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Chromebooks could soon run millions of Android apps

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Google’s Chromebooks could soon be able to run almost any Android app.

At present the feature hasn’t been confirmed but eagle-eyed Reddit users have spotted an option that would allow the apps to run on Google’s Chrome OS.

The option to ‘Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook’ was first spotted by Reddit user ‘TheWiseYoda’ who saw the message appear when opening the Chromebook’s settings. The option has since been removed.

Although the setting couldn’t be turned-on, a check of the source code revealed the following message from Google: “Over a million apps and games now available on your Chromebook”.

The feature’s existence, which appears to be in a late stage of testing, comes ahead of Google’s yearly developer conference. Google I/O 2016 is due to take place over May 18-20 in Mountain View, California.

During last year’s I/O keynote the company announced Android M, Google Photos, updated Google Now and detailed its plans for virtual reality. Other announcements at the event included Project Brillo, its operating system for the internet of things, and updates to Android Wear.

This year’s I/O keynote may include the expansion of Androidapps to the Chromebook. The move would not be entirely unpredicted as it would build on its beta App Runtime for Chrome (ARC).

The accompanying message in the Chromebook’s settings also included the heading of “ARC OPT IN”. At present ARC lets users run some Android apps on the Chrome OS.

When Google launched ARC in 2014 it introduced Vine, Evernote, Duolingo and other apps.

“We’ll be working with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favourite apps so you’ll have a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook,” Google said at the time.

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