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Chrome OS tablets that run Android apps might be on their way soon

A Google executive confirmed that we can expect to see tablets and detachables running Chrome OS with Android app support in the near future.

Published onJanuary 24, 2017

There’s are certainly no shortage of tablets that have some version of Android installed, but soon we may be able to pick up such a device that’s running Chrome OS instead. A Google executive has confirmed that we can expect to see those kind of products for sale sometime soon.

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In a chat with The Verge, Rajen Sheth, Google’s director of product for Android and Chrome for education and enterprise, confirmed that the Chrome OS team is putting more work into improving the touch experience for the operating system. This makes sense as more and more Chromebooks have touchscreen support. However, he later added:

You’re going to continue to see that happen. And what that’s going to do is it’s going to open up the possibilities for OEMs to have an even wider variety of form factors. You may expect everything from detachables to tablets based on Chrome OS down the line.

That development could be very interesting. Google has already confirmed that all of the new Chromebooks that will be released in 2017 will be able to run Android apps from the Google Play Store. Adding new Chrome OS tablets and detachables into the mix could expand the market for the OS, and therefore Android apps as well, especially in the education market where Chromebooks have already been a solid sales success.

Google didn’t offer any specifics on which company would be first out of the gate with a Chrome OS tablet, nor when it will be released. Of course, Google has already released a high-end Android tablet, the Pixel C, with a detachable keyboard. That product could serve as a preview of what a Chrome OS tablet, with Android app support, might be like.

This partial merger of Chrome OS and Android could end up being highly disruptive. Those kinds of tablets and 2-in-1s could, in theory, end up being more popular than products like Microsoft’s Surface tablets and Apple’s iPad Pro. It all depends on what kind of performance and features they may have. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see the first examples of these products.

Would you buy a Chrome OS tablet that could also run Android apps? Let us know in the comments!

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