Chrome OS 64 beta allows background Android apps

Discussion in 'Chrome OS and Software' started by Primes, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. Primes

    Primes Notebook Deity

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    Unlike a regular computer OS, Chrome OS pauses android apps when they are in the background and not in focus. This makes it difficult to do stuff like stream music while your working in another app.
    All that will be changing soon with the implementation of "Android Parallel Tasks", which is currently hidden away in the beta channel of Chrome OS version 64.

    source: ChromeUnboxed
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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Chrome OS 64 beta allows Android apps to run in parallel
    "Android apps running on Chrome OS are taking a small but significant step becoming much more desktop-friendly, as the next update to Chrome OS will likely include the ability of Android apps to run tasks in parallel.

    When running on Chrome OS, Android apps behave as though they are running on a mobile device like a phone or tablet, pausing their state when they aren't actually on your screen. This makes sense because you can't see or use them anyway when they're not in focus, and they'd otherwise be carrying on and draining your battery. So when you're in mid-backflip in Alto's Adventure and you accidentally tap that capacitive home button on your HTC U11 (dammit!), you return to the game to find it safely paused. (But let's be honest, you've now lost track of what you're doing, and Alto's about to crash on his head.)

    But in a desktop environment, this behavior can become a nuisance, as apps that a user would naturally expect to keep running wind up going into suspended animation when they click away. Very un-desktop-like, and probably quite jarring to those who are used to Windows and macOS and new to Chrome OS.

    This is about to change, however. As the folks at ChromeUnboxed discovered, Chrome 64 in beta includes a toggle in the developer menu in Android preferences to "enable parallel running of tasks." Once ticked, Android apps behave like desktop apps. Those streams of live information will continue to pour in even when the app is not in focus. (You may want to remember to pause poor Alto before you click away from him.)

    ChromeUnboxed has a video showing multiple Android apps running in parallel, seemingly without issue, on an Acer Chromebook 15 with the beta of Chrome 64. So it probably won't be long before this feature shows up in the stable release of Chrome 64. It's a seemingly minor under-the-hood adjustment that could make a big difference in making Android apps on Chrome feel less like a tacked-on feature, and more like a familiar and native aspect of the overall experience."
    Android Parallel Tasks Incoming With Chrome OS 64

    "Thanks to some reader input, we’ve been made aware that a missing feature we discussed not long ago that is now coming soon to a Chromebook near you.

    That feature? Android Parallel Tasks.
    So, let’s take a minute and break down what this is, why it is needed, and what it does when working as expected.

    As we discussed at length in this article, Android apps (at this moment, anyway) pause state when they are not in focus. If you have a game or something with real-time data like Google Analytics running, the minute you click away from that app on a Chromebook, the app pauses where it is.

    While this behavior is fine and expected on phones, it is odd on a desktop. For phones, you may have tons of apps “open” at any given time. Without a way to see all that activity at once, a running game or app could be killing your battery in the background. Thus, most apps pause when not on the screen.

    With a desktop like you get on Chrome OS, though, this isn’t as necessary. With a quick 3-finger swipe up or down (depending on your trackpad settings), you can easily see all that is open on a Chromebook. Additionally, you can see dots under the items in your tray that are open. With this high-level visibility, losing track of running apps is way less of an issue on a Chromebook than it is on a phone.

    With that in mind, the expected behavior of an open app is that it would remain active and running even when the user clicks to another window. Coming from Windows, Linux, or Mac OS, this is what users expect and it is a bit confusing unless you understand what is happening.

    Parallel tasks on Android allow the OS to keep everything running and open until you pause the activity or close the app down. Again, with Chrome OS, this is much easier to manage. Just click the “X” on the app and it is closed. Simple.

    We made a quick video you can check out below to actually see this all in action. On the Pixelbook running Chrome OS 63 in Stable, paused-state apps are still the rule. On the Acer Chromebook 15 we’ve put in the Beta Channel, however, we’ve turned on the new Parallel Apps feature and the difference is significant.

    Multiple apps run side by side at the same time with no concern for one another. No pauses. No lost data. No bizarre UI.

    This works like most users would expect it to, and we can’t wait until this is a universally available feature on Chromebooks with Play Store access. It simply makes the entire experience feel SO MUCH more native. While this is available in Chrome 64 Beta, it is not 100% that we’ll see the feature in 64 Stable, but the liklihood is high and it is a move that will make the overall usability of Chromebooks much, much better.

    Original Source:

    FYI, ChromeOS 64 Beta has a toggle to allow true multi tasking for Android apps

    "Go to developer options under your android settings, scroll all the way down and you will find a new toggle to allow Android apps to keep running even if the focus is on another window.

    Until today most Android apps would "suspend" activity while the focus was on another window. Now, while being buggy, it seems you can enable apps to keep running even if the focus of your activity is on another window. This is great for video players or other apps that needs to keep running while you are doing another task.

    I did notice that once enabled, it will cause some loading issues with the play store and a few other apps. Those will take longer to load - but they will load eventually. The toggle does however work as intended.

    V64 Beta is currently very buggy on my Pixelbook (crashes a lot with other random issues), so i would not recommend using it as a daily driver."
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  3. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    They keep making it better. keep it coming. I agree hmscott, On a daily driver, NO beta software here. I did that once with insiders on windows 10 and it shagged my computer to the point where I had to Format and start again.
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  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    1. Remove essential feature from Linux-based OS
    2. Reintroduce it years later with enormous pomp
    3. ???????
    4. PROFIT!
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  5. fire3element

    fire3element Notebook Consultant

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    *ahem* pardon my volume
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