Google is looking to fix a persistent issue with Android apps on Chromebooks by making sure some of them aren’t resizable. It is based on reports detailing a new feature spotted in Canary Channel for the operating system. The change would essentially prevent apps that are not designed for larger screens from developing. This would also remove the Maximize and Minimize buttons, leaving only an icon to close or hide the app. The handles typically placed on the edges and corners of these apps would also be gone.
What Android app issues would this fix for Chromebooks?
Adding code to prevent some apps from being resized would be arguably the biggest change to apps in recent years. Google first introduced Android in Chrome OS in 2016, but not all apps are meant to fit such a large screen. In fact, many apps just look bad while others don’t perform well in terms of touch areas or GUI.
It all comes down to the system just trying to resize everything. And, in some cases, change screen ratios at the same time. So some objects and objects stretched. And, because of how Android apps work, others just don’t have it. Or, in some cases only parts have done it but not others and this often includes a GUI that stretches out while the boxes controlling these are not scaled properly.
Ensuring that apps aren’t resizable for Chromebooks will therefore be about ensuring that more Android apps not only look great, but actually work. This will expand the reach, also allowing the best mobile apps to appear on Chromebooks. Unlike the only best web apps. And that will also take a lot of pressure on Android developers, in terms of working towards Chromebook compatibility.
Don’t rely on the non-resizable Android apps that will be appearing anytime soon
Now, as noted above, the feature to ensure Android apps are not resizable is currently only available on the Canary Channel. for chrome BONE. This means that it is effectively in one of the more buggy, most often updated versions, primarily for testing. And, thereafter, that it probably won’t appear to end users anytime soon.
That said, Google should also jump directly on Android 12 for Chromebooks. And that could be the update that brings this functionality. Or, at the very least, this might be the most logical place to add it. But that’s also after skipping Android 10 and Android 11. Maybe it’s best not to hold your breath in the meantime.