Android apps for Chromebook display subpar performance

Android apps for Chromebook display subpar performance
The Siliconreview
16 Febuary, 2017

A recent report on Verge suggests that the performance of the Android App feature (still in beta) in the new Samsung Chromebook Plus, is subpar and buggy. The Chromebook, developed closely with Google, has a touchscreen and comes with a stylus and runs Chrome OS along with Android apps. A second version of the Chromebook, the pro version is due in April and the report suggests that the prerelease version also has its share of bugs.

According to the report, many of the apps do not work and those that do are laggy and seem to be “like awkwardly blown-up phone apps, not software that’s tailored for the Chromebook’s 12-inch screen.”

Optimizing a large number of Android apps for the Chromebook is “going to be a long process, to be honest,” a Google official conceded.

A fundamental problem the Android apps designed for Chromebook faces is that they rarely look right on a larger, 12 inch screen. Besides that issue, the apps crashed or froze multiple times during the Verge test. Facebook and Gmail crashed while testers tried to perform simple, everyday tasks.

Not having been designed for larger screens, Google News, Google Docs and other similar apps do not appear to resize appropriately for larger screens, and the resulting display of text is narrow with large borders. Facebook Messenger stretched the text horizontally to fill up the extra space, making it smaller and harder to read. Also, there are no extra panels or Ui elements that utilize the extra screen space to add functionality. Additionally, apps are always full-screen while in tablet mode, which makes creating multi-app views currently impossible.

Google says that it’s optimizing its own apps for the Chromebook, and urging third parties to do the same. However, going by present day tests, they still have a long way to go.