ChromeOS devices can run Android apps that are now handled by the Android Pie version. As the developer preview of Android 11 has now begun, Google has publicly started working on bringing Android 11 to Chrome OS.
Google brought the first look of Android 11 with its first developer preview last month, which is one month earlier than the estimated time of release.
And even before its release, another new project started with ChromeOS source code with its name “eve-arc-r.”
eve is the internal code name for the Google Pixelbook, “arc” is Android Runtime for Chrome, and “r” stands for Android R that is Android 11. With this, we got a clear indication that Google is working on Android 11 for ChromeOS, which will start with Pixelbook.
Further, looking into the other code changes from the same developer, we also find some references to “RVC,” which appears to the code name of Google for Android 11, the same as “QT” is the code name of Android 10.
Apart from that, we have also found that the Pixelbook will not be the only device to receive Android 11 since another two Chrome OS codenames are also seen “arc-r” Android 11 builds. The first one is, “Kukui,” baseboard for Chrome OS devices based on the Mediatek MT8183 processor found on the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet tablet.
While, the second device is with, “Hatch,” basis for Chromebooks built on the 10th generation Intel Core processors. It means that the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Chromebook may be able to take advantage of Android 11 in due time.
The other exciting thing found so far is that the old method of running Android within Chrome OS that involves a “container,” which runs on the ChromeOS internal Linux kernel, is going to end with Android Pie.
Moreover, from Android 11, ChromeOS will be switching over to use the newer “ARCVM” method, running Android in a separate virtual machine with its own kernel to protect the core Chrome OS kernel thoroughly. This change would make to run Android on Chrome OS consistently similar to the way that Linux apps are running on Chromebooks now, and also make sideloading apps safer.
Sadly, as testing is ramping up, we cannot assume that Android 11 will arrive on our Chromebooks. Google made related moves last year to test Android 10 on Chrome OS, but this work has never come out into reality. Indeed, as per a new comment, Android 10 Chrome OS support “has been abandoned.”
Conversely, though, ChromeOS has skipped Android Oreo earlier, by going directly from Nougat to Pie. If that schedule continues, it could make sense for ChromeOS to skip Android 10 and directly upgrade to Android 11. However, considering that Android 11 is still in Developer Preview and the work on the Chrome OS side has only just begun, we may not get this update at least for a few months.