Chromebooks still don’t support spell check in Android apps
Despite all of the work being put into Chrome OS recently, there are a few problems with the platform – even now. With all of the Android-ification of Chrome OS recently as well, some functionality being left out is surprising. One of these is the lack of spell check support within Android apps. If you’re using any of the available Chromebooks and run an Android application on your device, you can’t make use of what would be Android’s native spell checker.
The issue is made worse given that the bug was first reported on the Google Chromebook help forum in early 2017. Following that some 8 months later, an issue report was posted in the Chromium bug tracker. It outlines the problem and explains the intended behaviour, pointing out what actually happens as a result. It has been starred 35 times since its initial report, which one would expect is enough to warrant and official response. Those looking to do any writing on their Chromebooks through an Android application will have to use the likes of Microsoft Word, which has its own built-in spell check.
But why do we need a spell checker on a laptop anyway? Chromebooks are often used for productivity, and those who may have trouble spelling (such as those with dyslexia) may benefit greatly from its inclusion. Omitting spell check means that the platform alienates a whole group of people that may need to use it. We can only hope that the advent of Gboard on Chromebooks may be indicative of a spell checker being included, but it’s nowhere near a guarantee. There is no real workaround for this issue at the moment, and you’ll have to resort to using Chrome OS applications if you want a spell checker. It’s possible that it’s a limitation of how Chrome OS utilizes Android apps, but we would at least hope for an official statement nearly a year later.
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