Android Apps on Chromebooks Can Soon Use USB Storage

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If you have a Chromebook that supports Android apps, there is one important thing that you cannot do at the moment. Android apps on Chrome OS cannot use USB storage.

This means you cannot connect a USB drive and play media from that using the VLC Media Player Android app, among other things.

I am sure this is something that we all would love to have, especially when Chrome OS tablets become more popular. Tablets are supposed to be for content consumption (mostly) right?

The latest update to the Chrome OS Canary channel has something that might change this. A new flag has been added to enable “USB Host Integration” on Chrome OS.

Enable ARC USB host integration

Allow Android apps to use the USB host feature on ChromeOS devices. – Chrome OS #arc-usb-host                   


I could not test this because I am using Canary channel on my Pixelbook and I do not have any USB Type C storage devices yet. Also, this is the first Canary build that I spotted this in, so it most likely be very unstable at the moment.

It might take a few weeks before this feature shows up in the Stable channel for everyone to use or to test.

In the meantime, if you have a Chromebook that runs the Canary channel, (or maybe the Dev channel) give this a try and let me know how it goes.

5 responses

  1. Syl Grant Avatar
    Syl Grant

    I have been waiting for this!

    1. Looks like this is the same. The XDA post talks about the commit. This is now available as a flag. That’s the only difference I guess!
      Thank you for that link!

  2. Please correct me if I’m wrong but USB controllers don’t with on Chromebook Android apps yet? This flag should fix this right?

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