Android apps have a rough history on the Chromebook since Google brought them to Chrome OS in 2016. From a weak app ecosystem to nasty bugs like the app scaling issue that almost reached Chrome OS 86 Stable, Google has tried to create a compelling An Android app experience that users can enjoy, but with a little luck. With Chrome OS 87 coming in a few more days, Google’s operating system finds itself in another predicament, which makes typing in Android apps incredibly frustrating.
As you recently noticed in the latest channel of Chrome OS Beta, a keyboard input error drastically slows down the typing speed while typing in an Android app. The other day I had to insert a block of text into my homework using the Squid Android app. About thirty seconds later, as you type, keyboard responsiveness slows significantly. Thinking it was a squid problem, I tested the introduction to the Telegram app and had the same problem. Here̵
The keyboard’s response time is incredibly slow when typing in Telegram.
As you can see, the input is slow and lags far behind my actual typing speed. Instead of writing down my content, I have to constantly wait for what I have learned to catch up before writing again, which often interrupts my thinking. In fact, the input lag is so terrible that I find myself pulling out my phone to send text to Telegram instead of using my Chromebook. So far, this bug has affected four of my devices in the Beta, Dev and Canary channels without any fixes.
Some of you may be wondering why I’m pointing this out if the problem doesn’t occur in the stable channel. Think of it this way: we only have three more days until Chrome OS 87 needs to be released on the stable channel (unless Google slows it down, but that’s unlikely with the lack of blocking versions of the bug tracker). The clock is ticking and there is not much time left for Google to fix it before the big update is released.
Restarting your Chromebook will temporarily fix the problem, but if you need to work properly in Android apps again, you’ll need to flush (or reset) your Chromebook to switch back to the stable channel. And I’m not the only one facing this problem – several users have told me that their writing experience has been crippled. Not good, Google.
I hope Google developers can fix this annoying latency error when typing on the keyboard. At the moment, the introduction of Android applications is a disappointing ordeal, which significantly affects users who depend on Android applications. I reported a bug in the Chromium bug tracker and I hope the developers get involved and deal with the issue quickly before it reaches the stable channel.