A Chromebook has a newer version of Android than almost every phone.
If you want to check out the latest features for Android as soon as you can you know what phone to buy: The Pixel. But you still won’t be able to check out every feature because a few are always going to be dependent on screen size. The Samsung Chromebook Plus has you covered. It’s just a better buy in 2017 than a Pixel C and offers the same level of Android support. We’re seeing this now, and it’s not likely to change unless we get new hardware from Google this fall.
Android 7.1.1 for Chromebooks is available right now if you’re willing to run Chrome Canary.
A disclaimer is in order. the Chromebook Plus only has Android 7.1.1 if you run the ChromeOS Canary build. We’re not sure exactly when it will come to more usable branches or even to the stable build, but know that Google is focusing on getting Android on Chrome to the latest version and keeping it there when Android is updated. I don’t recommend anyone who has a Chromebook and enjoys using it to switch to Canary because there will be headaches and broken things. That’s what Canary is — a test bed for things to see how broken they are and what needs to be changed. But if you’re a developer who needs to get ready for what’s next with Android TV or tablets or even other Chromebooks, having it available outside of an emulator is pretty awesome.
A look back at the Google I/O 2017 session Android Apps for Chromebooks and Large Screen Devices shows us why. ChromeOS can look at the version of Android it is running and then adjust how app windows are drawn. Apps target for versions before Marshmallow