Apps for Chromebook are an Underrated Opportunity in 2017

January 23, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Here are a couple facts. One: Chromebooks outsold Macs in 2016. Two: every Chromebook launching in 2017 will be compatible with Android Apps.

So what’s the big picture? In short, “more opportunity for Android app developers.”

Bringing the full contents of the Google Play store to the Google-driven desktop experience puts the Chromebook on tier with multi-platform ecosystems like Apple, giving consumers even more reason to consider these budget-friendly devices when shopping for a laptop. The fact that web surfing and light productivity tasks are what 90% of Internet users are doing has obviously driven a huge market growth for Chromebooks, even without a dedicated app ecosystem outside the Google Suite of productivity tools. Presumably, drawing in the Android crowd will catapult growth to another level in 2017—not to mention create new, unforeseen opportunities for NYC Android app developers.

The platform could also become a major interest area for lean startups pushing products that are cross-platform by nature. Unlike the Apple ecosystem, developers won’t be creating two separate experiences for iOS/OSX. Instead, apps follow a “mobile first” design much like the current best practices for web apps, allowing developers to create a single product that serves multiple environments. While Android devices have lagged in popularity compared to Apple products in the tablet category, developers expect that mobile/desktop Android apps will be particularly well suited to productivity and work-focussed apps.

Users should note that it’s common to find bugs and broken-looking layouts when accessing Android apps via Chromebook. Developers of high-use Android apps are currently rushing to fill the gap and make their layouts and designs functional on a bigger, more variable screen size. For this reason, the time may be ripe for smaller startups to jump in and leapfrog seemingly entrenched app ideas with more cross-platform, flexible mobile solutions.

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