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Unofficial ‘hack’ lets you sideload Android APKs onto your Chromebook

A new Javascript 'hack' makes it possible to sideload Android APKs onto your Chromebook. Some apps have been tested successfully, others have not.
September 17, 2014

Last week Google introduced the first four Android apps for Chromebooks, promising more apps would be on their way in the near future. While four apps is a start, what if you could take just about any Android app and install it on your Chrome OS device? That’s exactly what developer Vladikoff’s ‘hack’ lets you do.

The new hack uses a small Javascript script, which basically lets you take any Android APK and package it up for side-loading (for lack of a better term) onto the Chromebook. The hack is detailed in full over at GitHub, though its developer warns that it is a ‘proof of concept’ and not appropriate for the technically challenged. It’s also important to note that there’s no guarantees the apps you install will be fully working or stable for that matter. You can also only run one Android app at a time through this method.

As for what apps have been proven to work? We don’t have much of a list of confirmed apps just yet, though reportedly Twitter (mobile and tab versions) and Flipboard work great. On the other hand, apps like Google Chrome for Android, Spotify, SoundCloud and Swing Copters install but end up crashing. In other words, the experience will probably result in more misses than hits.

Still, if you like tinkering, this could be a fun way to potentially extend the usefulness of your Chromebook using the power of Android apps. Have you tested this out yet, if so, what app(s) did you manage to get working? Let us know in the comments!