In a move to extend the Android experience all over the web, Google has begun introducing Android apps to the Chrome Web store which allows you to run Android apps on Chrome books which run on Chrome OS. As this is an experimental step, Google has made available only some of the Android apps on the Chrome web store which was disappointing. Canadian developer, Vlad Filippov doesn’t like this restriction as well, so he removed all the barriers by building a custom ARC and named it ARChon which lets you run any Android apps on Desktop that supports Chrome browser.
ARC is the Android Run time for Chrome which is built by Google to run Android on Chrome OS. But in the process Google made a safer move by restricting the compatible apps to a few leaving few chances to any misfortunes. However as an Android enthusiast, we didn’t like these restrictions as we like to explore the whole content rather than just bread crumbs. Similar idea led Filippov to create a custom ARC which will allow us to run all the Android apps on any desktop OS running Chrome browser without any restrictions.
The ARC is just a extension for Chrome OS, but it was built using Native Client, a Google project that allows Chrome to run native code safely within a web browser. The Native client is meant to be cross-platform, but Google restricted it to Chrome OS only by using ARC Chrome Web store which flagged the desktop version of chrome browser as incompatible platform. But running the custom built ARChon on your PC lets you run Android apps on Desktop without any restrictions.
However, the process is not that clear and converting the Android apps to Chrome extensions is hefty and requires some prior knowledge. But another developer created an app called Chrome APK Packager that converts the android apps to Chrome extensions automatically. This reduces the pain of converting them manually, so now get ready to experience the android apps on Desktop. The Chrome APK Packager is currently in the alpha builds and you can expect a lot of bugs in the app as any other Alpha build. Just leave the worries and get on with the guide on how to use this stuff on your PC.
HOW TO RUN ANDROID APPS ON DESKTOP
- Upgrade to the latest Chrome browser on your Desktop. The version 37 or later is preferred for this process.
- Download the ARChon package on your PC → Click Here
- Extract the package to any location on your PC and open the Chrome browser on your PC.
- Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar to open the Chrome extensions page. At the top you will find the Developers mode tick button.
- Enable the developers mode, and click Load unpacked extention button and browse to the ARChon folder and select it.
- This will load the ARChon chrome extension on your browser. The extension should look something like this:
- Now download the latest Chrome APK packager app from the XDA page and install it on your phone → Click Here
- Open the app and select either Installed Application to chose from the installed apps on phone or select an app from the SDcard using the second option.
- Once the package is selected, chose the device mode and orientation in the next slide. This will create the chrome extension in the zip format and saves to the ChromeAPKS folder in your SD card.
- Copy the Zip files to the PC and extract them to get the chrome extensions in the form of packed folders.
- Load these extensions to the chrome using the similar process used in Step 5.
- Now the apps will load. Click launch to load the extensions and run the Android apps on your PC.
So you’re now running the Android apps on your PC. Here’s how they look like on your PC.
We’ve seen some apps crashing in the browser. That may be due to the failure of the Google Play services, which is obviously not available on Chrome browser.
So try this cool method and let us know what apps are working and which are crashing in the comments section below.