Chromebooks may soon have better apps thanks to desktop AVD in Android Studio

Since the announcement of ChromeOS in 2011, Google has routinely updated ChromeOS with thoughtful changes. The company officially announced the Google Play Store for ChromeOS in 2016, followed by support for Linux apps in 2018. In 2020, it then announced — a site that aims to help developers build applications for ChromeOS.  Since its introduction, has enabled developers to build better applications via tutorials, code samples, announcements, and more. Google has now introduced the Desktop Android Virtual Device (AVD) image to the Electric Eel Canary release of the IDE following its surprise addition to the AVD device list late last month. It aims to help developers both build and test applications for large screen devices such as Chromebooks, without needing to purchase a Chromebook to test on.

The Desktop Android Virtual Device is based on Android 12 and comes with features that can help developers validate, and feel confident in providing a superior user experience to users on Chromebooks. For example, it can launch apps in freeform window mode — a mode in which the applications come with a caption bar (similar to Windows or macOS) that enables maximizing, minimizing, resizing, and closing the application. There is also a traditional taskbar that helps switch between running applications, with a system tray on the bottom right to access notifications and quick settings as opposed to the swipe gestures on touch-first devices.

Freeform windows on Desktop AVD

Freeform windows on Desktop AVD

With activities such as resizing and switching between applications being a more frequent request in a desktop environment like Chromebooks than on a phone or tablet, Google is pushing developers to adopt fluid layouts to support resizable activities.


Though the announcement from focuses on optimizations for apps running on Chromebooks, it’s expected that large-screen optimizations will benefit other platforms, including the new Google Play Games on Windows. If you want to try out the desktop AVD now, you can give it a try by doing the following:

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the Desktop AVD supports Google Play services but does not include the Google Play Store app, and developers can enable root access to aid in troubleshooting.

Source: ChromeOS Dev

The post Chromebooks may soon have better apps thanks to desktop AVD in Android Studio appeared first on XDA.

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