Best Android Apps for Your Chromebook 2020

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Source: Android Central

While Chrome OS on the whole was a fantastic idea, especially for those wanting a computer on a budget, it was hampered for quite some time. Then, Google decided to enhance the experience by bringing the Google Play Store to Chromebooks. Now, you have access to more apps than you know what to do with. While not every app from your phone is available on a Chromebook, we still found some of the best that you’ll need.

Keep in touch with everyone

Discord Pixel SlateSource: Android Central

Communication is key, especially with something like a Chromebook and the Play Store, which makes it so you don’t have to rely on the browser. Some messaging apps are available in the browser, but you don’t get all of the same benefits as the Play Store version. Whether you’re trying to collaborate or catch up with family, these are the apps to keep in contact with everyone.

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Stay on top of your tasks

Google Keep on ChromebookSource: Android Central

Task management is an annoying necessity, even if it’s for something as simple as a packing or grocery list. Thankfully, with these to-do apps, you’ll be able to manage any project, big or small, easier than ever from your Chromebook.

Google Keep is fantastic at being the place to dump things hanging in your head. Whether it’s a list, website link, or just a basic note, you can do it all with Google Keep. Plus, with the customizable cards, you won’t forget where your notes are.

Free at Google Play

Regardless of if you have a big project or basic task list, Todoist can handle everything you throw at it. Premium members get additional features like Tags and Reminders, while the Free version will be more than enough for the majority of users.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Sometimes keeping everything in Google’s ecosystem is just easier, and Tasks isn’t too shabby. You won’t be able to keep track of complex projects, but you can make a few lists, have integration with Google Assistant, and view your tasks from everywhere.

Free at Google Play

TickTick is quite impressive, despite not getting the same amount of fanfare as other to-do apps. The app features folders, along with the ability to create custom smart lists and add a priority to your tasks. There’s even a built-in Pomodoro timer to help keep you focused on your work.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

While you can use Asana to manage your personal projects, the real power is unlocked if you work with a team. Collaboration is easy to set up and manage, with useful features like comments and tagging. Best of all, it’s available on the web, your phone, or your Chromebook as a standalone app.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

After acquiring Wunderlist, Microsoft To Do has become one of the best free to-do apps available. You’ll be able to import your Wunderlist tasks while being able to take advantage of smart lists to track different projects. All of this is possible without you needing to spend a dime.

Free at Google Play

Passwords protected

1Password X on PixelbookSource: Android Central

The internet is a wonderful place to be, but with all of the different accounts you need, it’s impossible to remember all of your passwords. You never want to use the same password twice, and with these password managers you’ll not only be able to create unique passwords and manage them, but you can also be notified if one’s been involved in a data breach.

Keep it social

Twitter Pixel SlateSource: Android Central

It’s no fun having a slew of browser windows open when you’re hopping between social media networks. With the Play Store, you can now download the accompanying app for your favorite network, then browse and share to your heart’s content.

Reddit is the “front page of the internet.” You can end up in a rabbit hole rather quickly, or find an answer to a question you may have that hasn’t been solved elsewhere on the web. Subreddits are communities where you can share your thoughts, opinions, or find some new wallpapers to download on almost any topic.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

When it comes to keeping up with what’s going on every day, there’s no better way to do so than with Twitter. Companies have taken to announcing new products, updates, and more on Twitter, and you can follow as many people as you’d like.

Free w/ Ads at Google Play

While it’s possible to take photos from some Chromebooks and upload them to Instagram, it’s not the greatest experience. However, with the Android app on your Chromebook, you can do that or just keep up with your friends and what they ended up doing last weekend.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Relax with some movies or TV shows

Netflix on Lenovo 500eSource: Android Central

There’s nothing like sitting back with a good movie at the end of a long day. Thankfully there are quite a few streaming services for you to pick and choose from. Some make it possible to watch live TV, while others give you access to some classics you may have forgotten.

There are a lot of streaming services available now that are trying to take away the thunder of Netflix, but the company continues to churn out original content, while still being home to other movies and TV shows that you can’t find elsewhere. What better way to unwind from the day than with your favorite show on Netflix?

Free w/IAP at Google Play

The Disney+ library is so vast it can be a bit head-spinning. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid it, as it has some of the best movies and TV shows that you grew up with. Best of all, if there’s something that you want to hit the nostalgia bone with, chances are it’s on Disney+.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Streaming services are great and all, but if you already have a library of content, then you’ll likely be watching it with VLC. This app has support for a slew of video formats, but you can also use it to listen to music or audiobooks. You will no longer need to worry about downloading a great movie, only to be unable to play it due to the format.

Free at Google Play

Now that Mixer is out of the way, Twitch is the go-to spot for big-time video game streamers. However, if you want to browse around, you’ll be surprised to find that there’s much more available than just video games.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Amazon’s Prime Video library is quite vast and if you are already subscribed to Prime, is a great way to watch some awesome movies. There are some shows and movies that you can’t find elsewhere, while new and unique content is being released all of the time.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

While Hulu does have a decent backlog of content for you to watch, the biggest benefit is being able to watch live television. This opens the door for so much more than a catalog of already-recorded shows and movies. You can even record content to watch later if you can’t make it home in time.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Edit those photos and videos

Google Photos is my friendSource: Android Central

Regardless of if you are taking pictures with your smartphone, DSLR, or your Chromebook, you’ll likely want to run them through a photo editor. Maybe you just need an app to manage and back all of them up. These are the best apps to manage and edit your photos and videos.

There are practically no limits to what you can do with Google Photos when it comes to managing your pictures and videos. You can back everything up, create folders, share them with friends and family, and keep everything organized. Photo management has never been easier thanks to Google Photos.

Free at Google Play

If you need to edit your pictures, and don’t want to sign up for a subscription, it’s tough to find a better option than Snapseed. There are a plethora of editing tools, along with filters. You can also quickly share those edited photos with your friends or just save them for yourself.

Free at Google Play

It’s fine and dandy if you want to edit footage from your GoPro, but with Quik, you don’t need anything else. Instead, you can add up to 75 photos or video clips, including Motion Photos. Then, you can easily create an awesome video to show off highlights from your vacation.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

There are different tiers of photo editors that you can use and play around with. Lightroom is at the medium-level with the plethora of tools that you can use to tweak your photos. There are also automatic adjustments that can be enabled so that you can let the app do the work and still get amazing photos.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

What sets Infinite Painter apart are the brushes and how they work with the different paper textures available. We expect things to look and feel different when using different textures and Infinite Painter does it better than anyone else.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Adobe’s Photoshop is the cream of the crop when it comes to photo editors. There are more tools than you can imagine and with Adobe’s Cloud, you can start editing something on one device and pick it up on another with ease. With a PS Express Premium subscription, you’ll be paying a bit less than you would for the desktop client.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Try a different browser

Brave Browser Pixel SlateSource: Android Central

If you’re working from a Chromebook, it’s unlikely that you would realize that there are other browser apps available. So no, you are not just “stuck” with Chrome and the Play Store opens the door for you to use many popular third-party browsers on your Chromebook.

Triage those emails

Newton Mail Pixel SlateSource: Android Central

If you’ve had the same email for years, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s turned into a digital junk drawer. But you don’t want to completely ignore all of your emails if something important arrives in your Inbox. These are our favorite email apps that you can download and use on your Chromebook, instead of being relegated to a browser window for every email address you have.

It’s time to get some work done

Doodling on HP ChromebookSource: Android Central

For many, productivity is the name of the game and it’s extremely important to have all of the right tools to get the job done. On every Chromebook, you already have access to Google’s suite of tools, but the Play Store is home to so many others that you’ll be able to turn your Chromebook into a digital Swiss Army knife to get stuff done.

For years, Microsoft’s Office suite was available on the Play Store, but recently, the company changed things up. Now, you get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Stick Notes all in the same app. This is great if you don’t want to keep switching between a bunch of different apps.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

From annotating PDFs to taking notes, Squid is great for taking advantage of a stylus with your Chromebook. The company even partnered with Google to improve latency on the Pixelbook and Samsung Chromebook Plus. If you need to use a stylus for anything other than drawings, Squid’s the way to go.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Nebo takes note-taking and turns it up a notch. While you can type and edit notes like normal, you can also use a stylus to hand-write notes, draw diagrams, and do so much more. Then, you can sync all of your notes with either Google Drive or Dropbox, making them available everywhere.

$10 at Google Play

Sometimes you just need to sit down and put words on the screen. Whether it’s for journaling or if you’re working on a longer-written piece, iA Writer is fantastic for this. And if you enjoy writing without distractions or in Markdown, then there’s no better way to do so.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Sometimes you just need to take notes and have them stored somewhere for access later. Simplenote makes this easy as you can take notes, create to-do lists, and so much more. You can even add in-line photos to your notes if you happen to be working on a bigger project.

Free at Google Play

Evernote is the digital notebook that you didn’t think you would need. You can create an array of different notebooks with pages and sub-pages while adding attachments, tags, and more. Since it’s available on every major platform, you can start something on your phone and pick it up on your Chromebook.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Necessary Utilities

Duet Display Imac ChromebookSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Chrome OS has evolved to include many features and utilities without the need to download something new. However, the beauty of the Play Store is that you can download something different if Google’s option isn’t great for you. Or maybe you need to turn your Chromebook into a second display — you can do that easily now.

For many, the stock Files app will do just fine when it comes to managing your files. However, some like the idea of using something a bit more customizable and that’s where Simple File Manager Pro comes in. You can make your file manager as robust or simple as you want while customizing the color theme throughout.

$2 at Google Play

If your Chromebook is not your only device, or if you have multiple Chromebooks, you might enjoy having some extra screen real estate. Duet Display turns your Chromebook into a secondary monitor while allowing you to take advantage of the touchscreen (if you have one).

$10 at Google Play

Some may not think that they need a text expansion app, but if you use a lot of the same characters or send cookie-cutter emails, having an app like this is convenient. Texpand allows you to create shortcuts for your most-used phrases, including your address, name, email account, and practically anything else that you can think of. And you can create and customize these shortcuts to your liking so you never forget them.

Free w/IAP at Google Play

Your own portable radio

Spotify Pixel Slate HeroSource: Android Central

Almost nobody likes to sit in silence throughout the day, and whether it’s music or podcasts, you’ll want to listen to something. These apps give you the ability to have your own portable radio and listen to whatever suits your mood at that time.

Android Apps on Chrome OS are amazing

Chromebok Pixelbook Apps HeroSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

The importance of having the Play Store on your Chromebook has never been higher. This is especially true considering Google announced that the Chrome Web Store for Apps would be going away beginning in 2020 and being closed completely by the end of 2022. So now with the Play Store, you can download many of the same apps that are in the Web Store, along with some new ones that you have been using on your phone or tablet.

And while you might think that Android apps may not work properly on your Chromebook, you’d want to think again. Many of these apps work right out of the box and work the same way that they do on your phone. The reason for that is because they are the same apps!

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