A New Era of Frankensoftware Is Upon Us
Apple's move to put mobile apps on macOS grabbed headlines last week, but Google has been running Android apps on Chromebooks for two years now. For anyone who remembers the earliest days of Android apps on Chrome OS, that "same apps and functionality" part might have seemed like a stretch. While some Android apps on Chrome OS supported larger interfaces, most just looked like enlarged phone apps. Other apps in the Google Play store came with the message that your Chrome OS device wasn't compatible with the app. But if it does turn out to be a success, then a single piece of hardware can support apps across multiple interfaces: apps for the voice-first Fire TV; apps for a remote-controlled Fire TV; and voice apps, or "skills," from the Echo. And while Chrome OS users account for only seven percent of the user base for the note-taking app Squid, Chrome OS users have accounted for 21 percent of the app's total revenue over the past month.