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Chrome OS will allow Android apps to run in the background

In an update coming soon to Chrome OS, Android apps will be allowed to run in the background to allow for better multitasking.

Published onDecember 29, 2017

  • Chrome OS 64 enables Android apps to run in the background.
  • The new feature is called Android Parallel Tasks and should allow for better multitasking.
  • You can try out Chome OS 64 now in the beta channel.

Google’s Chromebooks have been a tough sell for most people due to the lack of apps. When a person buys a Windows or Mac laptop, they naturally expect to be able to install some apps, set up their web browser, and be on their way. That wasn’t the case with Chromebooks, and it left a lot of people either confused or resistant to the idea of using just a web apps and extensions.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 may power future Chromebooks
The Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Then, Google started giving some Chromebooks access to Android apps. That was a significant step in the right direction. Android is the most popular operating system in the world, and as we know, people love their apps. This seemed like a winning formula. But, in reality, using Android apps on a Chromebook isn’t always great. There are occasionally some compatibility issues, and most apps aren’t able to run in the background.

Luckily for Chromebook users, Google has been working on that. In the latest beta build of Chrome OS, Android apps continue to run even when they’re not currently in focus. The new feature is called Android Parallel Tasks and was first spotted by Chrome UnboxedParallel Tasks is part of Chrome 64 and allows apps to continue to function as though they’re in focus even when you click on something else. This is great for multitaskers like me who always seem to have eight apps and 37 Chrome tabs open at the same time.

Here’s a video from Chrome Unboxed that shows how Chrome OS will handle Android apps running in parallel in the future:

Chrome OS 64 is currently available through the beta channel, and you can try it out now. We expect a stable build out soon.

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