Google’s Chrome OS has supported Android apps via the Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC++) for a few years now, but the last major update to ARC++ was to bring it up to the Android 7.1 Nougat platform level. We’ve known for a while that Google planned to skip Android Oreo-based ARC++ for Chrome OS, but we didn’t know when Google would push the next major update to the Android subsystem for Chromebooks. Given that the Google Pixel Slate is launching soon with Android Pie on board, it was only a matter of time until other Chromebooks got the update. Now, it seems that Google has pushed the Android Pie ARC++ update to the Chrome OS Canary Channel, starting with the Google Pixelbook.
The first noteworthy change of the update is the new settings app. It has been redesigned to match Android Pie’s Google Material Theme design on smartphones. Keep in mind that some things may change when this update hits the Dev, Beta, and finally Stable channels.
The next noticeable change is the Google Assistant on the Pixelbook. Previously, it was just a separate window that opened up from the corner of the screen. It didn’t feel all that integrated. The new interface is located at the center and looks much more polished. We saw this new design on the Google Pixel Slate during Google’s Made By Google event, so we’re glad to see that it’s rolling out for other devices. We’re still waiting on when Google brings the Google Assistant to other Chromebooks, though.
Finally, the Google Camera. This is now the default camera application in Chrome OS. It started showing up for some users back in August, so we knew this was coming. Chromebook‘s previously default camera application is nowhere to be found.
As you may know, Chrome OS Canary versions are generally unstable. They’re not meant for regular users who want to actually use their Chromebooks for work or play. So if you’re hoping to get Android Pie goodies on your Chromebook, you’ll have to wait a few weeks for the update to propagate through the Chrome OS channels. Currently, the Android Pie update has only been sent out to Google Pixelbook users. Our HP Chromebook X2 on Chrome OS 72 Canary Channel has not yet received the ARC++ update, so the latest changes are probably a Google Pixelbook-exclusive for now.
Source: Chrome Story
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