What the Chromebook/Android Merge Means for Classroom eReading

Google announced that they’re effectively merging compatibility between the ChromeOS and Android by making Google Play applications available on Chromebooks. Right now only a select number of Chromebook models have full access to the  Play Store, with many more devices to be added throughout the rest of 2016 and 2017. The list of supported Chromebooks may be viewed here.

Android-compatible Chromebooks  will be able to download applications that can view DRM-protected eBooks with the extension .acsm. All eBooks produced by major publishers are required to be protected by DRM and opening up the ecosystem to other players means that readers can install their books on their Chromebooks – whether they’re purchased from Adams Book Company or another supplier. Until now, Chromebooks could only access eBooks purchased from Google Play, which no longer has a feasible classroom distribution model or from a retailer with a web viewer. The latter still required access to the internet, which can be problematic. Instead of being restricted to reading applications with web viewers, Chromebook educators will have access to a wider range of reading applications and can choose a tool that best fits the needs of his or her classroom.