My Acer C740 Chromebook is my go-to device for on-the-go blogging, writing, and creating, supplemented by my multimedia mobile studio in the form of my iPhone 6 Plus. That is why I was thrilled to read that my Chromebook will support Android apps starting after June 2016. For schools and staff that have Acer Chromebook R11, Asus Chromebook Flip, and the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015), you need wait no longer than June.
My top picks for Chromebooks (check out these two comparison charts, as well as the End of Life chart) include the following and are supported for Google Play Store and Android apps:
- Dell Chromebook 11 – Both the 3120 (11 inch monitor model) and 7310 (13 inch model) will be included in the Google Play Store launch. These are fantastic for schools for students and staff respectively.
- Toshiba Chromebook and Chromebook 2 – These wonderful Chromebooks, which mimic an Apple Macbook Air, are also supported.
- Other vendor Chromebooks included are Acer, Asus, CDI, CTL, HP, and Lenovo.
Note: I recommend 4 gigs of RAM for any Chromebook; extra RAM gives Chromebooks the little “oomph” you will need to get the job done, especially as you delve into audio and video.
What does that mean for Chromebook users like you and me? Here are some ideas:
- The ability to get and use Android apps will enable powerful alternatives such as:
- CloudMagic for email
- Aldiko ebook reader for non-DRM ePub formatted ebooks
- Microsoft OneNote for note-taking
- Hi-Q MP3 Recorder for audio recording
- Secure Space Encryptor (SSE) for file/email/text encryption
- The ability to play strategy and “maker” type games like MineCraft and Clash of Clans (which provide a fun, competitive way to build up an empire).
- Access to a host of Android apps for education, expanding the Chromebook’s viability for younger grades and students, making it the de-facto choice for schools on a budget (and who isn’t?) and Google Apps for Education (GAFE) integration.
Many have often viewed Chromebooks as intended for “older” grades, choosing iPads for younger learners. Chromebooks that can run Android apps will be a significant game-changer, especially when you consider the Asus Chromebook Flip (pictured below) at $279.
Event Announcement: How do you envision using Chromebook and the rich ecology of Android apps to transform teaching, learning, and leading in your space? If you’re coming up short on answers, consider attending the TCEA Chromebook Academy July 28 and 29, 2016. Register online and earn 12 CPE hours.