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Android, ChromeOS, and the future of app discovery


Android and ChromeOS. ChromeOS and Android. Has there ever been a more enigmatic and question-creating couple in the mobile-tech universe?

From the get-go, Google’s two primary platforms have been the subject of endless scorn and speculation. Folks who don’t actually use a Chromebook and haven’t experienced ChromeOS since its earliest days have long been convinced that the platform serves no practical purpose and is destined for death. For ages, the popular narrative revolved around the notion that Google was gonna somehow “merge” the two into a single consolidated entity.

The real story, of course, turned out to be much more nuanced. For years now, Google’s been slowly but surely bringing its two platforms together and aligning them to make ’em more connected, consistent, and compatible. The goal, it seems, is less of a binary, one-or-the-other sort of decision and more of a best-of-both-worlds, dual-pronged path.

And now, it appears that road is about to take a noteworthy new turn — one that could seriously shake up a core part of the user experience on both sides of the Android-ChromeOS equation.

It all comes down to apps and how we discover ’em. And if some recent signs on Android and ChromeOS alike are any indication, things are about to get interesting.

The ChromeOS app challenge

Our story starts on the ChromeOS side of the mobile-tech divide. In the land o’ Chromebooks, for anyone paying attention, the question has shifted over time from a snide “What can you even do on those things?” to a far more intriguing “What can’t you do on ’em?”

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