Is Chromebook a plausible target for xojo android?

I have seen discussion of running xojo itself on a Chromebook, but I am not clear if it is/will be possible to compile non-trivial apps that will run on a Chromebook.

I have played briefly with the android version, but could not even figure out how to get the ide into landscape mode, much less set it to the default screen size of a Chromebook.

Do I need a physical Chromebook to even experiment?

I would welcome any general insights into the goal of porting a large xojo app to Chromebook.

I read that at least some Chromebooks can run Linux and should be able to run Xojo IDE.

I think Chromebooks can run Android apps but I recommend getting a Chromebook to test if you are trying to make any commercial app.

I do run Xojo Linux apps in the Linux Development Environnement.

Never tried an Android App though.

Regards, Antoine

I appreciate Antoine’s and AlbertoD’s response to my query, but I am left with the impression that experience with the new Android capability is thin on the ground. I have used Xojo and its predecessor for a long time (I have a “RealBasic” CD on my shelf dated October 1998) and have always had ready access, via the forum, to clear views of the form “Yeah. It will do that.” or “Don’t get your hopes up.”

My situation seems pretty simple. I have puttered away at an app to explain neural networks and deep learning to K-12 students. Now it is in pretty good shape for Mac and Windows but K-12 students no longer have access to Macs or Windows machines. They have all gone to ChromeBooks.

Meanwhile, those ChromeBooks have learned how to download and run Android apps from the Google Play Store and Xojo has introduced the ability to produce Android apps written in Xojo. Can my current desktop app migrate to Android and hence to Chromebook?

My desktop app, while big (okay huge) is pretty simple: a single canvas used by dozens of containers. It seems a simple experiment to pick one of those containers and recode it for Android. My initial attempt is stuck at my inability to even turn the debug window into the landscape mode I need. If it is not even possible to do this, I guess I am stuck.

If someone can explain how to do this, I am still left with the possibility that I have to go buy a Chromebook to even experiment with porting. If so, I would like to know that in advance.

If there is no one in the Xojo community who has attempted to create a Chromebook app for distribution via the Play Store and is willing to share their experience, good or bad, perhaps someone within Xojo can tell me what to expect: “Is it plausible, either now or in the foreseeable future, to create a meaningful Chromebook app using Xojo?”

1 Like

Well, James, sorry I can’t give you a definite answer, but officially, Chromebook are not supported by Xojo.

My personal experience is all with Linux and I didn’t even wrote one Android app to this day. Also, bare in mind that the Xojo APIv2 for Desktop and Mobile are different. I guess there is also quite a few diffences between iOS Mobile and Android Mobile.

The easiest solution for you IMOO, is to install the Linux Developement Environement on the Chromebook. It’s fairly simple (pressing of one button), and well supported. And that would work in my experience, and require minimal adaptation for you code, as LDE is basically a Debian Linux and that uses the Xojo Desktop APIv2.

Regards, Antoine

Hi James,

I remember working on the UI for your app, it was a very interesting project :slight_smile:

I have converted one of my iOS apps to Android last year. The app is pretty small. The initial iOS version took me 10 days to write. Converting to Android took 2 months :pensive:

Unfortunately, I do not think it is possible at the moment to rewrite your app in Xojo Android for the Chromebook.
There are several reasons:

  • Inability to change device layout to landscape
  • Xojo for Android does not officially support tablets at the moment
  • Android debugging is slow, your app is too big in my opinion to be efficiently debugged in Android

Might be better to build your project for Linux and find a way to make it run on Chromebook.

If you are interested in supporting large screens, please vote this case :

1 Like

Thank you all. The clear signal is that xojo android does not support tablets. I agree with all who see this as odd. Why isn’t the tablet just one more screen size?

It is obviously clear that telephones are the overwhelming installed base for android, but it seems that the growing mass of chromebooks would be hungry for the kinds of apps that xojo is so good at.

I would feel more confident here if xojo were expressing more curiosity about the Chromebook option. The party line seems to be that the most devices equals the biggest xojo market potential. Is there evidence that this is so?

It would be great if Xojo Desktop could also create apps for Chromebook.
According to the following chart, ChromeOS has a bigger market share than Linux. It would sound logical for Xojo to also support ChromeOS desktop apps, if it doesn’t already when building for Linux.

1 Like

Paul in the FR :

“Android support is in Beta and is currently focused on phone-sized devices… A tablet-sized layout editor is intended for a future version.”

That’s a “Don’t hold your breath, use other tools for that” answer.

A Xojo Android app can run on a Chromebook, but that is not a supported platform at the moment.

For best results, you’d likely want to change the layout editor to display in landscape using the button on the toolbar and also change the Orientation property to LandscapeOnly.

1 Like

Ah. Thank you Paul. Your answer makes sense.

I have not been able to flip the screen in the debugger to landscape mode, but you say it can be done so I will give it another try.

Do you have a sense as to whether a physical Chromebook is gonna be needed even for just experimenting?

@James_Bailey : is installing the Linux Development Environment on the Chromebook really a big deal? It uses 10 Gb, but other than that, I don’t see problems…

Sure, much better, but you can find Chromebooks with 8 Gb of RAM and 64 Gb of drive for less than $250. I bought 3…

Regards, Antoine

Well, I have tried writing Android apps with Xojo a few times now, and ran into brick walls for several reasons so keep giving up.
But ‘running on a tablet’ is not such a reason. You get a phone layout in the editor, but I can testify the (albeit simplistic) output works fine on my Galaxy Tab A7

Well, @AlbertoD, the IDE does run, but with problems.
Since it’s officially unsupported, what can I say… :wink:

But compiled apps run better.

Regards, Antoine

Thank you Antoine for the nudge. I am now the proud of an 8gb hp Chromebook ($229 at best buy.)

Anyhow, I guess the current state of reality is:

Bedazzled by the ubiquity of telephones, the powers that be at xojo do not see the burgeoning market potential of xojo on Chromebook.

So be it. This leaves us with two tasks.

  1. Using whatever meager options are already available in the android beta, get somethings (anythings) running on a Chromebook. I believe Paul will help us wherever he can; he has always been super responsive and knowledgeable.

  2. Leverage what we can show is possible to get ChromeJo on the roadmap.

This is high priority for me. I intend to push as hard as I can this summer.


Here’s my adviices.

  • Install Chrome Brew (a package manager for the ChromeOS).
  • Install the Linux Development Environment
  • Upgrade the Debian to Debian v12.
  • Don’t code on the IDE on Chromebook, it sucks. But install it, for sure.
  • Compile your Desktop solution for Linux from your usual dev environment, and run it on the Chromebook.

I’m sure you will enjoy your experience, you’ll see how your solution behave on the Debian virtual machine for not much time and $. You’ll be ready for deploying a good solution for your student soon, I bet.

Chromebook is the future of Xojo for students. Xojo, by pushing the Linux version with a lot a features for little $, is going in that direction. They just can’t commit right now, the have to stabilize what they already have, meaning APIv2, Android, and the global experience.

But they would be fools to stay away from Chomebooks. It’s so cheap & efficient.

Regards, Antoine

My wife has a Chromebook, her workflow is all based on browser “apps” and Android apps. I guess that 90% of the students also does not even know or care about setup a dev mode and Linux on the machine, they just use the machine and easily installable apps. That said, for me, Android apps, designed to take advantage of large screens (tablet mode) + keyboard + mouse are the way to easy produce and distribute (they are put in the play store) apps for Chromebooks.

@Rick_Araujo : the Linux Development Environment is installed by pressing ONE button, and waiting 5 minutes. Not complicated at all.


Then it changed, I remember needing to change settings just to get into the dev mode, just to being able to start the process.