When it comes to getting a low-cost but effective laptop, oftentimes you need not look any further than a Chromebook. Chromebooks are (generally) cheap, support Android apps, and the software is extremely user-friendly. It’s no wonder that students and regular consumers alike are starting to pick up on the craze. For developers, though, there weren’t many reasons to pick up a high-end Chromebook like the Pixelbook until Linux app support was announced. However, Google has finally announced at this year’s Android Dev Summit 2018 that the Android Studio IDE is coming to Chrome OS in early 2019. That’s right—you’ll be able to do full Android development, straight from your Chromebook.
Admittedly, this isn’t quite a new development. In fact, it was entirely possible to develop in Android Studio on any Chromebook which supported Linux applications, though that doesn’t encompass every device out there. To developers who didn’t own a compatible device, then, this is some great news. Android Studio is the official programming IDE for Android applications, and it supports Java, Kotlin, and C++. We had already seen signs that Google intended to release Android Studio officially to Chromebooks earlier last year, suggesting that this has been long in development.
Chromebooks are great for when you’re on-the-go, and some of them are extremely powerful. The recently announced Pixel Slate is now available for pre-order, and it is the device to get for anybody interested in a detachable Chromebook tablet. Pricing admittedly starts at $600, but you get some pretty beefy specifications for the higher-end models (up to 16GB of RAM coupled with an Intel Core i7-8500Y clocked at 4.2GHz). That’s perfect for development work, as your IDE is going to be needing a lot of resources when building. The Pixel Slate, last year’s Google Pixelbook, or one of the other high-end Chromebooks will be great devices for Android development work, and native support for Linux applications means you can get everything done on a single device.