The best Android apps for Chromebooks you can install right now

Although Google set out to create a lightweight, web-based operating system with Chrome OS, you can’t deny that running Android apps on a Chromebook is an exciting selling point. Unfortunately, not every app works as intended on Google’s browser-based platform. After all, support for Google Play and Android apps is still a work in progress.

If you want to take the Android plunge with your shiny new Chromebook, take a look at our best Android apps for Chromebooks and see if you agree with our selection! All of these have been tested and found to play nicely with Chrome OS.

Here are the best apps for Chromebooks you can install right now.

DiscordPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYDiscord
Facebook MessengerPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYForget Skype: Facebook’s Messenger service for Android has you covered whether it’s a text-based message or a video call. Sure, you can use the web-based version in Chrome, but the app is more feature-rich. You can play games with your Facebook friends, send payments, chat with businesses and their bots, and more. Everything you love about the web-based version is here too, like making voice- and video-based calls, sending videos and pictures. You don’t need a Facebook account either: Just install the app, enter your name, and a valid phone number.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYFacebook Messenger
SlackPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYSlack is a highly-popular team-based communication service. It’s typically invite-only: A company will provide a server address, and you may or may not have access to the server’s entire chat channel list. The Android app provides a more streamlined approach than the web-based version, like placing attachment buttons over the text entry field. The search field is gone too, replaced by a simple magnifying glass, cleaning up the presentation. Otherwise, the service remains unchanged for Android, listing your channels and direct message contacts on the left. Your tools reside in a menu tucked away in the right corner, such as setting your status, editing your profile, and more.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYSlack
Adobe Photoshop SketchPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYAdobe Photoshop Sketch
IbisPaint XPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYIbisPaint X
Infinite PainterPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYInfinite Painter
KineMasterPrice: SubscriptionDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYWith this tool you can combine multiple layers of video, images, and text into a single “professional” product. Features include frame-by-frame trimming, up to four additional audio tracks outside the video’s main track, speed control, color adjustment, and more. Despite the “free” label, everything you create will have a watermark, as shown in our screenshot, unless you pay a subscription. KineMaster costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year, which adds access to premium assets and expedited support along with eradicating the pesky watermark.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYKineMaster
SnapseedPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYSnapseed
MinecraftPrice: $6.99DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYWhat would an app list be without Minecraft? The Android version works flawlessly on Chrome OS, supporting touch-based input, compatible gamepads, keyboards, and mice. There’s really nothing new to see here if you’re a Minecraft fan, with options to create a new world from scratch or paid templates, join friends playing on Microsoft’s multi-device network, join featured servers, connect to a specific address, and more. Given Minecraft uses a free Xbox Live account, you can score achievements reflected on Windows 10 and the Xbox-branded consoles. Gameplay definitely feels more “natural” playing with a compatible controller.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYMinecraft
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted SeasPrice: $5.49DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYThis Zelda-style adventure looks and plays great on our in-house Chromebook 13, hitting the game’s maximum 60 frames per second. Players take control of an unnamed boy in this colorful action role-playing game as he searches for his lost father, who disappeared after setting out to defeat the monster of uncharted seas: Oceanhorn. Typical gameplay consists of swinging a sword, shooting arrows, and throwing objects. Playing with a mouse and keyboard is a weird experience at first while gameplay feels more “natural” using a compatible controller. This game supports Google Play cloud saves too.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYOceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
Shadowgun LegendsPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYShadowgun Legends
iHeartRadioPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYiHeartRadio
SpotifyPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYSpotify
Astro File BrowserPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYThis popular productivity tool includes a built-in app manager showing when they were last accessed and their size. You’ll also find a second storage management section listing each local folder by size for a better feel of your current storage capacity.. The file manager portion does something similar, though you can list files by types (pictures, music, videos, etc.) and location. Have files stored in the cloud? Astro supports Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, and Microsoft OneDrive. You can compress, backup, and share files using this tool as well.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYAstro File Browser
Firefox FocusPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYFirefox Focus
Microsoft OfficePrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYMicrosoft Office
FacebookPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYFacebook
TwitterPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYTwitter
Files by GooglePrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYFiles by Google
Google Family LinkPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYGoogle Family Link
Total CommanderPrice: FreeDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYHere’s a free, robust file management tool that works on Chromebooks. Its long list of features include moving whole sub-directories, sending files using Bluetooth, unpacking ZIP files, editing text, and more. If that’s not enough, you can install plugins to send files over an FTP connection, access a Windows-based network, send files to another Android device, link cloud services like OneDrive and Dropbox, grab files from USB sticks, and more. The latest version provides support for fingerprint readers.DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYTotal Commander
Video streaming
NetflixPrice: $7.99 a monthDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYNetflix
Amazon Prime VideoPrice: $12.99 a monthDOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAYAmazon Prime Video

And that’s it for our roundup of the best Android apps for Chromebooks. Missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Read next: You can’t go wrong with best Chromebooks of CES 2019

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