We’ve listened copiousness about how Android apps on Chrome OS are a large deal, though when we initial find yourself staring during a Google Play Store on a dual-purpose device, it can be tough to know where to begin.
Chromebooks were already utterly capable without Android apps in a equation, after all, and many of a Play Store’s many renouned titles are also accessible in web-app equivalents. Sure, we could implement a Google Docs Android app or a Twitter Android app onto a Chromebook, though you’d get improved and some-more finish practice by regulating possibly service’s web-based counterpart. So because bother?
The pretence is to figure out that Android apps indeed raise Chrome OS in a suggestive approach — possibly by stuffing in a opening in a height or by adding something new and unsentimental into a experience. But in a sea of overlapping titles and mobile-specific utilities, singling out such a preference isn’t always easy.
That’s because I’m here to help. I’ve spent large hours vital with Chromebooks and regulating them as both capability and party tools. I’ve explored a accessible Android app options and pinpointed a programs that enhance a Chromebook’s capabilities in measures that matter. I’ve even left on business trips carrying zero though an Android-app-enabled Chromebook for all of my work and (ahem) interference needs.
Start with a titles subsequent — all free, unless differently remarkable — and watch your Chromebook renovate from a cloud-centric laptop into a platform-defying all-purpose device.
We’ll flog things off with a many apparent of a bunch: If Google Docs doesn’t cut it for we and Microsoft’s Office Online charity is equally inadequate, a Android versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are precisely what we need. They’re fully featured and fantastically familiar, as prolonged as we have an Office 365 subscription — and they fill a before unaddressable blank left by Microsoft’s muted web options.
Need a desktop-caliber bureau apartment though a repeated fee? MobiSystems’ OfficeSuite Pro is a next-best thing to Microsoft’s standard-bearer. The app costs $15, and an additional $10 for a rise pack you’ll substantially want. (And remember: Once purchased, we can use a module on any Android device as well.)
Evernote users, take note: The Android chronicle of a app boasts offline entrance and a some-more touch-friendly interface than a web counterpart. It also has some good additions like a ability to emanate a discerning note around an discretionary determined notification.
OneNote’s Android app one-ups a web-based homogeneous by providing offline entrance to your records along with extended scratch support. What some-more do we need to know?
If you’ve got a Chromebook with a stylus, you’re gonna wish this $3 note-taking utility. The awkwardly named MyScript Nebo gives we a absolute set of collection for essay and blueprint on your device’s screen. You can format calm and even breeze diagrams, and a app will interpret all we do into plain text, HTML or a entirely formatted Word document.
Communication and time management
For many people, Chrome OS’s long-standing Achilles’ heel was a miss of a video-call-capable Skype client. This accountability is bound by approach of a Skype Android app, that keeps face-to-face conversations a integrate taps away.
I know, we know: Hangouts? In 2017?! Google’s messaging plan might be a mess, though a ever-pivoting Hangouts platform provides one super-useful duty for any Chromebook user: a ability to make and accept tangible phone calls, from your possess number, regulating usually your mechanism (and a unchanging information connection). Just implement both apps, make certain we have possibly a Google Voice account or a verified phone number and afterwards open possibly app and daub a phone add-on to get going.
If we rest on Facebook’s Messenger complement for any arrange of communication, regulating a standalone Android app is forever improved than gripping a full Facebook website open all day (or picking adult your personal phone each time a new summary comes in). Just note that we might wish to go into a app’s settings and invalidate “chat heads,” as (a) they’re kinda distracting in general, and (b) they don’t work consistently good on all Chromebooks.
Stuck vital in Microsoft’s email universe? Leave Outlook’s muted web chronicle behind and give yourself a pleasure of regulating a Android app instead. It provides offline entrance to your email and is noticeably faster than a browser-based brother.
Google Calendar’s web interface might be sporting a uninformed facelift, though a Android chronicle of a use still has a some-more contemporary and touch-friendly UI. Especially if you’re accustomed to regulating Calendar on your phone, it’s good value carrying a app around on your Chromebook.
If we use Trello for plan management, trust me: You’ll wish a Android app for any touch-oriented work. It’ll feel like you’re operative on a inscription instead of clumsily perplexing to scratch around a website with your finger.
Google’s glorious Trips app automatically compiles itineraries formed on info benefaction in your Gmail inbox (flight acknowledgment emails, let automobile profits and so on). It’s accessible usually as a mobile app, though now that we have a Chromebook, that restriction’s irrelevant.
Maps’ web interface is no slouch, though a Android app gives we a slew of time-saving hold gestures as good as useful extras like trade warning notifications.
Next stop: limit productivity.
Image and video work
Let’s be honest: Web-based video editors are a bit of a letdown. And many of a options on Android are possibly overly uncomplicated or so clunky and difficult you’ll never wish to use ’em. Goseet’s VidTrim achieves an excellent center ground: It’s elementary to use, and it handles all a basis many folks will wish from an on-the-go video editor. Equally important, it works exquisitely with Chrome OS. (Consider a $2 Pro version if we wish to stop a ads.)
Google’s mobile image-editing app is unequivocally good — and also ridiculously easy to use. Throw it on your Chromebook and ready to gloss photos like a pro (and in a approach that was formerly unfit on a platform).
Ever need to blueprint out ideas for an critical association display (or, y’know, maybe usually your possess in-between-meetings amusement)? Autodesk’s renouned SketchBook app has your name created all over it — generally if we have a Chromebook with a stylus. If you’re unequivocally critical about your sketches, a $5 in-app ascent will get we a ton of additional collection for origination a ideal creation.
The truly artistic among us can illustrate concepts during a veteran turn with a assist of Infinite Painter. This is another pretension designed to take full advantage of a pressure-sensitive stylus (and another one that goes to heights no web-centric apparatus can achieve).
Streaming and reading
Heads up, Netflix subscribers: The Android app lets we download calm for offline observation — a underline we won’t find on a unchanging website. Load adult some videos before your subsequent business trip, and watch your MacBook-toting colleagues ogle with envy.
Like Netflix, YouTube offers a choice to download videos around a Android app — a excellent reason to keep it accessible on your Chromebook. There’s usually one catch: You need an active YouTube Red or Google Play Music subscription for offline observation to be enabled.
Keep adult with your favorite podcasts on your mechanism with Shifty Jelly’s well-developed Pocket Casts app, that automatically syncs your favorite shows and listening swell opposite all your opposite devices. The app costs $4 (and saves we from carrying to hack adult an additional $9 for a standalone web player).
Using Amazon’s Kindle use to keep adult with your reading? The Android app puts Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader to contrition with swipe-based page turning, a brood of modernized options and a improved altogether user experience.
If Play Books is your reading use of choice, you’ll find a Android app to be noticeably nicer than a web homogeneous interjection to a participation of page-turning animations along with a accumulation of touch-friendly options. The app also lets we prominence and name calm with a stylus.
You don’t technically need a Play Music Android app for offline entrance to your tunes, though you’ll roughly positively wish it. Unlike a web app, that simply lets we download a strain we possess in MP3 form, a Android app lets we pin any albums, songs or playlists accessible in your collection onto your device for offline enjoyment. You can even pin stations, supposing we have an total listening subscription. And regardless of what form of arrangement we prefer, we can use a app’s unchanging interface to crop all of your downloaded audio and control playback.
Here, too, a large pull for subscribers is offline support, accessible usually with Spotify’s mobile app. Because sometimes, a right strain is most a requirement for removing work done.