Friday, May 20, 2016

The Play Store comes to Chrome OS, but not the way we were expecting | Ars Technica

A compelling container case study (via Mary Jo Foley)

"We can't say that the announcement of Google Play on Chrome OS is a surprise. Google first started publicly experimenting with Android apps on Chrome OS in 2014 with ARC, the App Runtime for Chrome. ARC implemented the Android runtime on top of Chrome's "Native Client" extension architecture, and Google worked with some developers to port a handful of Android apps to Chrome OS. Given that the Native Client extension system was designed with portability in mind, ARC ran on every platform that supports Chrome extensions, so this small amount of Android apps could run on Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The real shocker here is that this release of Google Play on Chrome OS is not based on ARC. Zelidrag Hornung, the engineering director of Chrome & Android, filled us in on the details: "We have redone this completely differently. There are no connecting points between the two projects (ARC and today's announcement) from an implementation perspective." ARC wasn't good enough, so Google started over from scratch. "With the initial version of ARC, we managed to push things forward, but fundamentally developers still needed to do serious work to their application to make it work in that environment." Hornung told Ars. "With this new model, there is virtually no work that an Android Developer needs to do with their app. They just publish it to the Play Store and it just works.""
The Play Store comes to Chrome OS, but not the way we were expecting | Ars Technica
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