Sphero Edu Android App on Chromebooks

Micah Daby Updated by Micah Daby

For many years the Sphero Edu Chrome app has been accessible via the Chrome Web Store for usage on Chromebooks. However, Google will no longer support Chrome apps and they will no longer be available on the Chrome Web Store by June, 2022. Learn more about Google's official plans and details in the Chromium Blog.

To get ahead of this deadline and ensure a smooth transition, Sphero is encouraging users to start running the Android version of Sphero Edu on their Chromebooks. In January 2022, we will remove the Sphero Edu app listing on the Chrome Web Store. Once this happens, users will only be able to use the Android app on their Chromebook computers.

Most Chromebook models have supported Android apps for a number of years, starting back in 2016. Please review the documentation below to better understand how to access the Android Sphero Edu app and if it is supported on your Chromebook model.

Q: How Do I Manage and Deploy the Android Sphero Edu App in My School?

If your Chromebooks are managed by an administrator, either with Google's enterprise or education admin solutions, then review Google's support documentation on how to Deploy Android apps to managed users on Chromebooks. Google also has additional guidelines and tips for deploying Android apps on Chromebooks in a school environment, located here.

Here are a few deployment tips if you get stuck:

  • You will need to "enable" an app setting called Managed Google Play. Don't worry - this won't result in your managed students having access to Google Play without restrictions. Rather, it will provide a portal for your students to access only the Android apps you have whitelisted in Google Play.
  • You will need to "allow" Android applications on Chrome Devices. Without allowing this setting, you won't be able to deploy Android apps to Chromebooks.
  • When deploying the Sphero Edu Android app, you will have two core options. You can allow students to manually install from Managed Google Play, or you can force install the app to their Chromebook. With the latter option, you can also pin the app to the task bar after installation.

Q: As a General User of Sphero Edu, How Do I Get the Android Sphero Edu App on My Chromebook?

if your Chromebook is NOT managed by an admin and your Chromebook is compatible with Android, then you can access the Android version of Sphero Edu from the Google Play Store. Look for this icon on your desktop shelf or via the app launcher:

Google Play Store icon

After opening the Google Play Store app, type "Sphero Edu" into the search bar to find the Sphero Edu app. Then click on the "Install" button to install the app. You will then be able to access the Sphero Edu app from the app launcher. If desired, you can pin the Sphero Edu app to your task bar shelf for easy access. If you cannot find the app while searching Google Play, then your Chromebook may be a managed Chromebook or impacted by a firewall/network settings.

If you do not see the Google Play Store app at all, then your Chromebook may not support Android apps or it may be a managed Chromebook that has access to Google Play removed. If your Chromebook is managed, please review the steps above for deploying Android apps to managed Chromebooks in schools.

Q: Which Chromebook Models Support the Android Sphero Edu App?

Since 2019, all new Chromebook models run Android in conjunction with Chrome OS. If you have a new Chromebook, you should have no issues running the Android version of Sphero Edu, accessible via the Google Play Store. However, if your Chromebook was manufactured prior to 2019 then it may not support Android. Most older models have received operating system updates to add Android support, but not all models have received this update.

If your Chromebook was manufactured prior to 2019, please check this official list to determine if it runs Android and consequently, the Android Sphero Edu app. If your device is on the list, but doesn't seem to support Android, please check if your operating system is out of date. If it is, an update may enable Android support.

Q: What Do I Do if My Chromebook Doesn't Run Android?

If your current Chromebook does not support Android apps, then you can still run the Sphero Edu Chrome app that's available on the Chrome Web Store. However, later in 2021 this version of the of the app will become unavailable. Consider procuring a newer Chromebook model, or transition to using the Sphero Edu apps available on our other platforms, as detailed on our Device Compatibility support page.

Q: What's Different Between the Android App and the Chrome App?

There are a handful of benefits to using the Android app over the Chrome app. in particular, these three are worth noting:

Feature

Android Sphero Edu App

Chrome Sphero Edu App

Supports firmware updates

Yes*

No

Allows for offline usage (can program without the internet)

Yes

No

Has guest mode and local storage of programs

Yes

No

Has properly translated UI

Yes

No (machine translations)

Has live sensor data graphing

Yes

No (only displays historical data)

* Some Chromebooks have a harder time updating firmware. If this is the case, you can try the firmware update on an iOS or Android phone/tablet.

There are a few things that teachers and parents must do on the Sphero Edu website, as they are not supported in the Android version of Sphero Edu. This includes the following:

  • Class set up and management
  • Creation of custom activities
  • Password or profile changes

In each of the above cases, the Android app will open a browser to complete the needed work.

Please contact our support team if you run into any issues with the Android version of Sphero Edu on Chromebooks. You can contact our support team with feedback or inquiries about bugs and features at support@sphero.com.

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