Install Android apps on your Pixelbook

You can download and use Android apps from the Google Play Store on your Pixelbook.

Because Android apps are stored directly on your device, you can use them when you're offline. So even if you're not connected to Wi-Fi or through your phone's mobile data, you'll be able to do things like watch films and listen to music from media apps such as Netflix and Spotify.

Note: If you're using your device at work or school, you might not be able to add the Google Play Store or download Android apps. For more information, contact your administrator.

Step 1: Sign in to the Google Play Store

  1. Select Google Play Store Google Play store icon on the bottom of your screen to open.
  2. If it's your first visit, you'll be prompted to agree to the Terms of Service. When you've read and agreed, click Agree.

Step 2: Get Android apps

Now, you can find and download Android apps on your device.

Your device won't automatically download the same Android apps as your phone or tablet, so you'll need to download them again. Also, some apps don't work with Chrome OS, so you won't be able to download them.

Sync your apps across Chrome OS devices

By default, your device syncs the Android apps across any other Google Play-enabled Chrome OS devices that you're signed in to. If your device isn't syncing your apps, check your sync settings to make sure that you've selected 'Sync everything' or turned on Apps syncing. For more information on changing your sync settings, see Related articles.

Update your app version, permissions or settings

Install app updates

If you see a notification that says 'Updates available' on the bottom right of your screen, select Update or Update all.

If you don't see this notification:

  1. In laptop mode: Select the Launcher Launcher and then Up Arrow Up arrow
    In tablet mode: Go to your home screen. To get there, tap the Launcher Launcher in the corner of your screen.
  2. Select Google Play Store Google Play store icon.
  3. Follow the steps to update your apps.
Change permissions

Change app permissions

Once you install an Android app, you can control which capabilities or information that it has access to, known as permissions:

  1. On the bottom right, select the time to open the status area.
  2. Select Settings Settings.
  3. In the 'Google Play Store' section, select Google Play Store.
  4. Select Manage Android preferences.
  5. In the 'Device' section, select Apps.
  6. Select an app in the list.
  7. Select Permissions.
  8. Next to a permission that you want to turn on or off, select the switch.

Share or unshare your location

When you opt in to Android apps, you decide whether Google can share your location information with Android apps.

To turn this on or off:

  1. On the bottom right, select the time to open the status area.
  2. Select Settings Settings.
  3. In the 'Google Play Store' section, select Google Play Store.
  4. Select Manage Android preferences.
  5. In the 'Personal' section, select Location.
  6. To turn location permissions on or off, use the toggle.
  7. Optional: To turn location permissions on or off for a specific app, select the app and then Permissions and then tap the Location toggle.

Note: If you're using your device at work or school, you might not be able to choose whether or not to share your location.

Back up and sync your apps

Sync your apps across Chrome OS devices

By default, your device syncs the Android apps across any other Chrome OS devices that you're signed in to. If your device isn't syncing your apps, check your sync settings to make sure that you've selected 'Sync everything' or turned on Apps syncing. For more information on changing your sync settings, see Related articles.

Back up and restore your app data

By default, automatic backup and restore of Android app data is turned on. This way, if you move to a new Chrome OS device, you can restore your Android app data.

To turn backup and restore on or off:

  1. On the bottom right, select the time to open the status area.
  2. Select Settings Settings
  3. In the 'Google Play Store' section, select Google Play Store.
  4. Select Manage Android preferences.
  5. In the 'Personal' section, select Back up my data.
  6. To turn data backup on or off, use the toggle.

Note: If your device has syncing turned off, but backup and restore turned on, it will still back up your Android apps. But if you have more than one Chrome OS device, your Android apps and their data might not sync across your devices fully.

Find out how Chrome OS handles your Android app data

What your Android apps can see

  • Android apps can download files to, and read files from, your device's downloads location. You can change this by opening an app's permissions page, then turning off the Storage permission.
  • Some Android apps that have permission to see your location might also access Bluetooth on your device.
  • If you're browsing in incognito mode and you open an app, then right-click to open a link in that app, you'll leave incognito mode. For more information on browsing in private, see Related articles.
  • If you turn off the Google Play Store on your device, all data and settings for your Android apps will be deleted from your device. To turn Google Play Store off on your device, go to Settings Settings and then Google Play Store.
  • You can review other privacy and security settings which come with using Android apps. Remember that some of the settings described in these links might not apply or appear on your device.

What Google can see

When you opt in to using the Google Play Store, some system apps and features may send Google information about how you use those apps.

If you've opted to send Google data about your device's usage and performance, Google will also get diagnostic and usage data about your Android apps' activities by default, as well as crash reports. Any crash reports that Chrome sends to Google may also include some sensitive information about your Android apps.

Developers: optimise your Android apps for Chrome OS devices

If you're a developer, learn how to optimise your Android apps so that they work better on Chrome OS devices.

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