This is a fairly simple tutorial on how to get your favorite android apps running on your Linux (or Windows, or Mac) boxen. Please note that not every android apps is compatible with ARC. Some apps are specific to certain framework such as Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense, and those that requires Google Play Service most likely will not work. Lastly, running ARC outside ChromeOS itself may cause some compatibility problems.
What you need:
- A fairly recent chrome browser installation that supports App Runtime for Chrome (or ARC)
- Storage space to keep your .apks
- ..and the apk files for your android apps
Now, on to the steps:
- First, install chrome. This step should be fairly simple, right? After chrome is installed, start a chrome session, go to menu > More tools > Extensions. on the upper right corner, you’ll find a checkbox for “Developer mode”. Make sure it’s checked
- Get ARC Welder from Chrome Web Store. The first time you run ARC welder, it will prompt you to define writable folder to store unpacked apk files. Do so.
- Hit the + button on ARC welder to add an apk file. It will ask you to determine whether the app will be loaded as in portrait or landscape, and whether it will be treated as phone or tablet app.
If nothing goes wrong, your android app should start immediately
The steps above only allows one app to be loaded at the time. The next time you fire up ARC Welder and add a different apk, you’ll be prompted to allow chrome to remove the previously added android app. To get around that, here’s what you need to do:
- Load a new apk to ARC Welder, it will ask you to remove the app that is currently loaded. Do so
- Open a Chrome browser window, go to Menu > More tools > Extensions
- Press the “Load unpacked extensions”. Navigate to the folder that you have selected for ARC Welder to find the folder for the previously loaded apk. Select the folder to add it to the list of chrome apps/extensions.
- Open Chrome App Launcher. You should be able to find and launch the app from there
You should now be able to load multiple android apps 😀