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Google Refutes Rumors Of Chrome OS Merging With Android, Says It's Here To Stay

The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell last week when it reported that Google planned to merge Chrome OS with Android and phase out the Chrome OS we've come to know and love. Googlers (including Android/Chrome head Hiroshi Lockheimer) reiterated the company's commitment to Chrome OS. Now, Google has made a post on the Chrome blog to set the record straight once and for all—Chrome OS isn't going anywhere.

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All Android Developers Are Now Welcome To Port Their Apps To Chrome OS

Google has been slowly rolling out Android apps for Chrome OS on a case-by-case basis, with new additions coming in a handful at a time. According to OMG! Chrome!, the company is opening the process up to all Android developers.

Porting relies on a native client extension known as the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC for short). It runs Android software at a speed that's close to native inside of a sandboxed Dalvik virtual window. The runtime is still in beta, and Google refers to the experience as a Developer Preview.

Developers also need to grab the ARC Welder app from the Chrome Web Store in order to test their work.

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Smart Lock Comes To Chrome OS Stable, Can Automatically Unlock Chromebooks When Paired With A Phone Running Android 5.0

The Smart Lock feature that has been slowly cooking in the Chrome OS dev and beta channels has made its way into the latest stable release, version 40. Now anyone with a phone running Android 5.0 or later (sorry, no tablets) can automatically unlock their Chromebook just by keeping the two devices within 100 feet of each other.

You can find the option tucked away under advanced settings. In this shot I've scrolled the area to the top and have already turned things on.

Screenshot 2015-01-29 at 3.30.03 PM

Smart Lock is still in beta, but so far it works-ish. I find the feature to be amusing in practice.

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[Video] Google Posts 8-Minute Crash-Course On Google Play For Education Geared At Developers

Google Play for Education, unveiled during Google I/O, is a program to get Nexus tablets into the hands of students and provide a curated app store offering content to fill those tablets with. Google released a video today aimed at the developers who may someday produce the apps that will eventually populate their store. It's also an interesting watch for educators curious about what technology may soon enter their classrooms and parents tired of their children learning on iPads (assuming their classrooms have tablets at all).

Education1 Education2

The video demos the app store in action, which should look familiar to anyone visiting this site.

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