The support for Android apps on Chrome OS has understandably received a considerable amount of positive attention. But it has emerged that there may be at least one potential downside to the change, with Google working to make it possible for manufacturers to preinstall Android apps onto devices.
It is commonplace for many manufacturers to ship Android and Windows hardware with preinstalled apps or programs.
Manufacturers argue that some of their additions improve the user experience, whilst others help to lower the cost of devices.
Apps and programs that are not part of an operating system, and have instead been installed by a manufacturer, are often referred to derogatorily as bloatware.
A lot of the distaste for bloatware comes from the fact that it can slow down hardware noticeably.
In the case of Android devices, users are often prevented from uninstalling bloatware, with the only option being to disable it. As a result, manufacturer-installed apps can continue to take up precious storage space on a device, even if they are never used.
Now OMG! Chrome! has spotted a posting on the Chromium issue tracker, which reveals a plan that “implements support for default and OEM Arc apps.”
Arc stands for Android Runtime for Chrome and is the technology that is used to allow Android apps to run on Chromebooks.
The one clear advantage that Chromebooks offer over Windows and OS X machines is that they allow for productivity within a very lightweight user environment. Of course, Chromebooks are – by design – more limited devices, but for many that is their main attraction.
Given the huge array of potential functionality offered by the vast library of Android apps available, the addition of the Play Store is going to change the very nature of the Chromebook.
[via OMG! Chrome!]