Google Play on Chromebit Instructions (I promise this is not spam!)

Starhawk wrote 02/26/2018 at 18:32 -1 point

Instructions here -->

This is in case the tip line ignores me (which is quite likely -- I'm not one of the "cool" kids...). I just want to get this out there, because it works... I compiled these instructions and I will all but guarantee them. They are written at a "what's a right click?" level, so anyone and everyone should be able to follow them. I actually pieced this stuff together from several different bits of info out there... and I can confidently say that, at least for me, these instructions are "known good" -- tested and working. YMMV, no warranty, and all that -- you know the drill. But it /should/ work, if you follow the steps exactly.

For those not necessarily familiar with the hardware -- the CS10 Chromebit is ASUS' slightly ersatz Chrome OS answer to the Intel Compute Stick. (They make a more traditional effort with something called a "Vivo Stick" PC.) It's cheap enough -- I picked mine up on eBay for $65 or so, IIRC, and current prices start at around that and climb steeply from there (there are some on eBay for $150 or so! Most are about $100-125, though, it looks like).

It's a surprisingly large "USB stick" form factor ARM-basded device, with a male HDMI port on one end (it's intended to "smartify" --if that's a word-- a "dumb" TV, or the like... it comes with a little HDMI extension cord, too), a single USB host port on the other, and a power port (for 12v, oddly enough -- an 18w power supply is included) somewhere down the side in between. It's nifty, and has sufficient 'zip' to avoid annoying you (although it's nowhere near the fastest car in the Pinewood Derby -- it's about on par with other Compute Stick clones, the Z3735F ones...), but it really needs a powered hub to go with it, unless you're using a unified wireless keyboard and mouse (i.e. something like the Logitech K400r I have, where there's only one receiver for both peripherals) and you know for absolute forever certain that you'll never ever want to plug anything else into it. (ASUS specifically warns you in the Quick Start Guide that the USB port can only source 500mA, BTW.)

Sound is through HDMI with no analog fallback -- so if, like me, you only have DVI monitors and you use passive/"just wires" adapters (the electrical protocol is /almost/ the same -- DVI is deaf/mute -- despite the different connectors) you don't get any sound at all. Boo hiss. I'll note that I'm trying to get one of those eBay HDMI audio splitters to work... no luck so far -- if anyone has any suggestions, PM me please! (If there were an audio config utility in there somewhere, and I thought I'd have driver support, I'd try my Plantronics USB audio dongle -- alas...)

Despite the limitations, it's actually not a bad little gadget, and being able to run the Play Store (and /some/ -- not all! -- Android apps, therefore) easily elevates it from "hey, nice toy" to something reasonably practical. If I was more comfortable with cloud storage and printing, I'd consider using a Play Store-enabled Chromebit as my main system. No, seriously... I do a lot of stuff in a browser, and what I don't do there, I can do with eg WPS Office or the like. That, and I know enough Linux shell commands (and how to pull one up) to get around certain roadblocks that Chrome OS puts in the way (such as font installation -- I know how to do it via Terminal, I *think* -- but don't ask me otherwise).

Anyways, I hope all this helps someone out in some way... if it works for you, let me know and I'll smile. If it doesn't, let me know and I'll try to help. In either case... good luck!