A little over a month ago, reports emerged with complaints about Android app display issues on certain Google Chromebooks. The issue wasn’t affecting all Chromebook users, but a majority was affected.
At the time, users of Android apps on some Google Chromebooks complained that they had issues adjusting the default Android App display size settings. For the uninitiated, Android App Display Size settings can be found in the Accessibility menu of your device’s settings, where it allows users to adjust the overall size of the items on the display screen to whatever suits them best.
For those who have been using Google Chromebooks, you should be aware of how painful it can get when it comes to scaling Android apps. In Google Photos, for instance, the elements in the UI are quite small, but luckily, they can be cranked up to a larger size that fits well with the current screen size. The main problem, though, is that even after making these adjustments, they won’t stay in place for as long as you want them to.
If you happen to switch to a different mode, say tablet mode, where the orientation will also change to portrait, the changes you had made to your Android apps will be no more. Instead, the new orientation comes with new settings – the default settings. This is weird, especially because the settings app randomly does this on its own and even though one can still opt to go back to their preferred settings, it’s the hassle involved in getting to these settings that can be annoying.
As usual, Google took note of this issue and as at the time of this writing, the search giant has started working on a fix that will solve the problem once and for all. In order to work on a fix, Google has hidden the faulty Android Display Resizing feature behind a flag in the latest Chrome OS beta and Dev channels, something that has left some Chromebook users anxious about what’s really going on.
According to the search giant:
The display settings is behind the developer flag. It’ll be re-enabled in m65 (temporarily) while we’re working on fixing issues and improving features. Please understand that this isn’t the feature that we worked on (and this option did not exist in previous version of Android). While this may look working for you, that’s not necessarily true for others. (We’ve already found several issues). Our goal is better, smooth integration so that you don’t have to worry about the difference. We have a (not finalized) plan how to make this available so please stay tuned.
From what Google is saying, it seems the feature was in the first place exposed by mistake. On the brighter side, the team is working on a fix that will rely on the native scaling of Chrome OS to adjust the display sizes of all Android apps instead of relying on Android’s settings. If you happen to be using the latest Chrome OS beta or Dev and noticed that the setting is missing from your Chromebook’s Android Settings menu, well, it’s for the good – and it’ll be back sooner or later.
One thought on “Google is actively working on a fix for Android App display size issues on Chromebooks”
Unfortunately, many of the apps in Play Store aren’t optimized for Chromebooks. For example, my security cam app works well on my phone, and although Play Store says this app is compatible with my Chromebook, it won’t even open much less work. Google referred me to the app developer who basically said “yes, we have not looked at Chromebooks”. This is a pretty big disappointment after being baited and waiting for over a year.