Google: Android app engagement on Chrome OS is growing 50% YoY

Google: Android app engagement on Chrome OS is growing 50% YoY
Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

As we barrel towards 2022, Google has released some interesting statistics about its platforms over the past year.

The demand for software has grown over the past couple of years as enterprises and employees adapt to new ways of working and continuing business in a rapidly-changing world. As consumers, many of us are spending more time at home and relying on software to entertain us and make our lives easier.

Chromebooks are often associated with students as they’re generally cheaper than rival platforms while offering similar – or better, some would argue – functionality and robustness. It’s no surprise that demand for Chromebooks rocketed during the pandemic.

Over the past year, Google says that Chrome OS has grown 92 percent.

All Chromebooks sold since 2019 (and some post-2016) have supported Android apps. Google says that the number of users engaging with Android apps on Chromebooks has increased 50 percent year-over-year (YoY) while people are also spending 300 percent more time using them over last year.

The engagement growth will be down to pandemic-induced device sales, hybrid working, and software improvements for both users and developers made over the past year.

Google has been rolling out Android 11 support to Chromebooks with a number of runtime improvements. The company has also moved Android from a container to a virtual machine for more stable, secure, and higher-performing experiences.

Chromebooks on Chrome OS 93 or higher now automatically run Android apps made for mobile locked to either their phone or tablet orientations. If users prefer one or the other, they can disable the feature by clicking the “resizable” option.

To help developers build adaptive layouts, Google launched Jetpack Compose 1.0. The declarative UI toolkit enables developers to decide how an app should render across screen sizes and also supports desktop inputs like mice, trackpads, or keyboards, for adaptive UIs based on what’s available.

Android Studio Chipmunk, meanwhile, helps with testing how apps will look and behave at runtime by providing an emulations that supports quick toggling between four reference devices—phone, foldable, tablet, and desktop.

Elsewhere, the Chrome OS low-latency stylus library⁠ was released in May to make touch-to-draw and stylus-to-draw experiences faster. The API achieves this by rendering pen strokes directly through the hardware compositor and predicting where the next part of the stroke will be drawn.

Google is helping developers who’ve taken the time to optimise their apps for Chromebooks by promoting them at the top of Google Play listings on Chrome OS. Google said that optimised partners increased their downloads by 75 percent after just a month of it going live in early April.

(Image Credit: Google)

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