Android apps now available to download for Google's Chrome OS

Google has announced that the first Android apps compatible with its Chrome OS are now available to download.

The search engine giant originally revealed its plans to run Android software on Chromebooks back at its Google I/O event in June.

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The development was said to be in its "early days" a few months ago, but significant progress must have been made since then, as Google has confirmed that four apps are now available from the App Runtime for Chrome (beta) project.

The apps available include Duolingo's language-learning software, Evernote, Vine and Sight Words, an app for improving children's reading skills.

The firm has promised more apps to follow and has said that it is working with "a select group of Android developers to add more of your favourite apps." Although the sheer volume of Android apps makes it difficult to predict what Google is likely to release next, it did present a demo of Flipboard running on Chrome OS at its I/O event, so a full release is probably not far off.

The move to bring Android apps to Chromebooks is an important one for Google as it provides a gateway for millions of Android users to experience its Chrome OS. It is also the start of much closer integration between the two operating systems, with Google developing ways for users to receive desktop notifications about their smartphone or unlock their Chromebook using their handset, for example.

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A Google spokesperson confirmed that the first four apps are available to download now from the Chrome Web Store.