Chrome OS Android APK sideloading will soon be easier


For one, Android behavior and performance on Chrome OS still leave much to be desired. It has to do with sideloading apps, which many Android users are probably already familiar with. Just head over to the Settings menu and enable "Apps from Unknown Sources".

When it comes to installing applications from outside the Play Store, Chromebooks are at a disadvantage. On Chrome OS and Chromebooks, app sideloading's been available since the rollout of Android app support on the platform, but it now requires enabling Developer mode.

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If Chromebook users want to sideload Android apps, they have to go through several hoops before Chrome OS finally lets them do as they wish, including enabling Developer Mode, which is not as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, it appears that Google might make it easier for users to do this soon. The indication is that the badges would work for both Android apps and web apps inside Chrome OS.

A new code commit discovered recently suggests that Google might allow users to manually sideload Android apps without toggling Developer Mode on. Unlike Android, Chrome OS was designed primarily for schools and businesses, where the need for control is higher and the consequences for compromised systems are more severe. It's possible Google can enable this feature for all Chromebook users, even those who aren't enterprise users or aren't part of a company or organization with administrators managing their computers. For example, they could deploy apps to users without having to distribute it through the Play Store.