue of safety, privacy, and security. Not all apps are Chromebook-supported but more should be available soon.

The feature is still being developed. This means you still need to be careful in adding new apps to your Chromebook. Sideloading may also require a special command when opening a Crostini container. Just add –enable-features=ArcAdbSideloading when booting Linux.