Chrome Hack Allows Android Apps to Run on Windows, Mac & Linux
A developer named Vlad Filippov has figured out a way for Android apps to work on Windows, Mac and Linux, thanks to the modified edition of App Runtime for Chrome, or ARC. Android can now essentially be run on any desktop OS provided it has Chrome Web browser present.
App Runtime for Chrome is a Google project that allows the Chrome Web browser to run native code. Google recently released ARC as an extension giving Chrome OS the power to run Android apps, but to our disappointment, the extension supported only four apps.
Still, this move anticipated for the future where the search giant might turn its mobile operating system into a universal runtime that works on any desktop OS with Chrome installed.
However, it seems the community can’t wait for that future as the develop who goes by the moniker “Vladikoff” has developed a custom version of ARC, called ARChon that can run Android apps on any platform running the desktop version of Chrome 37 and up. Yes that’s right: You can now run just about any of the million-plus apps available on the Play Store onto your desktop OS.
Though the Android experience is not that refined and you may encounter a number of bugs, it’s nonetheless very exciting.
Firstly, Android app packages (APKs), that account for running apps on Android, must be converted to Chrome-compatible extensions in order to seek any hope at all of running via the browser, but Vladikoff has a tool called “chromeos-apk” that takes care of that part, too.
You’ll have to install a few unpacked extensions, but before that, make sure you’ve enabled Developer Mode on Chrome. There is a whole new subreddit, called /r/chromeapks, that will provide you with tools and offer a full walkthrough of how to get it up and running.
Since Google Android runtime for Chrome is still in beta and ARChon is a hacked version of that project, so don’t expect Android-esque fluidity while using apps on the browser. You’re likely to experience frequent clashes due to the lack of Google Play Services.
Still, this hack is pretty impressive given the fact that apps load up and work. Now, let’s see how long Google takes to make it official!
Source: ARChon on GitHub
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.