During Google I/O 2014 it was announced that Chrome OS would be getting limited Android app support, thanks to the creation of a new “App Runtime for Chrome” (aka ARC) that runs Android code at nearly native speeds via a sandboxed Dalvik VM. Since then, several Android apps have made their way over to Chrome OS, though the number is still quite low, coming in under 50. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before this situation improves. In order to make testing out Android apps easier than ever for developers, or even just everyday tinkerers for that matter, Google has now released a new tool called ARC Welder.
Basically you install the ARC Welder Chrome app and then you direct it to the zip or APK where the Android app you want to test out is located, and it’ll then go through a setup process of sorts where you’ll chose whether to run it in portrait or landscape, phone or tablet mode, and a few other options. After that, you’ll have a functioning Android app that will run on both Chrome and Chrome OS.
It’s important to note that not all apps will play nicely with ARC Welder, and this really is meant more as a way for developers to test out and make changes to their apps in anticipation of bringing them to Chrome OS. What do you think, excited to see more developers bring over their apps to Chrome OS?