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Chromebooks to Run Android Apps – Competition for Android Business Tablets?

Jul 10, 2017 | 42Gears Team


Chromebooks to Run Android Apps

Google’s announcement that Chromebook has started running Android apps from 2017 raised the question of how it will fare compared to Android tablets, especially in a corporate ecosystem.

While tablets are the ideal mobility tool for businesses, Chromebooks based on Chrome OS were introduced as cheaper replacements for laptops. This is where the later has hopes of giving Android devices competition in a corporate ecosystem.

The biggest challenge for businesses to use android tablets as replacements for laptops is the absence of keyboard and mouse. Though their smaller size and native OS interface made them an ideal choice for mobility purposes, tablets have never been able to pass as good laptop substitutes.

Over the last few years, the tablet sales as business devices has slowed down. More people are slowly shifting their loyalty towards slim Ultrabooks or feature-packed 2-in-1s. This shift in preference is surprising as tablets have been a very popular choice for businesses so far. By making the full catalog of Android apps compatible with Chromebooks, Google has made a calculated move to take advantage of the changing trend and try to capture the business mobility market. It is left to be seen how these changes will be received in a corporate environment.

Theoretically, Chromebooks launching in 2017 or after might totally take over the tablet market in the business sector. Let’s see how:

Till now, Android tablets have clearly been the winner as they were more powerful than Chromebooks. Most Android tablets borrow powerful specs from smartphones, making them a popular addition for business use. The potential of an Android tablet was considered to be much ahead of Google’s Chromebook.

But the strong point of Chrome OS is its similarity to a personal computing system. Accessing websites, and typing up a document are easier, thanks to its full keyboard and larger screen. The biggest flaw of Chromebook though has been the lack of access to several Android apps. Now, with full access to the Google Play Store, Chromebooks launching in 2017 and after will be able to bridge the gap between Chrome OS and Android.

With both Microsoft and Apple trying to unify their lineup of devices under a single umbrella respectively, it is now Google’s turn to do the same. Chromebook launching in 2017, incorporates the business productivity learnings of Android tablets, while retaining its core sensibilities. Also, they fare better in terms of price points. With Chromebooks usually priced similar to much smaller Android tablets, they prove to be a much more budget-friendly option for business use.

One example would be the latest Samsung Chromebook Pro which claims to be an all-in-one solution featuring a keyboard, multiple ports, a microSD slot, hexa-core chipset, a Quad HD screen and can be transformed into a tablet. But most importantly, it can run Android apps natively. Apart from Samsung, there are multiple Chromebook options available in the market that incorporate impressive designs and functionality of an Android tablet, such as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302.

With 42Gears EMM solutions undergoing constant evolution to accommodate ever changing business mobility needs, our technical roadmap is to be aligned with Chromebook development for easier management and monitoring.


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