The Asus Chromebook Flip just became the first Chrome OS device to officially get Android apps, with more to follow soon. Flip owners on the Chrome OS developer channel can now update to version 53.0.2768 and access the Play Store to start downloading apps. Other Chrome OS devices including Acer Chromebook R11, C738T, and the 2015 Chromebook Pixel are also slated to get Android app support but the rollout is happening gradually.
9to5Google says the Chromebook is treated as a tablet running Android 6.0.1 and apps designed only for phones will not download. Reports from users indicate apps run smoothly for the most part as regular windowed programs. But not every app works perfectly, as some might be limited by smartphone specific functionality -- one user on Reddit reported not being able to get pass the “Tilt your device left to steer” screen on Real Racing 3, for example. The same is true for games that rely on GPS functionality.
The version of Chrome OS that contains the Play Store is an early alpha version so there’s bound to be a lot more kinks to work out. If you want to give it a go, all you need to do is head to Settings > About Chrome OS > More info, click on the Change channel button and select the developer channel. Chrome OS 53 should move up to the beta channel in about six weeks if you'd rather not live on the bleeding edge of the web.
A list of other devices that will get the update later this year is here.