A little while back, Google opened up a few Android applications to run on its Chrome OS, and shortly afterwards an unofficial hack showed up allowing users to side load Android APKs onto their Chromebooks. A great feature for the limited number of Chromebook owners, but something that would be even better if it ran on Google’s widely available Chrome browser.
A little over a week later and some clever folks have already worked out a solution, and have even developed an Android app that will let you port APKs and apps over to be run from Google Chrome. It’s still in early development, but this opens up a world of possibilities.
The first half of this processes starts with a customized Android Runtime for Google Chrome called ARChon, which was created by Vlad Filippov. This Chrome add-on allows users to run an unlimited number of unpacked Android apps natively on all of the popular operating systems – Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. The process of unpacking apps is a bit fiddly, which is where this new Android app comes in handy.
XDA Senior Member bpear98 has built an app which creates ARChon packages right on your Android device. You can then simply copy these over to your computer and run them through your Chrome Browser with the ARChon add-on installed. Although still in early development, the app is simple to use. Just pick an apk from the list and hit generate.
If you want to try it out for yourself you will need to enable developer mode in Chrome, extract the Runtime .zip file and load it as an extension to the browser. You can grab the files for your specific operating system from the Github page. You can then install the Chrome APK Packager to your smartphone and start packing up your favourite apps and games.
Let us know your experiences with running Android apps on your laptop or PC.